After finishing up his sixth season in Montreal, Alexei Emelin was selected by Vegas in the expansion draft, only to be rerouted to Nashville a few days later. The Russian's physical edge should complement the team's skilled defense quite well. A stay-at-home blueliner, Emelin delivered 241 hits for the Canadiens last year, the fourth time in six seasons he's crossed the 200-hit threshold -- for perspective, Matt Irwin's 115 hits in 2016-17 led all Preds defensemen. Emelin also provides some insurance for Ryan Ellis, who underwent knee surgery during the offseason.
Emelin (knee) will be in the lineup for Game 1 of Tuesday's doubleheader against the Panthers, Adam Vingan of The Tennessean reports. After making a brief stop in Las Vegas, Emelin is ready to make his Nashville debut and is apparently fully recovered from the knee surgery he underwent in April. The Russian defender's former Montreal teammate, P.K. Subban, is also in the early game's lineup, so it will be interesting to see whether coach Peter Laviolette chooses to reunite the two on a defensive pairing, if only for this preseason game.
Emelin (knee) was traded by Vegas to Nashville for a third-round draft pick, Darren Dreger of TSN.ca reports. Emelin was only in Vegas for a few days before getting traded, but he will now be the second Montreal defenseman to end up in Nashville in the past two years, joining former teammate P.K. Subban. The physical defender will likely fit into a bottom-four role in a stacked Nashville defensive core, but expect him to make a push for over 200 hits and 100 blocked shots, just as he has the past four seasons.
Emelin (knee) has been selected by the Golden Knights in the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft, Pierre LeBrun of TSN reports. LeBrun's update also states that the Habs did not have to entice the Golden Knights with a draft pick for them to select the hard-hitting Russian defenseman. Emelin has one year remaining on his contract with a cap hit of $4.1 million. He also has a modified 10-team no-trade clause. Don't be the least bit surprised if the Golden Knights move Emelin to another club in the coming days. He's never reached the 20-point mark in his NHL career, and his defensive play has become increasingly erratic. It's hard to imagine all that many teams being interested in Emelin at that price tag, but the majority of the league is on the lookout for NHL-caliber defensemen.
Emelin had arthroscopic knee surgery Wednesday, with a recovery timeline of 4-to-6 weeks. Emelin missed six games toward the end of the 2016-17 campaign with a lower-body injury that was likely the same malady that required surgery. He'll have plenty of time to get ready for training camp in September. Of course, the 31-year-old has never reached the 20-point mark in his career, so fantasy owners should look elsewhere for blue-line scoring.
Emelin scored the lone Montreal goal in Saturday's series-ending Game 6 loss to the Rangers. Emelin only appeared in two postseason games this year due to injury, failing to make much of an impact in back-to-back losses. He isn't known for his offensive production and finished with just 10 points this season-- his lowest point total since his rookie campaign. Emelin aids Montreal with his strong physical game, but his lack of offensive capabilities is a turn-off for most fantasy goers.
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