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 Montreal Canadiens:
Protect (7-3-1): Josh Anderson, Jonathan Drouin, Jake Evans, Brendan Gallagher (NMC), Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Tomas Tatar, Tyler Toffoli, Joel Edmundson, Brett Kulak, Jeff Petry (NMC), Carey Price (NMC)
Exempt: Cole Caufield, Alex Romanov, Nick Suzuki
UFA: Joel Armia, Phillip Danault, Michael Frolik, Erik Gustafsson, Jon Merrill, Corey Perry, Eric Staal
Expose: Paul Byron, Ben Chiarot, Artturi Lehkonen, Xavier Ouellet, Shea Weber, Jake Allen
Exposing Byron and Lehkonen offers only a replaceable bottom-six option to Seattle as Drouin is protected after a strong regular season.
You could go many different routes with the defense, but projected GDV steers us toward Kulak and Edmundson over Chiarot. Weber is exposed due to his contract and the uncertain nature of his injury.
Price has a no-movement clause which exposes Allen, who could be a top target in net for the Kraken.