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Isaac Brekken/AP

Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Deryk Engelland (5) skates with the puck as Edmonton Oilers left wing Leon Draisaitl defends during the second period of an NHL hockey game Sunday, March 17, 2019, in Las Vegas. The Golden Knights won, 6-3.

The Golden Knights locked up their unofficial captain and shed one of their more cumbersome contracts in a pair of moves Tuesday afternoon.

Vegas announced the signing of defenseman Deryk Engelland to a one-year contract and the trade of David Clarkson’s contract and a 2020 fourth-round pick to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for goalie Garret Sparks.

Engelland’s contract guarantees him a base salary of the league-minimum $700,000 with performance bonuses that can reach $1.5 million. Engelland had 12 points in 74 games last year and played large penalty-kill minutes for Vegas.

Sparks figures to play with the Chicago Wolves in the AHL and could be one of the first looks if Marc-Andre Fleury or Malcolm Subban gets injured. The 26-year-old played 20 games for Toronto last year with a .902 save percentage and a 3.15 goals-against average.

Clarkson’s contract was headed to long-term injured reserve, but trading it allows Vegas more financial flexibility throughout the season, including the potential cap hits against performance bonuses. Vegas lost next year’s fourth-round selection, but still has Pittsburgh’s second-rounder as well as all its other picks.

The moves give the Golden Knights a projected $1.025 million in cap space with 22 players on the roster, according to CapFriendly. That includes Curtis McKenzie and his $750,000 cap hit, however, and McKenzie is not expected to make the team next year. It does not include a rookie defenseman, and the team has made it clear they expect to have one on their opening night roster at close to a league-minimum salary.

Vegas has yet to sign restricted free agents Nikita Gusev and Jimmy Schuldt.

Article written by #LasVegasSun