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 New York Rangers:
Protect (7-3-1): Pavel Buchnevich, Filip Chytil, Barclay Goodrow, Chris Kreider (NMC), Artemi Panarin (NMC), Ryan Strome, Mika Zibanejad (NMC), Libor Hajek, Ryan Lindgren, Jacob Trouba (NMC), Alexandar Georgiev
Exempt: Morgan Barron, Adam Fox, Zac Jones, Kaapo Kaako, Vitali Kravtsov, Alexis Lafreniere, K'Andre Miller, Tarmo Reunanen, Igor Shesterkin
UFA: Phillip Di Giuseppe
Expose: Anthony Bitetto, Colin Blackwell, Jonny Brodzinski, Tony DeAngelo, Julien Gauthier, Brett Howden, Jack Johnson, Kevin Rooney, Brendan Smith, Keith Kinkaid
The Rangers just traded for Goodrow - a pending UFA - but he gets the protection nod here assuming a deal is quickly agreed to. The options at forward this leaves for the Kraken isn't too appealing anyway, with Howden maybe the surprise casualty being dealt to Vegas.
Hajek was the default protection on defense, as the contract of Smith and Johnson's poor play force them to be exposed.
Ace backstop Shesterkin is exempt, allowing the Rangers to protect their asset in Georgiev - no matter what they decide to do with him before next season.