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 Los Angeles Kings:
Protect (7-3-1): Viktor Arvidsson, Dustin Brown, Alex Iafallo, Adrian Kempe, Anze Kopitar, Blake Lizotte, Austin Wagner, Drew Doughty, Olli Maatta, Matt Roy, Calvin Petersen
Exempt: Mikey Anderson, Jaret Anderson-Dolan, Tobias Bjornfot, Quinton Byfield, Rasmus Kupari, Gabriel Vilardi
UFA: Christian Wolanin
Expose: Lias Andersson, Andreas Athanasiou, Kale Clague, Carl Grundstrom, Brendan Lemieux, Matt Luff, Kurtis MacDermid, Trevor Moore, Austin Strand, Sean Walker, Jonathan Quick
For a team rebuilding and rostering a handful of youngsters, the Kings do have some interesting names at forward that will likely be exposed. Andersson and Grundstrom are up-and-comers and Moore, Athanasiou, and Lemieux have had some NHL success. None of them, however, unseat Lizotte and Wagner to make the cut.
Maatta was a consideration to expose on defense due to his salary, but Clague and Walker didn't put up the kind of numbers to push him.
Protecting Petersen over Quick is a no-brainer, as he is cheaper and has unseated the vet as the team's number one goalie.