NHL Protection Lists

I have already gone through all 30 teams and generated my own protection lists, but now that the actual lists have been submitted and published on sites, I am going to list the players protected and exposed.  I am then going to pick Vegas’ roster while keeping in mind known trades that have been published as well as rumors that have been broken by hockey insiders.

Outline of Requirements

  • Vegas must take a player from all 30 franchises.  They must have at least 20 contracts for the 2017-18 season.  They must have a minimum of 14 forwards, 9 defensemen, and 3 goaltenders.  They also have to have a minimum salary cap hit of $43.8 million but cannot surpass a maximum of $73.0 million.  Vegas also will have an exclusive negotiating window from the time protection lists are due until the Expansion Draft to work out new deals with any free agents they are considering drafting.

Anaheim Ducks

Protected
  • F Andrew Cogliano
  • F Ryan Getzlaf – NMC
  • F Ryan Kesler – NMC
  • F Corey Perry – NMC
  • F Rickard Rakell
  • F Jakob Silfverberg
  • F Antoine Vermette
  • D Kevin Bieksa – NMC
  • D Cam Fowler
  • D Hampus Lindholm
  • G John Gibson
Key Players Exposed
  • F Logan Shaw
  • F Emerson Etem – RFA
  • D Josh Manson
  • D Sami Vatanen
  • G Jonathan Bernier – UFA

Arizona Coyotes

Protected
  • F Nick Cousins
  • F Anthony Duclair
  • F Jordan Martinook
  • F Tobias Rieder
  • D Oliver Ekman-Larsson
  • D Alex Goligoski – NMC
  • D Connor Murphy
  • D Luke Schenn
  • G Chad Johnson
Key Players Exposed
  • F Shane Doan – UFA
  • F Alexander Burmistrov – RFA
  • D Kevin Connauton
  • D Jamie McBain – UFA
  • D Jarred Tinordi – UFA
  • G Louis Domingue

Boston Bruins

Protected
  • F David Backes – NMC
  • F Patrice Bergeron – NMC
  • F David Krejci – NMC
  • F Brad Marchand
  • F Riley Nash
  • F David Pastrnak
  • F Ryan Spooner
  • D Zdeno Chara – NMC
  • D Torey Krug
  • D Kevan Miller
  • G Tuukka Rask
Key Players Exposed
  • F Matt Beleskey
  • F Jimmy Hayes
  • D John-Michael Liles – UFA
  • D Adam McQuaid
  • D Colin Miller
  • D Joe Morrow – RFA
  • G Malcolm Subban – RFA

Buffalo Sabres

Protected
  • F Tyler Ennis
  • F Marcus Foligno
  • F Zemgus Gergensons
  • F Evander Kane
  • F Johan Larsson
  • F Ryan O’Reilly
  • F Kyle Okposo – NMC
  • D Nathan Beaulieu
  • D Jake McCabe
  • D Rasmus Ristolainen
  • G Robin Lehner
Key Players Exposed
  • F William Carrier
  • F Nicolas Deslauriers
  • F Brian Gionta – UFA
  • F Matt Moulson
  • D Zach Bogosian
  • D Justin Falk
  • D Cody Franson – UFA
  • D Josh Gorges
  • D Dmitry Kulikov – UFA
  • G Anders Nilsson – RFA
  • G Linus Ullmark

Calgary Flames

Protected
  • F Mikael Backlund
  • F Sam Bennett
  • F Michael Ferland
  • F Michael Frolik
  • F Johnny Gaudreau
  • F Curtis Lazar
  • F Sean Monahan
  • D T.J. Brodie
  • D Mark Giordano
  • D Dougie Hamilton
  • G Mike Smith
Key Players Exposed
  • F Lance Bouma
  • F Brandon Bollig – UFA
  • F Troy Brouwer
  • F Alex Chiasson – RFA
  • F Freddie Hamilton
  • F Emile Poirier
  • F Hunter Shinkaruk
  • F Matt Stajan
  • F Kris Versteeg – UFA
  • F Linden Vey – RFA
  • D Matt Bartkowski
  • D Deryk Engelland – UFA
  • D Michael Stone – UFA
  • G Brian Elliott – UFA

Carolina Hurricanes

Protected
  • F Phillip Di Giuseppe
  • F Elias Lindholm
  • F Brock McGinn
  • F Victor Rask
  • F Jeff Skinner
  • F Jordan Staal – NMC
  • F Teuvo Teravainen
  • D Trevor Carrick
  • D Justin Faulk
  • D Ryan Murphy
  • G Scott Darling
Key Players Exposed
  • F Erik Karlsson
  • F Andrej Nestrasil – RFA
  • F Joakim Nordstrom
  • F Lee Stempniak
  • D Klas Dahlbeck
  • D Philip Samuelsson – UFA
  • D Matt Tennyson – UFA
  • G Eddie Lack
  • G Cam Ward
  • G Michael Leighton – UFA

Chicago Blackhawks

Protected
  • F Artem Anisimov – NMC
  • F Ryan Hartman
  • F Marian Hossa – NMC
  • F Thomas Jurco
  • F Patrick Kane – NMC
  • F Richard Panik
  • F Jonathan Toews – NMC
  • D Niklas Hjalmarsson – NMC
  • D Duncan Keith – NMC
  • D Brent Seabrook – NMC
  • G Corey Crawford – NMC
Key Players Exposed
  • F Andrew Desjardins – RFA
  • F Marcus Kruger
  • F Michael Latta – RFA
  • D Brian Campbell – UFA
  • D Johnny Oduya – UFA
  • D Michal Rozsival
  • D Trevor van Riemsdyk

Colorado Avalanche

Protected
  • F Sven Andrighetto
  • F Blake Comeau
  • F Matt Duchene
  • F Rocco Grimaldi
  • F Gabriel Landeskog
  • F Nathan MacKinnon
  • F Matt Nieto
  • D Tyson Barrie
  • D Erik Johnson – NMC
  • D Nikita Zadorov
  • G Semyon Varlamov
Key Players Exposed
  • F Joe Colborne
  • F Mikhail Grigorenko – RFA
  • F Carl Soderberg
  • D Mark Barberio
  • D Eric Gelinas – RFA
  • D Cody Goloubef – UFA
  • D Duncan Siemens – RFA
  • D Fedor Tyutin – UFA
  • D Patrick Wiercioch – RFA
  • G Calvin Pickard
  • G Jeremy Smith – UFA

Columbus Blue Jackets

Protected
  • F Cam Atkinson
  • F Brandon Dubinsky – NMC
  • F Nick Foligno – NMC
  • F Scott Harnell – NMC
  • F Boone Jenner
  • F Brandon Saad
  • F Alexander Wennberg
  • D Seth Jones
  • D Ryan Murray
  • D David Savard
  • G Sergei Bobrovsky – NMC
Key Players Exposed
  • F Josh Anderson – RFA
  • F Matt Calvert
  • F Sam Gagner – UFA
  • F William Karlsson
  • F Lauri Korpikoski – UFA
  • D Scott Harrington
  • D Jack Johnson
  • D Kyle Quincey – UFA
  • G Oscar Dansk – RFA
  • G Joonas Korpisalo

Dallas Stars

Protected
  • F Jamie Benn – NMC
  • F Radek Faksa
  • F Valeri Nichushkin
  • F Brett Ritchie
  • F Antoine Roussel
  • F Tyler Seguin
  • F Jason Spezza – NMC
  • D Stephen Johns
  • D John Klingberg
  • D Esa Lindell
  • G Ben Bishop – NMC
Key Players Exposed
  • F Adam Cracknell
  • F Cody Eakin
  • F Ales Hemsky – UFA
  • F Jiri Hudler – UFA
  • F Curtis McKenzie
  • F Patrick Sharp – UFA
  • D Dan Hamhuis
  • D Patrik Nemeth – RFA
  • D Jamie Oleksiak – RFA
  • D Greg Pateryn
  • G Kari Lehtonen
  • G Antti Niemi

Detroit Red Wings

Protected
  • F Justin Abdelkader
  • F Andreas Athanasiou
  • F Anthony Mantha
  • F Frans Nielsen – NMC
  • F Gustav Nyquist
  • F Thomas Tatar
  • F Henrik Zetterberg
  • D Danny DeKeyser
  • D Mike Green
  • D Nick Jensen
  • G Jimmy Howard
Key Players Exposed
  • F Luke Glendening
  • F Darren Helm
  • F Drew Miller – UFA
  • F Riley Sheahan
  • D Jonathan Ericsson
  • D Niklas Kronwall
  • D Brian Lashoff – RFA
  • D Dylan McIlrath – UFA
  • D Xavier Oullett  RFA
  • D Ryan Sproul
  • G Jared Coreau
  • G Petr Mrazek

Edmonton Oilers

Protected
  • F Leon Draisaitl
  • F Jordan Eberle
  • F Zack Kassian
  • F Mark Letestu
  • F Milan Lucic – NMC
  • F Patrick Maroon
  • F Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
  • D Oscar Klefbom
  • D Adam Larsson
  • D Andrej Sekera – NMC
  • G Cam Talbot – NMC
Key Players Exposed
  • F David Desharnais – UFA
  • F Justin Fontaine – UFA
  • F Matt Hendricks – UFA
  • F Iiro Pakarinen
  • F Benoit Pouliot
  • D Mark Fayne
  • D Mark Fraser – UFA
  • D Eric Gryba – UFA
  • D Griffin Reinhart – RFA
  • D Kris Russell – UFA
  • G Laurent Brossoit
  • G Jonas Gustavsson – UFA

Florida Panthers

Protected
  • F Aleksander Barkov
  • F Nick Bjugstad
  • F Jonathan Huberdeau
  • F Vincent Trocheck
  • D Aaron Ekblad
  • D Alex Petrovic
  • D Mark Pysyk
  • D Keith Yandle – NMC
  • G James Reimer
Key Players Exposed
  • F Jaromir Jagr – UFA
  • F Jussi Jokinen
  • F Derek MacKenzie
  • F Jonathan Marchessault
  • F Colton Sceviour
  • F Reilly Smith
  • F Thomas Vanek – UFA
  • D Jason Demers
  • D Jakub Kindl – UFA
  • G Roberto Luongo

Los Angeles Kings

Protected
  • F Jeff Carter
  • F Anze Kopitar – NMC
  • F Tanner Pearson
  • F Tyler Toffoli
  • D Drew Doughty
  • D Derek Forbort
  • D Alec Martinez
  • D Jake Muzzin
  • G Jonathan Quick
Key Players Exposed
  • F Dustin Brown
  • F Kyle Clifford
  • F Nic Dowd
  • F Marian Gaborik
  • F Jarome Iginla – UFA
  • F Trevor Lewis
  • F Jordan Nolan
  • F Teddy Purcell – UFA
  • F Devin Setoguchi – UFA
  • F Nick Shore – RFA
  • D Matt Greene
  • D Brayden McNabb
  • D Rob Scuderi – UFA
  • G Jack Campbell
  • G Jeff Zatkoff

Minnesota Wild

Protected
  • F Charlie Coyle
  • F Mikael Granlund
  • F Mikko Koivu – NMC
  • F Nino Niederreiter
  • F Zach Parise – NMC
  • F Jason Pominville – NMC
  • F Jason Zucker
  • D Jonas Brodin
  • D Jared Spurgeon
  • D Ryan Suter – NMC
  • G Devan Dubnyk
Key Players Exposed
  • F Ryan Carter – UFA
  • F Martin Hanzal – UFA
  • F Erik Haula – RFA
  • F Jordan Schroeder – RFA
  • F Eric Staal
  • F Chris Stewart
  • F Ryan White – UFA
  • D Victor Bartley – UFA
  • D Matt Dumba
  • D Christin Folin – RFA
  • D Nate Prosser – UFA
  • D Marco Scandella
  • G Darcy Kuemper – UFA
  • G Alex Stalock

Montreal Canadiens

Protected
  • F Paul Byron
  • F Phillip Denault
  • F Jonathan Drouin
  • F Alex Galchenyuk
  • F Brendan Gallagher
  • F Max Pacioretty
  • F Andrew Shaw
  • D Jordie Benn
  • D Jeff Petry – NMC
  • D Shea Weber
  • G Carey Price – NMC
Key Players Exposed
  • F Brian Flynn – UFA
  • F Dwight King – UFA
  • F Torrey Mitchell
  • F Steve Ott – UFA
  • F Thomas Plekanec
  • F Alexander Radulov – UFA
  • F Chris Terry
  • D Brandon Davidson
  • D Alexei Emelin
  • D Keegan Lowe – RFA
  • D Andrei Markov – UFA
  • D Nikita Nesterov – UFA
  • D Zach Redmond
  • G Al Montoya

Nashville Predators

Protected
  • F Viktor Arvidsson
  • F Filip Forsberg
  • F Calle Jarnkrok
  • F Ryan Johansen
  • D Mattias Ekholm
  • D Ryan Ellis
  • D Roman Josi
  • D P.K. Subban
  • G Pekka Rinne – NMC
Key Players Exposed
  • F Pontus Aberg – RFA
  • F Vernon Fiddler – UFA
  • F Mike Fisher – UFA
  • F Cody McCleod
  • F James Neal
  • F P.A. Parenteau – UFA
  • F Mikka Salomaki
  • F Colton Sissons
  • F Craig Smith
  • F Austin Watson – RFA
  • F Colin Wilson
  • D Matt Irwin
  • D Yannick Weber

New Jersey Devils

Protected
  • F Taylor Hall
  • F Adam Henrique
  • F Kyle Palmieri
  • F Travis Zajac
  • D Andy Greene
  • D John Moore
  • D Mirco Mueller
  • D Damon Severson
  • G Cory Schneider
Key Players Exposed
  • F Beau Bennett – RFA
  • F Mike Cammalleri
  • F Luke Gazdic – UFA
  • F Jacob Josefson – RFA
  • F Devante Smith-Pelly
  • D Ben Lovejoy
  • D Jon Merrill
  • D Dalton Prout
  • G Keith Kinkaid – UFA
  • G Scott Wedgewood

New York Islanders

Protected
  • F Andrew Ladd – NMC
  • F Anders Lee
  • F John Tavares – NMC
  • D Johnny Boychuk – NMC
  • D Travis Hamonic
  • D Nick Leddy
  • D Adam Pelech
  • D Ryan Pulock
  • G Thomas Greiss
Key Players Exposed
  • F Josh Bailey
  • F Jason Chimera
  • F Casey Cizikas
  • F Cal Clutterbuck
  • F Nikolay Kulemin
  • F Brock Nelson
  • F Ryan Strome
  • D Calvin de Haan – RFA
  • D Thomas Hickey
  • D Dennis Seidenberg
  • G Jean-Francois Berube – UFA
  • G Jaroslav Halak

New York Rangers

Protected
  • F Kevin Hayes
  • F Chris Kreider
  • F J.T. Miller
  • F Rick Nash – NMC
  • F Derek Stepan
  • F Mika Zibanejad
  • F Mats Zuccarello
  • D Nick Holden
  • D Ryan McDonagh
  • D Marc Staal – NMC
  • G Henrik Lundqvist – NMC
Key Players Exposed
  • F Jesper Fast – RFA
  • F Tanner Glass – UFA
  • F Michael Grabner
  • F Oscar Lindberg – RFA
  • F Brandon Pirri – RFA
  • D Adam Clendening – RFA
  • D Steven Kampfer
  • D Kevin Klein
  • D Brendan Smith – UFA
  • G Antti Raanta

Ottawa Senators

Protected
  • F Derick Brassard
  • F Ryan Dzingel
  • F Mike Hoffman
  • F Jean-Gabriel Pageau
  • F Zack Smith
  • F Mark Stone
  • F Kyle Turris
  • D Cody Ceci
  • D Erik Karlsson
  • D Dion Phaneuf – NMC
  • G Craig Anderson
Key Players Exposed
  • F Casey Bailey – UFA
  • F Alexandre Burrows
  • F Chris Kelly – UFA
  • F Clarke MacArthur
  • F Chris Neil – UFA
  • F Tom Pyatt – UFA
  • F Bobby Ryan
  • F Viktor Stalberg – UFA
  • F Tommy Wingels – UFA
  • D Mark Borowiecki
  • D Fredrik Claesson
  • D Brandon Gormley – UFA
  • D Jyrki Jokipakka – UFA
  • D Marc Methot
  • D Chris Wideman
  • G Mike Condon – UFA
  • G Andrew Hammond

Philadelphia Flyers

Protected
  • F Sean Couturier
  • F Valtteri Filppula – NMC
  • F Claude Giroux – NMC
  • F Scott Laughton
  • F Brayden Schenn
  • F Wayne Simmonds
  • F Jakub Voracek
  • D Shayne Gostisbehere
  • D Radko Gudas
  • D Brandon Manning
  • G Anthony Stolarz
Key Players Exposed
  • F Pierre-Edouard Bellemare
  • F Michael Raffl
  • F Matt Read
  • F Chris VandeVelde – UFA
  • F Jordan Weal – UFA
  • F Dale Weise
  • D Michael Del Zotto – UFA
  • D Andrew MacDonald
  • D Nick Schultz – UFA
  • G Steve Mason – UFA
  • G Michal Neuvirth

Pittsburgh Penguins

Protected
  • F Sidney Crosby – NMC
  • F Evgeni Malkin  – NMC
  • F Patric Hornqvist
  • F Phil Kessel – NMC
  • D Brian Dumoulin
  • D Kris Letang – NMC
  • D Olli Maatta
  • D Justin Schultz
  • G Matt Murray
Key Players Exposed
  • F Josh Archibald – RFA
  • F Nick Bonino – UFA
  • F Matt Cullen – UFA
  • F Carl Hagelin
  • F Tom Kuhnackl
  • F Chris Kunitz – UFA
  • F Bryan Rust
  • F Oskar Sundqvist – RFA
  • F Scott Wilson
  • D Ian Cole
  • D Frank Corrado – RFA
  • D Trevor Daley – UFA
  • D Ron Hainsey – UFA
  • D Derrick Pouliot – RFA
  • D Chad Ruhwedel – UFA
  • D Mark Streit – UFA
  • G Marc-Andre Fleury – NMC Waived

San Jose Sharks

Protected
  • F Ryan Carpenter
  • F Logan Couture
  • F Jannik Hansen
  • F Tomas Hertl
  • F Melker Karlsson
  • F Joe Pavelski
  • F Chris Tierney
  • D Justin Braun
  • D Brent Burns
  • D Marc-Edouard Vlasic
  • G Martin Jones
Key Players Exposed
  • F Mikkel Boedker
  • F Barclay Goodrow – RFA
  • F Patrick Marleau – UFA
  • F Joe Thornton – UFA
  • F Joe Ward
  • D Dylan DeMelo
  • D Brenden Dillon
  • D Paul Martin
  • D David Schlemko
  • G Aaron Dell

St. Louis Blues

Protected
  • F Patrik Berglund
  • F Ryan Reaves
  • F Jaden Schwartz
  • F Vladimir Sobotka
  • F Paul Stastny
  • F Alexander Steen
  • F Vladimir Tarasenko
  • D Jay Bouwmeester
  • D Joel Edmundson
  • D Alex Pietrangelo
  • G Jake Allen
Key Players Exposed
  • F Kyle Brodziak
  • F Dmitrij Jasken
  • F Jori Lehtera
  • F David Perron
  • F Scottie Upshall – UFA
  • F Nail Yakupov – UFA
  • D Robert Bortuzzo
  • D Carl Gunnarsson
  • G Carter Hutton

Tampa Bay Lightning

Protected
  • F Ryan Callahan – NMC
  • F Tyler Johnson
  • F Alex Killorn
  • F Nikita Kucherov
  • F Vladislav Namestnikov
  • F Ondrej Palat
  • F Steven Stamkos – NMC
  • D Braydon Coburn
  • D Victor Hedman – NMC
  • D Anton Stralman
  • G Andrei Vasilevskiy
Key Players Exposed
  • F J.T. Brown
  • F Erik Condra
  • F Gabriel Dumont – UFA
  • F Byron Froese – UFA
  • F Yanni Gourde – UFA
  • F Greg McKegg – UFA
  • F Cedric Paquette
  • D Jake Dotchin – RFA
  • D Jason Garrison
  • D Slater Koekkoek – RFA
  • D Andrej Sustr – RFA
  • D Luke Witkowski – UFA
  • G Peter Budaj – UFA
  • G Kristers Gudlevskis – RFA

Toronto Maple Leafs

Protected
  • F Tyler Bozak
  • F Connor Brown
  • F Nazem Kadri
  • F Leo Komarov
  • F Josh Leivo
  • F Matt Martin
  • F James van Riemsdyk
  • D Connor Carrick
  • D Jake Gardiner
  • D Morgan Rielly
  • G Frederik Andersen
Key Players Exposed
  • F Brian Boyle – UFA
  • F Eric Fehr
  • F Seth Griffith – RFA
  • F Brooks Laich – UFA
  • F Kerby Rychel
  • D Matt Hunwick – UFA
  • D Alexey Marchenko
  • D Martin Marincin
  • D Roman Polak – UFA
  • G Curtis McElhinney – UFA

Vancouver Canucks

Protected
  • F Sven Baertschi
  • F Loui Eriksson – NMC
  • F Markus Granlund
  • F Bo Horvat
  • F Daniel Sedin – NMC
  • F Henrik Sedin – NMC
  • F Brandon Sutter
  • D Alexander Edler
  • D Erik Gudbranson
  • D Chris Tanev
  • G Jacob Markstrom
Key Players Exposed
  • F Derek Dorsett
  • F Brendan Guance – RFA
  • D Alex Biega
  • D Philip Larsen
  • D Luca Sbisa
  • G Ryan Miller – UFA

Washington Capitals

Protected
  • F Nicklas Backstrom
  • F Andre Burakovsky
  • F Lars Eller
  • F Marcus Johansson
  • F Evgeny Kuznetsov
  • F Alex Ovechkin
  • F Tom Wilson
  • D John Carlson
  • D Matt Niskanen
  • D Dmitry Orlov
  • G Braden Holtby
Key Players Exposed
  • F Jay Beagle
  • F Brett Connolly – RFA
  • F T.J. Oshie – UFA
  • F Justin Williams – UFA
  • F Daniel Winnik – UFA
  • D Karl Alzner – UFA
  • D Taylor Chorney
  • D Tom Gilbert – UFA
  • D Brooks Orpik
  • D Nate Schmidt – RFA
  • D Kevin Shattenkirk – UFA
  • G Philipp Grubauer – RFA

Winnipeg Jets

Protected
  • F Joel Armia
  • F Andrew Copp
  • F Bryan Little
  • F Adam Lowry
  • F Mathieu Perreault
  • F Mark Scheifele
  • F Blake Wheeler
  • D Dustin Byfuglien – NMC
  • D Tyler Myers
  • D Jacob Trouba
  • G Connor Hellebuyck
Key Players Exposed
  • F Marko Dano
  • F Shawn Matthias
  • F Chris Thorburn – UFA
  • D Ben Chiarot – RFA
  • D Toby Enstrom – NMC Waived
  • D Paul Postma – UFA
  • D Brian Strait – UFA
  • D Mark Stuart
  • G Michael Hutchinson
  • G Ondrej Pavelec – UFA

My Vegas Roster

  • From Anaheim: D Clayton Stoner – $3,250,000 UFA (2018)
    • Word is that Anaheim GM Bob Murray has already made a side deal with George McPhee to ensure that Vegas doesn’t touch Sami Vatanen or Josh Manson.  In addition, McPhee has been asked to take Clayton Stoner in the Expansion Draft and Anaheim will give Vegas Shea Theodore and a 1st RD Pick.
  • From Arizona: D Kevin Connauton – $1,000,000 UFA (2018)
    • The Coyotes don’t have much to offer so I picked Connauton basically because I need a defenseman as a result of how I drafted the rest of my roster.
  • From Boston: D Colin Miller – $1,000,000 RFA (2018)
    • Miller is just 24 years of age, is under contract through next season for just $1 million, and will still be an RFA next summer.  He has shown that he can be a solid two way defenseman in the NHL and has the potential to likely develop more offensively.  Corsi-wise, he had a 60.3 CF% in 61 games this season, possibly a representation of how good Boston’s system was, but even so he still had to be responsible and make good decisions.  Vegas will love his age and contract and will likely look to play him right away and make him a cornerstone on their blueline.  If they don’t like his game, they can then trade him for assets.
  • From Buffalo: LW William Carrier – $689,167 RFA (2018)
    • Carrier is just 22 years old and has played in only 41 regular season NHL games.  He has shown an ability to score at every level so far and I think Vegas will take a chance on as many young players as possible.  There is always the chance that Buffalo tries getting Vegas to take Matt Moulson and his pricey contract that pays him $5 million per season for the next two years.
  • From Calgary:  C Freddie Hamilton – $612,500 RFA (2018)
    • Assuming that Calgary offers Vegas something to not touch Hunter Shinkaruk or Emile Poirier, there really isn’t a player under contract I’d want from the Flames.  Hamilton may be the best one available but there wouldn’t be much of an expectation placed on him.  He would likely be sent down to the AHL.  I also picked him to ensure that I have taken the minimum number of forwards.
  • From Carolina: G Eddie Lack – $2,750,000 UFA (2018)
    • This is a situation where I think Carolina will offer Vegas something to take likely third goalie Eddie Lack off their hands.  Now that they have signed Scott Darling, the Hurricanes don’t need Lack and Cam Ward is the more likely of the two to stay.
  • From Chicago: C Marcus Kruger $3,083,333 UFA (2019)
    • However this pick needs to be written: whether it is Vegas acquiring Kruger and then picking Trevor van Riemsdyk or vice versa, Vegas is going to end up with both players, plus picks I’m assuming.
  • From Colorado: C Mikhail Grigorenko – $1,300,000 RFA (2017)
    • Colorado is another team with nothing of true value to offer. Grigorenko is a player worth taking a chance on as he is still young, has shown an ability to score in the NHL, and is an RFA.  If Vegas can’t get a new deal done with him, they haven’t lost anything, but if they can agree to a new deal, then they can see what he can do.
  • From Columbus: C William Karlsson – $1,000,000 RFA (2018)
    • If I am Vegas I would actually like to take goaltender Joonas Korpisalo with this pick.  However, there are already rumors coming out that Columbus is doing basically everything possible to ensure Vegas doesn’t touch Korpisalo, who appears to be the goalie of the future for the team.  Instead, with the understanding that the Blue Jackets are giving up at least one first round pick, plus a top prospect (perhaps Pierre-Luc Dubois), I will take young center William Karlsson.  Karlsson is just 24 years old and is coming off his best season and could be an anchor for Vegas for the foreseeable future.  It has also been all but confirmed that Vegas is going to take on David Clarkson’s contract, which has three years left on it with an AAV of $5.25 million.  The price paid to Vegas by Columbus could actually increase from what I wrote above.
  • From Dallas: G Kari Lehtonen – $5,900,000 UFA (2018)
    • There are rumblings that perhaps Dallas is going to put together a package to offer Vegas to take on goaltender Kari Lehtonen’s contract ($5.9 million for one season) but nothing solid has come out yet.  If I am George McPhee, I would probably have to be blown away in order to consider agreeing to this; I’m thinking their later first round pick plus a prospect.  If that trade doesn’t happen, then I am selecting Cody Eakin, a 26 year old center under contract through the 2019-20 season with a modest $3.85 cap hit.
  • From Detroit: G Petr Mrazek – $4,000,000 RFA (2018)
    • The Red Wings have a few interesting options, including Riley Sheahan, Ryan Sproul, and Mrazek.  I’m fairly certain that Mrazek is the player Vegas will take from Detroit as he is 25 years old and Red Wings GM Ken Holland has said that he will not pull any deals to ensure Mrazek isn’t taken.  Mrazek has shown an ability to play at a high level in the NHL and Vegas could flip him for assets very easily.  Buffalo, Calgary, Ottawa, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Arizona, Vancouver, and Winnipeg could all have interest in him to be a better-than-average backup, a part of a starting duo, or a future regular starter.  Vegas could easily get a couple of picks for him or a prospect and picks.
  • From Edmonton: D Griffin Reinhart – $863,333 RFA (2017)
    • Reinhart is an RFA and isn’t under contract for next season, but I think Vegas could get him to agree to a deal fairly easily.  Vegas could be a perfect spot for Reinhart to land since he hasn’t really had the chance to get regular playing time in the NHL.  He is too good for the AHL but perhaps not good enough yet to play regularly for a playoff-bound team.  He is still just 23 and has potential to develop into a top six defenseman and being able to play without any unneeded pressure could be vital for his development.
  • From Florida: C Jon Marchessault – $750,000 UFA (2018)
    • I don’t think that the Panthers will be interested in offering assets to Vegas to protect their players.  Marchessault is a very attractive forward who is coming off a 30 goal season, a goal mark which was actually higher than his career number of goals.  I don’t think that Vegas will keep him since he is already 26 and only under contract for next season, but they could easily flip him to a team looking for cheap offensive production.  30 goals for a $750,000 cap hit is almost unheard of and teams up against the salary cap that have a need for offense will be lining up to acquire him.  I think Boston, Columbus, Montreal, both New York teams, Ottawa, Washington, Anaheim, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Jose could all have interest.
  • From Los Angeles: RW Dustin Brown – $5,875,000 UFA (2022)
    • There is supposedly a deal already in place for Vegas to take Brown and his massive contract.  Brown could still be a quality player for a new franchise that is just starting out as he has captained two Stanley Cup teams and is a quality veteran leader.  His contract isn’t such a big deal to Vegas since they will have a lot of cap space every season going forward.
  • From Minnesota: C Erik Haula – $1,000,000 RFA (2017)
    • Word is that Minnesota has made a deal with Vegas to not touch Marco Scandella or Matt Dumba in exchange for several prospects. They will also take Erik Haula as their Expansion Draft pick.  Haula is an RFA so that means Vegas must already have a contract worked out with him.
  • From Montreal:  D Brandon Davidson – $1,425,000 RFA (2018)
    • If I am George McPhee, I am doing everything possible to take the best player available from every team and forcing a GM’s hand to make a trade with me.  In my opinion, Davidson is Montreal’s best available player and forcing Montreal to make another move to fill out their defense.
  • From Nashville: LW James Neal – $5,000,000 UFA (2018)
    • I am under the impression that so far Nashville GM David Poile hasn’t reached out to strike a deal with Vegas to protect specific players.  With that in mind, I am taking the best player available if I am Vegas and that is James Neal.  Neal is a regular 25-30 goal scorer who is under contract for just next season before becoming a free agent.  He really wouldn’t serve a purpose for Vegas next season so I’d expect him to be flipped for picks or prospects almost immediately.  His departure wouldn’t even hurt Nashville that much because they could likely replace his goal output for $5 million fairly easily.
  • From New Jersey: D Jon Merrill – $1,137,500 RFA (2018)
    • Merrill is likely the most valuable player available from New Jersey and he is still pretty young and could be moved easily if Vegas doesn’t like him.
  • From the New York Islanders: LW Nikolai Kulemin – $4,187,500 UFA (2018)
    • Word is that the Islanders have offered a valuable asset or two to ensure Vegas doesn’t touch one of their young forwards such as Brock Nelson, Casey Cizikas, or Ryan Strome.  I think that whatever deal they have made (rumor has it that it is their first round pick) also includes Vegas taking Nikolai Kulemin with their Islanders pick.
  • From the New York Rangers: G Antti Raanta – $1,000,000 UFA (2018)
    • It has long been though that the Rangers were going to lose Raanta in the expansion draft.  He has been very good in a back up role to Henrik Lundqvist each of the past two seasons and it could be said that Raanta was the reason the Rangers were able to make the playoffs this past season.  Raanta possibly deserves the opportunity to a starting goaltender somewhere and I think a trade with Vegas will see this come to fruition.
  • From Ottawa: D Marc Methot – $4,900,000 UFA (2019)
    • Word is that there is no deal in place to prevent Vegas from touching Methot.  He would have a lot of value on the trade market, even to Ottawa’s rivals, Toronto and Montreal.  Vegas would likely get quite a haul in return for Methot.
  • From Philadelphia: RW Matt Read – $3,625,000 UFA (2018)
    • Read is 31 years old but under contract for just next season so Vegas will lose that salary very quickly.  He has shown glimpses of being a solid goalscorer in the past and it could be smart for them to take a chance on Read for that reason.  If they don’t like him from the start then perhaps they will try flipping him for assets and retaining some of his salary in a trade this offseason.
  • From Pittsburgh: G Marc-Andre Fleury – $5,750,000 UFA (2019)
    • When it was announced that Fleury had agreed to waive his NMC it was assumed that Vegas will be taking him.  The question will be whether or not they decide to keep him or move him right away. On the trade market, they could easily get at least a first round pick from Calgary for him.  I think that they will decide to keep him because he is a great locker room presence, has been part of three Stanley Cup winning teams, is a winner, and is just a very likable guy.  He can also steal games for a team even with a bad defense, which could keep Vegas from being truly awful their first couple of seasons.
  • From San Jose: D Dylan DeMelo – $650,000 RFA (2018)
    • DeMelo is similar to Colin Miller in that DeMelo is also young (24) and has offensive upside to his game.  He has played in just 70 NHL games to this point but has been fairly good in them.  He has shown an ability to put up points and is also good at controlling the shot game.  He is the type of player who could help make up the defense core for Vegas going forward or could be moved for assets given his age.
  • From St. Louis: RW Dmitrij Jaskin – $1,000,000 RFA (2018)
    • The Blues aren’t offering much in the Expansion Draft and most of the available players are either older (Kyle Brodziak), overpaid (Jori Lehtera), or just underwhelming (Robert Bortuzzo/David Perron). That leaves Dmitrij Jaskin as one of the few who could actually bring Vegas some value.  He is only 24 years old and is under contract through next season when he will still be an RFA, giving Vegas control.  He is also Russian, which would come in handy with the number of Russians and Czechs that they figure on signing, including Vadim Shipachyov and possibly Jaromir Jagr.  If Jaskin can play on a line with other players who have grown up playing the same style, he could be quite productive.
  • From Tampa Bay: D Jason Garrison – $4,600,000 UFA (2018)
    • A rumor has emerged recently that Tampa Bay has made a deal with Vegas for them to take Garrison.  I’m not certain if this means a first round pick is going back or if it is a prospect or two.
  • From Toronto: RW Seth Griffith – $625,000 RFA (2017)
    • Griffith is a former high end prospect who has yet to play a full season’s worth of games in the NHL.  He could be someone worth taking a chance on for Vegas and I’m sure that he will agree to a new deal with them just to get steady playing time.
  • From Vancouver: C Michael Chaput – $600,000 RFA (2017)
    • The Canucks have basically nothing to offer Vegas and there is no way that I would take Derek Dorsett if I am George McPhee. Vancouver also doesn’t have a real reason to shed his contract considering they aren’t going to be a playoff team anytime soon. In Chaput, they get a young center who needs a new contract, but was pretty good in 68 games this season.  He at least has some upside.
  • From Washington: G Philipp Grubauer – $750,000 RFA (2017)
    • This is another pick that has been discussed for a long time now. Grubauer is young and has proven himself to be a good backup goaltender to Braden Holtby in parts of five seasons. I think that Vegas will bring him in to be the backup to Marc-Andre Fleury and to eventually take over as their starter, if he continues developing, when Fleury’s contract expires.
  • From Winnipeg: C Marko Dano – $850,000 RFA (2018)
    • Dano is a former first round selection of Columbus who is on his third team with Winnipeg.  He has shown an ability to score in his limited playing time and I think giving him a spot in Vegas’ starting lineup could bring his potential to a reality.  He is still only 22 years old and could become a 2nd or 3rd line center in the future.

A Recap

  • Centers:
    • Marcus Kruger from Chicago
    • William Karlsson from Columbus
    • Marko Dano from Winnipeg
    • Jonathan Marchessault from Florida
    • Freddie Hamilton from Calgary
    • Seth Griffith from Toronto
    • Michael Chaput from Vancouver
    • Mikhail Grigorenko from Colorado
    • Erik Haula from Minnesota
  • Wingers:
    • Dustin Brown from Los Angeles
    • James Neal from Nashville
    • Matt Read from Philadelphia
    • Dmitrij Jaskin from St. Louis
    • William Carrier from Buffalo
    • Nikolai Kulemin from the Islanders
  • Defenseman:
    • Jon Merrill from New Jersey
    • Colin Miller from Boston
    • Kevin Connauton from Arizona
    • Marc Methot from Ottawa
    • Dylan DeMelo from San Jose
    • Griffin Reinhart from Edmonton
    • Jason Garrison from Tampa Bay
    • Clayton Stoner from Anaheim
    • Brandon Davidson from Montreal
    • Trevor van Riemsdyk, Chicago
  • Goaltenders:
    • Kari Lehtonen from Dallas
    • Marc-Andre Fleury from Pittsburgh
    • Petr Mrazek from Detroit
    • Eddie Lack from Carolina
    • Antti Raanta from the Rangers
    • Philipp Grubauer from Washington
  • I have 24 players under contract for next season, 14 forwards, 10  defenseman, and 6 goaltenders.  My cap hit is currently at $61.7 million but keep in mind that this doesn’t include the deals made to send bad contracts to Vegas such as David Clarkson’s from Columbus.  That will push the cap hit closer to the ceiling.
  • Of my picks, only Dustin Brown, Marcus Kruger, Marco Scandella, and Marc-Andre Fleury have deals that go beyond next season, not including any new contracts signed with free agents.
  • I would have just two players under contract for the 2019-20 season and would basically be able to turn over the roster in two seasons, which I believe is what George McPhee is going to try to do.
  • A large percentage of my players (James Neal, Matt Read, Marcus Kruger, Jon Merrill, Petr Mrazek, Antti Raanta) I would try moving immediately to allow the young players I take in both drafts, plus free agency, to get playing time right away.
  • Let me know what you think of how I picked my Expansion Draft and what you would do different.

*All stats and information came from cbc.ca, hockey-reference.com, capfriendly.com, rosterresource.com, and eliteprospects.com.

 

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