NHL Expansion Draft Preview, Part 1

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.

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 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.

Protected Unprotected Exempt
Tobias Rieder Jamie McGinn Max Domi
Alexander Burmistrov Luke Schenn Dylan Strome
Peter Holland Zbynek Michalek Anthony DeAngelo
Tyler Gaudet Mike Smith Christian Dvorak
Anthony Duclair Lawson Crouse
Jordan Martinook Jakob Chychrun
Brad Richardson
Oliver Ekman-Larsson
Alex Goligoski
Connor Murphy
Louis Domingue

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.

Protected Unprotected Exempt
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
Nikita Zadorov
Calvin Pickard

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.

Protected Unprotected Exempt
Jason Spezza Adam Cracknell Ellie Remie
Tyler Seguin Dan Hamhuis Devin Shore
Jamie Benn Kari Lehtonen
Cody Eakin Antti Niemi
Antoine Roussell Curtis Mckenzie
Brett Ritchie
Radek Faksa
John Klingberg
Greg Pateryn
Esa Lindell
Maxime Lagace

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.

Protected Unprotected Exempt
Andreas Athanasiou Jared Coreau Dylan Larkin
Anthony Mantha Riley Sheahan Tyler Bertuzzi
Darren Helm Luke Glendening Joseph Labate
Frans Nielsen Justin Abdelkader
Henrik Zetterberg Danny DeKeyser
Tomas Tatar Jonathan Ericsson
Gustav Nyquist Niklas Kronwall
Mike Green Jimmy Howard
Xavier Ouellett
Nick Jensen
Petr Mrazek

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.

Protected Unprotected Exempt
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
Jon Merrill
Damon Severson
Cory Schneider

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.

Protected Unprotected Exempt
Bo Horvat Brendan Gaunce Jake Virtanen
Brandon Sutter Derek Dorsett Nikolay Goldobin
Daniel Sedin Michael Chaput Ben Hutton
Henrik Sedin Reid Boucher Troy Stecher
Loui Eriksson Christ Nikita Tryamkin
Markus Granlund Richard Bachman
Sven Baertschi Alex Biega
Alexander Edler
Erik Gudbranson
Luca Sbisa
Jacob Markstrom

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.

Protected Unprotected Exempt
Adam Lowry Joel Armia Patrik Laine
Blake Wheeler Shawn Matthias Brandon Tanev
Bryan Little Ben Chiarot Nikolaj Ehlers
Mark Scheifele Mark Stuart Nic Petan
Mathieu Perreault Tyler Myers Kyle Connor
Andrew Copp Michael Hutchinson Nelson Nogier
Dustin Byfuglien
Marko Dano
Jacob Trouba
Toby Enstrom
Connor Hellebuyck

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.

The 4th Line Podcast
About The 4th Line Podcast 20 Articles
Coming from Calgary, AB and Nanaimo, BC, Carl and Joel provide their own unique and fun view of hockey. Catch the 4th Line podcast each and every Sunday on NBS Radio!

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