By Carl Landra, Joe Martini, Mike Laybourne
This June the Vegas Golden Knights will be selecting their roster and, as we all learned today, on June 18 we will be able to see which players each team protected and which were left unprotected.
BREAKING: Protected and available player lists for the Vegas expansion draft WILL be made public and released likely on June 18, per NHL.
— Dan Rosen (@drosennhl) March 29, 2017
In the sections that follow, Carl Landra, Joe Martini and Mike Laybourne bring you their selections for who the first 7 teams eliminated from the NHL playoffs will protect and leave exposed in the upcoming expansion draft. But first, the rules.
The most basic rules of who can and cannot be protected for the Golden Knights expansion draft are as follows. The full rules can be found here via NHL.com:
Clubs will have two options for players they wish to protect in the Expansion Draft:
a) Seven forwards, three defensemen and one goaltender or b) Eight skaters (forwards/defensemen) and one goaltender
All players who have currently effective and continuing “No Movement” clauses at the time of the Expansion Draft must be protected.
All first- and second-year professionals, as well as all unsigned draft choices, will be exempt from selection.
Now, onto the selections.
Arizona Coyotes (Joe)
The Arizona Coyotes are an up-and-coming team that should be able to add in the up coming draft. With a lot of their youth being exempt from the expansion draft they may be one of the teams that could benefit from this. That or they could have a player coming back to them with hurt feelings. Either way entrenched for the second worst record in the league is rough.
Colorado Avalanche (Carl)
The Colorado Avalanche are a team with a lot of work to do this offseason. Likely the least of their worries is who they lose in the expansion draft. When you finish dead last, not a lot of players to be excited about. If the team can convince Beauchmin to waive his no movement clause, the expansion draft is a win for them.
|Nathan MacKinnon||Carl Soderberg||Mikko Rantanen|
|Matt Duchene||Joe Colborne||J.T. Compher|
|Gabriel Landeskog||Blake Comeau||A.J. Greer|
|Mikhail Grigorenko||Matthew Nieto||Anton Lindholm|
|Erik Johnson||Sven Andrighetto|
|Tyson Barrie||Mark Barberio|
|Francois Beauchemin||Semyon Varlamov|
Dallas Stars (Joe)
Build from the net out the old adage goes… Sadly the net is where most of the blame falls for the Stars this season. Their offense has scored 207 goals (which is second in the bottom ten of the standing after the Winnipeg Jets 229) but they have given up 242, if they’re lucky (and potential send a draft pick) the Las Vegas Knights will take one of their goalies off their hands and allow them to start fresh.
|Jason Spezza||Adam Cracknell||Ellie Remie|
|Tyler Seguin||Dan Hamhuis||Devin Shore|
|Jamie Benn||Kari Lehtonen|
|Cody Eakin||Antti Niemi|
|Antoine Roussell||Curtis Mckenzie|
Detroit Red Wings (Mike)
It’s been a grim season for Red Wings fans. The team’s 25 year playoff streak has come to an end and head coach Jeff Blashill’s tactics have left many scratching their heads. The Wings have struggled from the beginning and lost key players to free agency and suspension. Frans Nielsen is the only player whose contract status means he has to be protected, but he’s one the Wings want to keep, even with his hefty cap hit.
New Jersey Devils (Joe)
The New Jersey Devils are the third worst team in the league with 68 points. That being said they won’t get a higher pick in this years draft or any draft because Corey Schneider is just too good. At 31 years old he is a the only thing from keeping the Devils out of full rebuild mode.
|Taylor Hall||Mike Cammalleri||Pavel Zacha|
|Travis Zajac||Devante Smith-Pelly||Joseph Blandisi|
|Kyle Palmieri||Beau Bennett||Miles Wood|
|Adam Henrique||John Moore|
|Andy Greene||Dalton Prout|
|John Moore||Scott Wedgewood|
Vancouver Canucks (Mike)
The Canucks were the last undefeated team in the league, but as the season progressed things went downhill. Especially on the blueline. With Daniel and Henrik Sedin‘s contracts already tied up with no movement clauses, as well as Loui Eriksson, there aren’t many forwards left to protect. Don’t expect any surprises with who this team are likely to protect.
Winnipeg Jets (Mike)
The Jets’ season has been the definition of inconsistency. The drafting of Finnish forward Patrik Laine proved to be a strong move and the 2016 second overall pick has already proven himself as a solid part of the team. It doesn’t make a huge difference which player goes in the expansion draft, Winnipeg has a good young core group and are looking strong moving forward.
So those are our thoughts on which players each team should protect. Have we done right by your team? Let us know by commenting below or join in the conversation on Twitter.