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Who Your Favorite Team Should Protect (But Won't): Minnesota Wild

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 Minnesota Wild:

Protect (7-3-1): Joel Eriksson Ek, Kevin Fiala, Marcus Foligno, Jordan Greenway, Ryan Hartman, Nico Sturm, Mats Zuccarello (NMC), Jonas Brodin (NMC), Matt Dumba, Jared Spurgeon (NMC), Kaapo Kahkonen

Exempt: Kirill Kaprizov

UFA: Nick Bonino, Ian Cole, Brad Hunt, Marcus Johansson, Luke Johnson, Kyle Rau

Expose: Nick Bjugstad, Victor Rask, Carson Soucy, Cam Talbot

GM Bill Guerin did well to buyout Zach Parise and Ryan Suter to provide some more expansion protection flexibility, and the final spot at forward went to Greenway here. Bjugstad has a better projected GDV, but Greenway's age and cost control provides a little more promise as an asset.

The Suter buyout clearly opened up a spot to protect Dumba, who was previously in the trade rumor mill before this vote of confidence.

Talbot was the better goalie last season, but Kahkonen's age propels him onto the list.

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