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Who Your Favorite Team Should Protect (But Won't): Chicago Blackhawks

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!

Next up? The Chicago Blackhawks:

Protect (7-3-1): Ryan Carpenter, Alex DeBrincat, Brandon Hagel, David Kampf, Patrick Kane (NMC), Dylan Strome, Jonathan Toews (NMC), Kevin Lankinen

Exempt: Nicolas Beaudin, Adam Boqvist, Kirby Dach, Mike Hardman, Wyatt Kalynuk, Dominik Kubalik, Philipp Kurashev, Ian Mitchell, Andrew Shaw (INJ), Pius Suter

UFA: Vinnie Hinostroza

Expose: Brett Connolly, Calvin de Haan, Adam Gaudette, Nikita Zadorov, Colin Delia, Malcolm Subban

The Blackhawks are beneficiaries of a whole slew of roster players exempt from the expansion draft, which allows for little worry when it comes to the forwards protected. Kampf gets the nod over Connolly and Gaudette based off of age and performance.

The defense, despite all of the exemptions, leaves a more difficult decision. If this was solely based off of projected GDV, de Haan would be the easy choice. However, considering both Zadorov and Jones were acquired more recently in deals and the fact that they are younger and more cost controlled, the decision came down between the two of them. Jones ultimately was the choice due to merit and cap hit.

Lankinen earned protection status from his play last season. Delia and Subban are both a year older as well, making this an easy choice.

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