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 Detroit Red Wings:
Protect (7-3-1): Tyler Bertuzzi, Robby Fabbri, Dylan Larkin, Michael Rasmussen, Givani Smith, Evgeny Svechnikov, Jakub Vrana, Christian Djoos, Filip Hronek, Troy Stecher, Thomas Greiss
Exempt: Mathias Brome, Joe Veleno, Filip Zadina
UFA: Alex Biega, Valtteri Filppula, Sam Gagner, Luke Glendening, Darren Helm, Taro Hirose, Bobby Ryan, Marc Staal, Jonathan Bernier, Calvin Pickard
Expose: Dennis Cholowski, Danny DeKeyser, Adam Erne, Nick Leddy, Gustav Lindstrom, Frans Nielsen
Erne and Nielsen are the odd men out with the preference of youngsters such as Smith and Svechnikov spur this decision at forward.
Despite just trading for Leddy, the Red Wings should expose both he and DeKeyser and tempt Seattle to take one of their salaries off their books. This opens a protection spot for Djoos, who may deserve a bigger role on the left side of the defense.
With both Bernier and Pickard heading to free agency, Greiss becomes the obvious protection decision at goalie. If Detroit opts to expose his salary, they could protect youngster Kaden Fulcher instead.