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Vegas Golden Knights take Tomas Nosek in Expansion Draft

Forward led AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins in playoff scoring as they won the Calder Cup

by Dana Wakiji @Dwakiji /

The Las Vegas Golden Knights wanted a champion.

So they chose forward Tomas Nosek from the Red Wings in the Expansion Draft, which was revealed during the NHL Awards show Wednesday night.

Nosek, 24, was a key member of the Calder Cup champion Grand Rapids Griffins, who just defeated the Syracuse Crunch in six games in the finals.

Nosek led the Griffins with 10 goals among 22 points in 19 playoff games.

During the AHL's regular season, Nosek was tied for seventh on the Griffins in scoring with Kyle Criscuolo with 41 points. Nosek scored his in 51 games to Criscuolo's 76.

In 11 games with the Red Wings this season, Nosek had one goal and finished minus-1. He played in six games with the Wings during the 2015-16 season.

There were some people who were surprised that the Wings chose to protect goaltender Jimmy Howard instead of the younger Petr Mrazek.

Although limited to 26 games due to injuries, Howard, 33, had the better season statistically, with a 2.10 goals-against average and .927 save percentage, both career bests.

Mrazek, 25, played in 50 games, finishing with a 3.04 goals-against average and .901 save percentage, both career worsts.

The Golden Knights also opted not to take forward Riley Sheahan, 25, who scored two goals in the final game of the season at Joe Louis Arena and has size and defensive skill, nor defenseman Xavier Ouellet, 23, who had three goals, nine assists and finished plus-2 in 66 games.

The Golden Knights also selected former Wings forward Teemu Pulkkinen from the Arizona Coyotes.

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