UPDATE (6:28pm PT on Wednesday): The Las Vegas Golden Knights have selected Sharks defenseman David Schlemko in the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft.
A few hours before the Vegas Golden Knights roster was set to be unveiled, word leaked on which Sharks player they have selected.
Defenseman David Schlemko will be headed to the expansion team, which will begin play in the fall, according to TSN’s Pierre LeBrun.
A source told NBC Sports California that there is no side deal or trade between the Sharks and Golden Knights. Vegas is simply selecting one of the available players that the Sharks did not protect ahead of the expansion draft.
It’s possible that the Golden Knights are selecting Schlemko with the purpose of trading him to another team. The 30-year-old is signed for the next three years at a reasonable $2.1 million salary cap hit.
The Sharks should have internal options to replace Schlemko, who, in his only season with the Sharks, notched two goals and 16 assists for 18 points in 62 games while skating primarily on the third defense pair with Brenden Dillon.
Dylan DeMelo, who has served as the seventh defenseman for each of the last two seasons, could finally break through to earn a full time spot in the active lineup. Tim Heed and Joakim Ryan, who both spent the majority of the 2016-17 season with the AHL Barracuda, were signed to two-year contract extensions late last week and could be ready to break through.
By selecting Schlemko, Vegas is passing on other available Sharks like Dillon, Paul Martin, Joel Ward and Mikkel Boedker.