Golden Knights grab Red Wings prospect Tomas Nosek

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News

Detroit — The NHL expansion draft stung the Red Wings — just not in the way many felt it would.

The expansion Vegas Golden Knights picked forward Tomas Nosek in the expansion draft Wednesday during the NHL Awards Show.

Nosek was chosen by the expansion team over NHL regulars such as goalie Petr Mrazek, defenseman Xavier Ouellet, and forward Riley Sheahan — three players largely being pegged as potential expansion picks by the Golden Knights.

But, instead, Vegas went after arguably one of the Red Wings’ top minor-league prospects, Nosek, who was expected to graduate to the NHL next season.

Nosek (6-foot-2, 210-pounds) played in 11 games with the Red Wings late last season, scored his first NHL goal, with no assists, and posted a minus-1 plus-minus rating.

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Having improved his skating, and being more aggressive around the net, Nosek looked much more confident and comfortable than in a previous, short NHL stint.

In Grand Rapids last season, Nosek had a good regular season with 15 goals and 26 assists (41 points) in 51 games.

But it was the in the playoffs that Nosek was especially impressive, and might have influenced the Golden Knights’ decision.

Nosek was one of the Griffins’ best players on their way to a Calder Cup, leading the team with 22 points (10 goals, and 12 assists) in 19 games, including a team-leading five power-play goals.

Losing Nosek will likely force the Red Wings to search for a fourth-line forward in trade or free agency.

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The Red Wings also still have a glut of goalies, with Mrazek going unclaimed by Vegas.

Mrazek, Jimmy Howard and Jared Coreau all remain on the roster, with a glut of goalies available throughout the league decreasing the chances of a trade.

Losing Nosek also does little to help the Red Wings’ salary-cap situation.

The Red Wings have 17 players (out of a 23-man roster) signed for roughly $67.1 million.

The NHL salary cap will be $75 million — with restricted free agents Tomas Tatar, Andreas Athanasiou and Ouellet needing new contracts.


Here are the 30 players selected by Vegas in the expansion draft:


Arizona Coyotes: Teemu Pulkkinen

Buffalo Sabres: William Carrier

Detroit Red Wings: Tomas Nosek

Dallas Stars: Cody Eakin

Florida Panthers: Jonathan Marchessault

Carolina Hurricanes: Connor Brickley

Winnipeg Jets: Chris Thorburn

Philadelphia Flyers: Pierre-Edouard Bellemare

Nashville Predators: James Neal

Toronto Maple Leafs: Brendan Leipsic

St. Louis Blues: David Perron

New York Rangers: Oscar Lindberg

Minnesota Wild: Erik Haula

Columbus Blue Jackets: William Karlsson


Vancouver Canucks: Luca Sbisa

New Jersey Devils: Jon Merrill

Los Angeles Kings: Brayden McNabb

Tampa Bay Lightning: Jason Garrison

Calgary Flames: Deryk Engelland

Boston Bruins: Colin Miller

Ottawa Senators: Marc Methot

San Jose Sharks: David Schlemko

Edmonton Oilers: Griffin Reinhart

Montreal Canadiens: Alexei Emelin

Chicago Blackhawks: Trevor van Riemsdyk

Anaheim Ducks: Clayton Stoner

Washington Capitals: Nate Schmidt


Colorado Avalanche: Calvin Pickard

New York Islanders: Jean-Francois Berube

Pittsburgh Penguins: Marc-Andre Fleury