With the NHL Expansion Draft getting closer Golden Knights General Manager George McPhee and his scouting staff will have a major task in building the teams top 6 group of forwards.

With the 30 teams aware of the expansion draft they two options in which they can protect players on their current rosters.

Option 1: Seven forwards, three defensemen and one goaltender.

Option 2: Eight skaters (forwards/defensemen) and one goaltender.

Without further ado will dive into the available talent pool that George McPhee has at his disposal in building his hockey club’s top two scoring lines of forwards.

Brad Marchand

NHL: Calgary Flames at Boston Bruins
Mar 5, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand (63) reacts after scoring a goal during the first period against the Calgary Flames at TD Banknorth Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Currently with the Boston Bruins is a NHL veteran with 7 seasons to his credit. Marchand in the 2016-2017 campaign in 64 games has scored 29 goals (6 PPG, 3 SHG, and 5 GWG) with 38 assists. He is on pace this year to reach a new record of 86 points.

Back in the 2015-2016 hockey season Marchand set a career high for himself when recorded 37 goals, collected 61 points, and 6 power play goals.

Been to the Stanley Cup Finals twice in his career with the Bruins in 2011 which he won it against the Vancouver Canucks and in 2013 during the pro-rated season versus the Chicago Blackhawks in 6 game series loss.

The scouting report on Marchand indicates that he possesses good hockey sense skills and is a proven goal scorer. Marchand is considered a world-class agitator along being that sparkplug type of player.

Plays the game much bigger than his 5’9” frame. Very good on both sides of the special teams game. Has Confident with his puck handling abilities and can produce in clutch situations.

Matt Moulson

matt-moulson-buffalo-sabres
(Photo by Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald)

In his third season with the Buffalo Sabres Matt Moulsen is 9 year NHL veteran. The former Pittsburgh Penguins of the 2003 draft Moulson has previously played for the Los Angeles Kings, New York Islanders, and Minnesota Wild.

With the Sabres this season Moulson has 12 goals and assists and is on pace to reach the 15 goal mark by the end of the campaign this will tie his 2012-2013 season in the goal scoring department.

His career high was with the New York Islanders in the 2011-2012 hockey season when he recorded 36 goals and tallied 33 assists (69 points) along with an impressive 14 power play markers.

According to the experts Moulson is strong with playing the puck. A good shooter that has ability of a goal scorer. Improving his all around game on both ends of the ice. Moulson’s frame allows him to play the game down low around the oppositions net and has great hands.

Dustin Brown

dustin-brown
(Photo by NHL.com)

A 12 year NHL veteran all with the Los Angeles Kings, Dustin Brown on the 2016-2017 season has in 62 games played 10 goals and 18 assists.

He is on pace to score 13 goals and tally 23 assists by seasons end.

The 2-time Stanley Cup Champion (2012 and 2014) has put up career high numbers in goals with 33 back in the 2007-2008 season and in the 2011-2012 season with 32 points.

In addition to those stats Brown as a career high in power play goals in the 2006-2007 with 13.

The former Kings Captain still has the skill set to play a physical game, and is a consistent body checker. Has the ability to play an all around game. Still has mindset of being a leader. Can play either wing position and can score goals in bunches.

Joakim Nordstrom

joakim-nordstrom-1
(Photo by Amy Irvin/ The Hockey Writers)

With 3 seasons under his belt Joakim Nordstrom is playing in his 2nd full campaign with the Carolina Hurricanes. On the season has put up just three goals and 5 assists.

Given the season the Hurricanes are having Nordstrom has the upside to produce more.

His career highs were just a year ago when he scored 10 goals and registered 14 assists.

Has the overall ability to move up and down in the lineup speaks to his polish game. Uses his frame to his advantage and can kill penalties as well as playing both wing positions.

Andreas Athanasiou

andreas-athanasiou
(Photo by NHL.com)

In his first full year with the Detroit Red Wings the 22 year old Athanasiou has spent the last 3 seasons in the AHL as a member of the Grand Rapid Griffins.

There he played in 83 games with the Red Wings affiliate and recorded 25 goals and 26 assists.

During the 2016-2017 hockey season Athanasiou with Detroit he has 47 games to his credit the young forward has 14 goals and 7 assists, he also on pace to pick up 20 goals and 10 assists.

His game is similar to that of former Detroit Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk. He has great hands and gets creative in the scoring department. As skilled as he is Athanasiou can play all three position on his line.

Has great skating ability and is a good two-way player

Richard Panik

NHL: Chicago Blackhawks at Tampa Bay Lightning
Jan 21, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA;Chicago Blackhawks right wing Richard Panik (14) works out prior to the game against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The four year NHL veteran originally drafted by Tampa Bay back in 2009 has played for the Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs, and the Chicago Blackhawks.

This season with Chicago has played in 64 games and has scored 17 goals (current career high) and 17 assists. Panik is on pace to register 22 goals and assists at the conclusion of the 2016-2017 campaign.

With a good frame and a ton of skill his game compliments the NHL style. Has the skill set in the scoring department along with a good hockey sense.

Also is a good two-way player on the ice.

These are just some of the options at the top 6 forward position that are available for McPhee to choose from when it comes time of the NHL Expansion Draft.

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