The Noah Hanifin Sweepstakes Just Had A Shocking Conclusion

Just when we thought it was down to the Tampa Bay Lightning, Florida Panthers and Boston Bruins, a new major Stanley Cup contender has not only jumped into the Noah Hanifin trade sweepstakes, but has won the bidding. The defending champion Vegas Golden Knights have landed the top-pairing D-man.

Insider Elliotte Friedman broke the news live on the air on TNT:

This is a shocking turn of events as it was said in recent days that Hanifin had preferred the Lightning as his destination, while his hometown Bruins were also considered a front-runner.

Instead, the defending champs make a huge splash. As of late Wednesday night, the details of the return hadn’t been finalized, but a first-rounder is heading to Calgary, in addition to Daniil Miromanov.

A conditional 3rd round pick is also heading to Calgary. 

Some form of salary retention will be part of the deal, while according to TSN’s Darren Dreger, a contract extension is also in the works to keep Hanifin in Vegas for the long haul. He was set to become an unrestricted free agent after the season. And according to PuckPedia, since he'll be on the team before the trade deadline, he'll be eligible to sign an 8-year extension with the Golden Knights.

The 27-year-old has 35 points in 61 games this season while sporting a +13 rating. He's logging a career-high 23:46 of ice time per night. The Vegas blueline is now staggering, and the team would appear to have etched themselves as the favorites to win their second consecutive Stanley Cup.

And according to David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period, word out of Vegas suggests they aren't necessarily finished wheeling and dealing. He indicates that they could still add another forward by the deadline. 

Photo: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports