NOVEMBER 29, 2017 | 10:59am ET



James Neal, left wing


When the Vegas Golden Knights built their team this past summer, they selected a number of players entering the final year of their contacts, prompting the belief those players could be moved during the season for long-term assets.

With the start the Golden Knights have had, currently sitting atop the Pacific Division, many have wondered what will happen if they maintain this pace leading up to the trade deadline in late-February.

Knights GM George McPhee told Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman on Monday he plans on staying the course.

"It doesn't change anything," McPhee said. "Our plan wouldn't change. We've said that if we are in the hunt, we'll stay in the hunt. It's a simple answer."

McPhee also cautioned that "we're only 22 games" into the season, but if things continue, the Knights are unlikely to move some of their top players, such as left wing James Neal, Jonathan Marchessault, David Perron and Luca Sbisa, who is currently injured.

All four players can become unrestricted free agents July 1, 2018, and it's unclear if contract talks have started with any of them, though McPhee admitted to Friedman that internally they have started to evaluate and have those discussions.

Neal owns an eight-team no-trade list as part of his contract, while Perron has a three-team no-trade list.

The Knights have already been linked to showing interest in Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Ian Cole, while Buffalo Sabres left wing Evander Kane may also be a target.