NHL Expansion Draft – Colorado Avalanche

Expansion Draft Rules

All information from NHL.com

Protected Lists

  • Clubs can protect one of two options:
    • Seven forwards, three defensemen, and one goaltender
    • Eight skaters and one goaltender
  • All players with No-Movement clauses in their contract have to be protected unless they waive their clauses
  • All first- and second-year pro players will be exempt from selections and don’t have to be protected

Player Exposure Requirements

  • Clubs must meet minimum requirements for exposure in the Expansion Draft:
    • One defenseman who is under contract in 2017-18 and played in 40 or more games in 2016-17 or played in 70 or more games in two prior seasons.
    • Two forwards who meet the same requirements as above
    • One goaltender who is under contract in 2017-18 or will be a restricted free agent at the expiration of his current contract immediately prior to 2017-18.

Vegas Requirements

  • Must select one player from each existing club for a total of 30 players
  • Must select at least 14 forwards, 9 defensemen, and 3 goaltenders
  • Must have a minimum 20 players under contract for the 2017-18 season
  • Must reach the salary cap floor and cannot exceed the cap ceiling
  • May not buy out any players selected in the Expansion Draft before the first summer following their first full season

Protection List

  • NMC= No Movement Clause
  • NTC= No Trade Clause
  • Red = Who I would protect


POS Age Name Cap Hit Expiration 40/70
C 21 Nathan MacKinnon $6,300,000 UFA – 2023 X
C 26 Matt Duchene $6,000,000 UFA – 2019 X
LW 24 Gabriel Landeskog $5,571,429 UFA – 2021 X
C 31 Carl Soderberg $4,750,000 UFA – 2020 X
C 27 Joe Colborne $2,500,000 UFA – 2018 X
LW 31 Blake Comeau $2,400,000 UFA – 2018 X
C 32 John Mitchell $1,800,000 UFA – 2017 X
C 22 Mikhail Grigorenko $1,300,000 RFA – 2017 X
C 24 Rocco Grimaldi $925,000 RFA – 2017 36GR
LW 26 Gabriel Bourque $800,000 UFA – 2017 34GR
LW 24 Matt Nieto $735,000 RFA – 2017 X
LW 35 Rene Bourque $650,000 UFA – 2017 X
RW 24 Sven Andrighetto $650,000 RFA – 2017 X
C 22 Felix Girard $631,667 RFA – 2017 40GR
C 22 Troy Bourke $631,667 RFA – 2017 40GR
LW 24 Brendan Ranford $625,000 UFA – 2017 40GR
RW 29 Mike Sislo $600,000 UFA – 2017 40GR
C 28 Jim O’Brien $600,000 UFA – 2017 40GR
C 23 Samuel Henley $587,667 RFA – 2017 39GR
LW 24 Turner Elson $575,000 RFA – 2017 40GR


POS Age Name Cap Hit Expiration 40/70
D 29 NMC – Erik Johnson $6,000,000 UFA – 2023 X
D 25 Tyson Barrie $5,500,000 UFA – 2020 X
D 36 NMC – Francois Beauchemin $4,500,000 UFA – 2018 X
D 33 Fedor Tyutin $2,000,000 UFA – 2017 X
D 25 Eric Gelinas $1,575,000 RFA – 2017 3GR
D 21 Nikita Zadorov $894,167 RFA – 2017 X
D 23 Duncan Siemens $874,125 RFA – 2017 37GR
D 26 Patrick Wiercioch $800,000 RFA – 2017 X
D 27 Mark Barberio $750,000 UFA – 2018 X
D 27 Cody Goloubef $750,000 UFA – 2017 X
D 26 Mat Clark $600,000 UFA – 2017 40GR


POS Age Name Cap Hit Expiration
G 29 Semyon Varlamov $5,900,000 UFA – 2019
G 25 Calvin Pickard $1,000,000 RFA – 2018
G 27 Joe Cannata   RFA – 2017
G 28 Jeremy Smith   UFA – 2017

Exempt List

  • C J.T. Compher
  • RW Mikko Rantanen
  • LW A.J. Greer
  • C Julien Nantel
  • C Reid Petryk
  • RW Trent Vogelhuber
  • C J.C. Beaudin
  • D Chris Bigras
  • D Anton Linholm
  • D Sergei Boikov
  • D Mason Geertsen
  • D Nicolas Meloche
  • G Spencer Martin

Explanation of my Projected List

  • I think that the Avalanche will go the route of protecting eight skaters largely because of the no-move clause that Francois Beauchemin has.  If they didn’t have to protect him, I think they would get away with only protecting three defensemen and be able to protect seven forwards. At forward, they are certainly going to protect Nathan MacKinnon, Matt Duchene, and Gabirel Landeskog.  For their fourth forward, I think they will protect Mikhail Grigorenko despite not having a contract for next season.  On defense, both Beauchemin and Erik Johnson have no-move clauses so they are protected, Tyson Barrie will be protected considering he is their best defenseman and is young, and I think they will protect Nikita Zadorov who could be an anchor in their defensive unit in the future.  At goaltender, I was torn between protecting Calvin Pickard or Semyon Varlamov and ultimately went with Pickard because he is younger than Varlamov.  I’m not certain that Pickard is the Avalanche’s goaltender of the future, but I think he is more valuable than Varlamov and I doubt Vegas would take on Varlamov’s contract.
  • With who I chose to protect, Colorado will leave three forwards with term left exposed in Carl Soderberg, Joe Colborne, and Blake Comeau, plus five more who are RFAs.  On defense, only Mark Barberio will be left unprotected with term left on his contract.  There are also three more defensemen who are RFAs.  In net, Semyon Varlamov will be exposed and he has two years left at $5.9 million per season.
  • I think that Colorado will be absolutely fine after the Expansion Draft.  They are one of the worst teams in the league, although probably not as bad as their record indicates, so there isn’t much talent for Vegas to pick from.  If Vegas takes Carl Soderberg, arguably the most talented Avalanche player available, it would probably help Colorado as he has three years left on his contract which pays him $4.75 million per season.  Having that contract off their books could come in handy.  Drafting Semyon Varlamov would probably be an attractive option for Vegas but I think that they will pursue youth as much as possible and probably aren’t willing to take on a $5.9 million contract for a player who is injured as often as he is.  It seems pretty evident that the Avalanche may trade Matt Duchene or Gabriel Landeskog away this offseason before the Expansion Draft which will change the team’s plan at the Expansion Draft.

*All cap and salary information come from CapFriendly.com*


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