Carolina Hurricanes

Canes lose Brickley to Vegas in NHL expansion draft

In a surprise move in the NHL expansion draft, In a surprise move, the Vegas Golden Knights selected forward Connor Brickley from the Canes. Brickley, 25, played 69 games for the Charlotte Checkers in 2016-17
In a surprise move in the NHL expansion draft, In a surprise move, the Vegas Golden Knights selected forward Connor Brickley from the Canes. Brickley, 25, played 69 games for the Charlotte Checkers in 2016-17 jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

After all the talk about the NHL expansion draft, protected lists and the players who might be selected by the Vegas Golden Knights, the Carolina Hurricanes wound up losing a player who wasn’t on their roster last season.

The Golden Knights, who begin play in the 2017-18 season as the NHL’s 31st team, took forward Connor Brickley from Carolina. Brickley, 25, spent last season with the Charlotte Checkers, the Canes’ American Hockey League affiliate.

The Golden Knights also received Carolina’s fifth-round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft as Canes general manager Ron Francis and Vegas GM George McPhee agreed on a deal that was suitable for both teams.

The Golden Knights’ 30 player selections – and trades – were announced Wednesday during the NHL Awards Show in Las Vegas.

Brickley played 69 games for the Checkers in 2016-17, finishing with 15 goals and 11 assists as the Checkers reached the Calder Cup playoffs. The Canes acquired Brickley on Oct. 11, 2016 in a trade that sent forward Brody Sutter to the Florida Panthers.

Brickley played in 23 games with Florida in 2015-16. A former second-round pick by the Panthers, he played college hockey at Vermont.

The fifth-round draft pick acquired by Vegas from Carolina originally belonged to the Boston Bruins. Carolina acquired the pick along with a third-round selection in the 2016 NHL Draft and Anthony Camara in exchange for defenseman John-Michael Liles on Feb. 29, 2016.

The Canes left such players as forwards Lee Stempniak and Joakim Nordstrom, and goalies Cam Ward and Eddie Lack, unprotected for the expansion draft. Many believed the Golden Knights might select Stempniak, who has played for 10 NHL teams during his career, but Francis and McPhee worked out a deal that made Brickley the choice.

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