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 Edmonton Oilers:
Protect (7-3-1): Josh Archibald, Leon Draisaitl, Zack Kassian, Connor McDavid, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jesse Puljujarvi, Kailer Yamamoto, Ethan Bear, Duncan Keith (NMC), Darnell Nurse, Stuart Skinner
Exempt: Evan Bouchard, Ryan McLeod
UFA: Tyson Barrie, Alex Chiasson, Tyler Ennis, Slater Koekkoek, Dmitry Kulikov, Adam Larsson, Patrick Russell, Mike Smith
Expose: Dominik Kahun, Jujhar Khaira, Oscar Klefbom, William Lagesson, James Neal, Kris Russell, Devin Shore, Kyle Turris, Mikko Koskinen
Exposing Kahun, Khaira, Shore, and Turris were givens when considering their projected GDVs. Neal would have given a little pause, but his age and contract are just too much to justify.
On defense, the big question surrounds what to do with Klefbom. When healthy, he's certainly deserving of protected status. However, Bear's strong enough in his own right to warrant protection. By GDV standards, Nurse actually measures the worse of the three, but his offensive output last season wipes away any doubt of protection. Ideally, Keith wouldn't have occupied a spot on the list, but his no-movement clause says otherwise.
Koskinen is exposed in hopes of Seattle taking his salary off the books as Edmonton likely looks elsewhere for a goalie.