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Who Your Favorite Team Should Protect (But Won't): Anaheim Ducks

In a fun swing of events, has you covered today for all of your expansion draft protection needs. Why today? Well, there are two key deadlines this Saturday afternoon that can affect the entire landscape of the NHL.

The first is a roster freeze at 3pm EST, which prohibits and trades, signings, and player movement ahead of Wednesday's expansion draft. This freeze allows the Seattle Kraken management to zero in on exact targets from each NHL team without any further ambiguity.

The second deadline, of course, is the 5pm EST deadline for all teams to submit their protected player lists. This is the final list of players (either seven forwards, three defensemen, and one goalie, or eight skaters and one goalie) that the Kraken cannot select in Wednesday's draft.

This also, of course, reveals who is exposed to Seattle, who is allow to select one player from each team. It is expected that side deals will by made to allow NHL GM's to protect an extra player or dictate who the Kraken take by giving up an additional asset, so things could get even more interesting.

Ahead of the protection list deadline, we will be revealing what our version of the protection lists should look like for each NHL team, based off of a player's GDV (Goal Differential Value), contract, and aging curves. GDV is a PuckLuck exclusive metric used to measure each player's value on goal differential for each game, allowing us to project each NHL game throughout the year with success.

We will be revealing one team every 15 minutes leading up to the 5pm deadline, so be sure to follow along throughout the day to see what we come up with for your favorite team!

We start with the Anaheim Ducks:

Protect (7-3-1): Danton Heinen, Max Jones, Isac Lundestrom, Rickard Rakell, Sam Steel, Troy Terry, Alex Volkov, Cam Fowler, Hampus Lindholm, Kevin Shattenkirk, John Gibson

Exempt: Simon Benoit, Max Comtois, Jamie Drysdale, Trevor Zegras

UFA: David Backes, Sam Carrick, Ryan Getzlaf, Vinni Lettieri, Carter Rowney, Andy Welinski

Expose: Nicolas Deslauriers, Derek Grant, Haydn Fleury, Adam Henrique, Jacob Larsson, Josh Mahura, Josh Manson, Sonny Milano, Jakob Silfverberg, Anthony Stolarz

The decision with the Ducks at forward came down to a block of players. Henrique and Silfverberg are exposed due to their salaries and average effectiveness, so that leaves three of four of Heinen, Jones, Milano, and Volkov to be protected. Jones has proven to be strong on the powerplay, and Heinen the same on the penalty kill. The decision between Milano and Volkov really comes down to Milano's small sample size last season, as he only played six games with the Ducks and two with their AHL affiliate in San Diego. For that reason, we rolled with the younger Volkov.

On defense, the decision to keep Shattenkirk over some younger players may be a surprise given the current state of the team, but the veteran fared well last season with some impressive metrics, and is always capable of manning the point on an effective powerplay. Even at his age, he can be spun for a solid asset if his play continues.

Keeping Gibson was a no-brainer, as Stolarz was the only other option.

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