In a fun swing of events, PuckLuck.com 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!
Next up? The Calgary Flames:
Protect (7-3-1): Mikael Backlund, Dillon Dube, Johnny Gaudreau, Elias Lindholm, Andrew Mangiapane, Sean Monahan, Matthew Tkachuk, Rasmus Andersson, Noah Hanifin, Chris Tanev, Jacob Markstrom
Exempt: Connor MacKey, Juuso Valimaki
UFA: Josh Leivo, Nikita Nesterov, Brett Ritchie, Buddy Robinson, Derek Ryan, Michael Stone, Louis Domingue
Expose: Mark Giordano, Oliver Kylington, Milan Lucic (NMC-Waived), Dominik Simon, Tyler Parsons
The forward group is pretty clear cut, with the only real decision between Dube and Simon. Dube gets the edge in all categories considered, though, leaving Simon with Lucic as the only forwards from last year's roster exposed.
The way the Flames' protection list shapes up here, it seems obvious that the Kraken select team captain Mark Giordano as a veteran presence to lead their new club. Calgary simply shouldn't justify protecting him at his age, and only having one year left on his deal.
Markstrom is the obvious choice to protect in net, leaving Parsons as a sneaky selection candidate should Seattle choose young goaltending over the aging Giordano.