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NHL Releases Expansion Draft Protection List

The Las Vegas Golden Knights are already well on their way to formulating their roster. The Knights signed their first free agent, Vadim Schipachyov, in May, officially having joined the ranks of the NHL in November after their expansion bid passed in June 2016. They became the 31st franchise in the league. Before they can truly set sail into their treacherous first season, they must navigate the choppy waters of the NHL Expansion Draft. Teams submitted their NHL Expansion Draft protection lists Saturday evening, and the lists leaked overnight but officially went public at 10 am Sunday. The Knights now have 48 hours to comb the list and construct their ideal roster.

Having learned from the past, the NHL has actually set up the Golden Knights with an ideal expansion draft. The rules don’t outright favor them, but the requirements of exposure have left a handful of great talent to be plucked about.

Like their new league compatriots, Vegas will have a number of rules to abide by in their selection. Most importantly, they must select one player from each roster and at least 14 forwards, nine defensemen, and three goalies from the pool of unprotected player.

GM George McPhee looks to this draft for not just an immediate impact on his roster, but as an attempt to lay that foundation that could build this team to be a good as quickly as possible. As a result, he’s been open to negotiations with teams; in return for compensation, he’s willing to select from a particular set of players, as stated in a team press release Saturday:

“The Golden Knights organization is very pleased with how the expansion draft process has gone so far, through the NHL trade freeze which took effect Saturday, June 17 at 12 noon PT. Now, General Manager George McPhee and his staff will continue to have discussions with the other 30 NHL clubs. Vegas has indicated that they will give all 30 clubs every opportunity to keep their rosters intact if they’d like. This means that before the Golden Knights claim a player off a team’s unprotected list, McPhee and his staff are willing to negotiate deals so the other clubs do not lose a player they would otherwise like to keep.”

By Wednesday morning (10 am ET) the Knights must submit their selections to the league. The selections will be announced Wednesday evening in conjunction with the 2017 NHL Awards at T-Mobile Arena. The event can be caught via a broadcast on NBCSN starting at 8 pm ET/5 pm PT.

 

NHL Expansion Draft Protection List

Anaheim Ducks

Protected:

Andrew Cogliano (F), Ryan Getzlaf (F), Ryan Kesler (F), Corey Perry (F), Rickard Rakell (F), Jakob Silfverberg (F), Antoine Vermette (F), Kevin Bieska (D), Cam Fowler (D), Hampus Lindholm (D), and John Gibson (G).

Notable Exposed:

Patrick Eaves (F), Logan Shaw (F), Josh Manson (D), Sami Vatanen (D), Jonathan Bernier (G), and Jhonas Enroth (G).

*Anaheim has a discussed a possible deal to work with the Knights in order to keep their deep pool of defenders untouched.

 

Arizona Coyotes

Protected:

Nick Cousins (F), Anthony Duclair (F), Jordan Martinook (F), Tobias Rieder (F), Oliver Ekman-Larsson (D), Alex Goligoski (D), Connor Murphy (D), Luke Schenn (D), and Chad Johnson (G).

Notable Exposed:

Shane Doan (F), Radim Vrbata, and Zbynek Michalek (D).

*Traded goalie Mike Smith to the Calgary Flames Friday.

 

Boston Bruins

Protected:

David Backes (F), Patrice Bergeron (F), David Krejci (F), Brad Marchand (F), Riley Nash (F), David Pastrnak (F), Ryan Spooner (F), Zdeno Chara (D), Torey Krug (D), Kevan Miller (D), and Tuukka Rask (G).

Notable Exposed:

Matt Beleskey (F), Jimmy Hayes (F), Drew Stafford (F), John-Michael Liles (D), Adam MxQuaid (D), Malcolm Subban (G).

 

Buffalo Sabres

Protected:

Tyler Ennis (F), Marcus Foligno (F), Zemgus Girgensons (F), Evander Kane (F), Johan Larsson (F), Ryan O’Reilly (F), Kyle Okposo (F), Nathan Beaulieu (D), Jake McCabe (D), Rasmus Ristolainen (D), and Robin Lehner (G).

Notable Exposed:

Zach Bogosian (F), Brian Gionta (F), Cody Franson (D), Josh Gorges (D), Dmitry Kulikov (D), Anders Nilsson (G), and Linus Ullmark (G).

 

Calgary Flames

Protected:

Mikael Backlund (F), Sam Bennett (F), Michael Ferland (F), Michael Frolik (F), Johnny Gaudreau (F), Curtis Lazar (F), Sean Monahan (F), TJ Brodie (D), Mark Giordano (D), Dougie Hamilton (D), and Mike Smith (G).

Notable Exposed:

Troy Brouwer (F), Matt Stajan (F), Kris Versteeg (F), Matt Bartkowski (D), Michael Stone (D), Dennis Wideman (D), and Brian Elliott (G).

 

Carolina Hurricanes

Protected:

Phillip Di Giuseppe (F), Elias Lindholm (F), Brock McGinn (F), Victor Rask (F), Jeff Skinner (F), Jordan Staal (F), Teuvo Teravainen (F), Trevor Carrick (D), Justin Faulk (D), Ryan Murphy (D), and Scott Darling (G).

Notable Exposed:

Bryan Bickell (F), Lee Stempniak (F), Andrej Nestrasil (F), and Cam Ward (G).

 

Chicago Blackhawks

Protected:

Artem Anisimov (F), Ryan Hartman (F), Marian Hossa (F), Tomas Jurco (F), Patrick Kane (F), Richard Panik (F), Jonathan Toews (F), Niklas Hjalmarsson (D), Duncan Keith (D), Brent Seabrook (D), and Corey Crawford (G).

Notable Exposed:

Andrew Desjardins (F), Marcus Kruger (F), Jordin Tootoo (F), Brian Campbell (D), Johnny Oduya (D), Michal Rozsival (D), and Trevor van Riemsdyk (D).

 

Colorado Avalanche

Protected:

Sven Andrighetto (F), Blake Comeau (F), Matt Duchene (F), Rocco Grimaldi (F), Gabriel Landeskog (F), Nathan MacKinnon (F), Matt Nieto (F), Tyson Barrie (D), Erik Johnson (D), Nikita Zadorov (D), and Semyon Varlamov (G).

Notable Exposed:

Mikhail Grigorenko (F), Carl Soderberg (F), Mark Barberio (D), and Calvin Pickard (G).

 

Columbus Blue Jackets

Protected:

Cam Atkinson (F), Brandon Dubinsky (F), Nick Foligno (F), Scott Hartnell (F), Boone Jenner (F), Brandon Saad (F), Alexander Wennberg (F), Seth Jones (D), Ryan Murray (D), David Savard (D), and Sergei Bobrovsky (G).

Notable Exposed:

Josh Anderson (F), Jack Johnson (D), David Savard (D), and Joonas Korpisalo (G).

*Columbus has entered into agreement with Vegas to limit the Knights’ selection to one of Matt Calvert, William Karlsson, or Ryan Murray. The 24th pick and an unnamed prospect is expected to be part of the deal.

 

Dallas Stars

Protected:

Jamie Benn (F), Radek Faksa (F), Valeri Nichuskin (F), Brett Ritchie (F), Antoine Roussel (F), Tyler Seguin (F), Jason Spezza (F), Stephen Johns (D), John Klingberg (D), Esa Lindell (D), and Ben Bishop (G).

Notable Exposed:

Cody Eakin (F), Jiri Hudler (F), Patrick Sharp (F), Dan Hamhuis (D), Kari Lehtonen (G), and Antti Niemi (G).

 

Detroit Red Wings

Protected:

Justin Abdelkader (F), Andreas Athanasiou (F), Anthony Mantha (F), Frans Nielsen (F), Gustav Nyquist (F), Tomas Tatar (F), Henrik Zetterberg (F), Danny DeKeyser (D), Mike Green (D), Nick Jensen (D), and Jimmy Howard (G).

Notable Exposed:

Luke Glendening (F), Riley Sheahan (F),  Niklas Kronwall (D), Xavier Ouellet (D), and Petr Mrazek (G).

 

Edmonton Oilers

Protected:

Leon Draisaitl (F), Jordan Eberle (F), Zack Kassian (F), Mark Letestu (F), Milan Lucic (F), Patrick Maroon (F), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (F), Oscar Klefbom (D), Andrej Sekera (D), and Cam Talbot (G).

Notable Exposed:

Jujhar Khaira (F), Benoit Pouliot (F), Griffin Reinhart (D), Laurent Brossoit (G), and Jonas Gustavsson (G).

 

Florida Panthers

Protected:

Aleksander Barkov (F), Nick Bjugstad (F), Jonathan Huberdeau (F), Vincent Trocheck (F), Aaron Ekblad (D), Alex Petrovic (D), Mark Pysyk (D), Keith Yandle (D), and James Reimer (G).

Notable Exposed:

Jaromir Jagr (F), Jussi Jokinen (F), Derek MacKenzie (F), Jonathan Marchessault (F), Reilly Smith (F), Thomas Vanek (F), Jason Demers (D), and Roberto Luongo (G).

 

Los Angeles Kings

Protected:

Jeff Carter (F), Anze Kopitar (F), Tanner Pearson (F), Tyler Toffoli (F), Drew Doughty (F), Derek Forbort (D), Alec Martinez (D), Jake Muzzin (D), and Jonathan Quick (G).

Notable Exposed:

Dustin Brown (F), Martin Gaborik (F), Jarome Iginla (F), and Brayden McNabb (D).

 

Minnesota Wild

Protected:

Charlie Coyle (F), Mikael Granlund (F), Mikko Koivu (F), Nino Niederreiter (F), Zach Parise (F), Jason Pominville (F), Jason Zucker (F), Jonas Brodin (D), Jared Spurgeon (D), Ryan Suter (D), and Devan Dubnyk (G).

Notable Exposed:

Martin Hanzal (F), Eric Staal (F), Matt Dumba (D), Marco Scandella (D), and Mike Weber (D).

 

Montreal Canadiens

Protected:

Paul Byron (F), Phillip Danault (F), Jonathan Douin (F), Alex Galchenyuk (F), Brendan Gallagher (F), Max Pacioretty (F), Andrew Shaw (F), Jordie Benn (D), Jeff Petry (D), Shea Weber (D), and Carey Price (G).

Notable Exposed:

Steve Ott (F), Tomas Pekanec (F), Alexei Emelin (D), and Andrei Markov (D).

 

Nashville Predators

Protected:

Viktor Arvidsson (F), Filip Forsberg (F), Calle Jarnkrok (F), Ryan Johansen (F), Mattias Ekholm (D), Ryan Ellis (D), Roman Josi (D), PK Subban (D), and Pekka Rinne (G).

Notable Exposed:

Pontus Aberg (F), Mike Fisher (F), James Neal (F), Mike Ribeiro (F), and Colton Sissons (F).

 

New Jersey Devils

Protected:

Taylor Hall (F), Adam Henrique (F), Kyle Palmieri (F), Travis Zajac (F), Andy Greene (D), John Moore (D), Mirco Mueller (D), Damon Severson (D), and Cory Schneider (G).

Notable Exposed:

Beau Bennett (F), Michael Cammalleri (F), Marc Savard (F), and Ben Lovejoy (D).

 

New York Islanders

Protected:

Andrew Ladd (F), Anders Lee (F), John Tavares (F), Johnny Boychuck (F), Travis Hamonic (D), Nick Leddy (D), Adam Pelech (D), Ryan Pulock (D), and Thomas Greiss (G).

Notable Exposed:

Brock Nelson (F), Ryan Strome (F), Calvin de Haan (D), Thomas Hickey (D), and Dennis Seidenberg (D).

*The Islanders have agreed to a deal to limit the Knights’ selection already.

 

New York Rangers

Protected:

Kevin Hayes (F), Chris Kreider (F), JT Miller (F), Rick Nash (F), Derek Stepan (F), Mika Zibanejad (F), Mats Zuccarello (F), Nick Holden (D), Ryan McDonagh (D), Marc Staal (D), and Henrik Lundqvist (G).

Notable Exposed:

Jesper Fast (F), Tanner Glass (F), Michael Grabner (F), Oscar Lindberg (F), Kevin Klein (D), and Antti Raanta (G).

 

Ottawa Senators

Protected:

Derick Brassard (F), Ryan Dzingel (F), Mike Hoffman (F), Jean-Gabriel Pageau (F), Zack Smith (F), Mark Stone (F), Kyle Turris (F), Cody Ceci (D), Erik Karlsson (D), Dion Phaneuf (D), and Craig Anderson (G).

Notable Exposed:

Chris Kelly (F), Bobby Ryan (F), Marc Mathot (D), Chris Wideman (D), and Mike Condon (G).

 

Philadelphia Flyers

Protected:

Sean Couturier (F), Valtteri Filppula (F), Claude Giroux (F), Scott Laughton (F), Brayden Schenn (F), Wayne Simmonds (F), Jakub Voracek (F), Shayne Gostisbehere (D), Radko Gudas (D), Brandon Manning (D), and Anthony Stolarz (G).

Notable Exposed:

Dale Weise (F), Michael Del Zotto (D), Nick Schultz (D), Steve Mason (G), and Michael Neuvirth (G).

 

Pittsburgh Penguins

Protected:

Sidney Crosby (F), Patric Hornqvist (F), Phil Kessel (F), Evgeni Malkin (F), Brian Dumoulin (D), Kris Letang (D), Olli Maatta (D), Justin Schultz, and Matt Murray (G).

Notable Exposed:

Nick Bonino (F), Carl Hagelin (F), Chris Kunitz (F), Ian Cole (D), Trevor Daley (D), Mark Streit (D), and Marc-Andre Fleury (G).

 

San Jose Sharks

Protected:

Ryan Carpenter (F), Logan Couture (F), Jannik Hansen (F), Tomas Hertl (F), Melker Karlsson (F), Joe Pavelski (F), Chris Tierney (F), Justin Braun (D), Brent Burns (D), Marc-Edouard Vlasic (D), and Martin Jones (G).

Notable Exposed:

Patrick Marleau (F), Joe Thornton (F), and Joel Ward (F).

 

St. Louis Blues

Protected:

Patrik Berglund (F), Ryan Reaves (F), Jaden Schwartz (F), Vladimir Sobotka (F), Paul Stastny (F), Alexander Steen (F), Vladimir Tarasenko (F), Jay Bouwmeester (D), Joel Edmundson (D), Alex Petrangelo (D), and Jake Allen (G).

Notable Exposed:

Dmitrij Jaskin (F), Jori Lehtera (F), David Perron (F), Carl Gunnarsson (D), and Carter Hutton (G).

 

Tampa Bay Lightning

Protected:

Ryan Callahan (F), Tyler Johnson (F), Alex Killorn (F), Nikita Kucherov (F), Vladislav Namestnikov (F), Ondrej Palat (F), Steven Stamkos (F), Baydon Coburn (D), Victor Hedman (D), Anton Stralman (D), and Andre Vasilevskiy (G).

Notable Exposed:

JT Brown (F), Erik Condra (F), Cedric Paquette (F), Jake Dotchin (D), and Peter Budaj (G).

 

Toronto Maple Leafs

Protected:

Tyler Bozak (F), Connor Brown (F), Nazem Kadri (F), Leo Komarov (F), Josh Leivo (F), Matt Martin (F), James van Riemsdyk (F), Connor Carrick (D), Jake Gardiner (D), Morgan Rielly (D), and Frederik Andersen (G).

Notable Exposed:

Brian Boyle (F), Seth Griffith (F), Joffrey Lupul (F), and Roman Polak (D).

 

Vancouver Canucks

Protected:

Sven Baertschi (F), Louis Eriksson (F), Markus Granlund (F), Bo Horvat (F), Deniel Sedin (F), Henrik Sedin (F), Brandon Sutter (F), Alexander Edler (D), Erik Gudbrnson (D), Christopher Tanev (D), and Jacob Markstrom (G).

Notable Exposed:

Reid Boucher (F), Derek Dorsett (F), Brendan Gaunce (F), Luca Sbisa (D), and Ryan Miller (G).

 

Washington Capitals

Protected:

Nicklas Backstrom (F), Andre Burakovsky (F), Lars Eller (F), Marcus Johansson (F), Evgeny Kuznetsov (F), Alex Ovechkin (F), Tom Wilson (F), John Carlson (D), Matt Niskanen (D), Dmitry Orlov (D), and Braden Holtby (G).

Notable Exposed;

Jay Beagle (F), Chris Bourque (F), TJ Oshie (F), Justin Williams (F), Brooks Orpik (D), and Kevin Shattenkirk (D).

 

Winnipeg Jets

Protected:

Joel Armia (F), Andrew Copp (F), Bryan Little (F), Adam Lowry (F), Mathieu Perreault (F), Mark Scheifele (F), Blake Wheeler (F), Dustin Byfuglien (D), Tyler Myers (D), Jacob Trouba (D), and Connor Hellebuck (G).

Notable Exposd:

Marko Dano (F), Shawn Matthias (F), Ben Chiarot (D), Toby Enstrom (D), and Ondrej Pavelec (G).

 

For a full list of protected and exposed players, visit NHL.com.

 

The Knights will have plenty to chew on over the next few days as some solid talent prsents opportunity. McPhee seems intent on building for the future, however, and we’ll no doubt see a few more teams make some deals leading into the final hours of their selection.

Tyler Arnold

Tyler Arnold

I am the founder and editor-in-chief of The Runner Sports. I've been an avid sports fan since I was a child and have turned that love into a profession. I will watch, comment, and break down anything I can get my hands on, from football to white water rafting in the Olympics. Your visit means a lot to me, so thank you for your readership.
Tyler Arnold