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 Ottawa Senators:
Protect (7-3-1): Drake Batherson, Connor Brown, Evgeny Dadonov, Nick Paul, Brady Tkachuk, Austin Watson, Colin White, Josh Brown, Thomas Chabot, Victor Mete, Filip Gustavsson
Exempt: Jacob Bernard-Docker, Erik Brannstrom, Alex Formenton, Josh Norris, Shane Pinto, Tim Stutzle, Artem Zub
UFA: Artem Anisimov, Ryan Dzingel, Derek Stepan
Expose: Michael Amadio, Clark Bishop, Chris Tierney, Nikita Zaitsev, Joey Daccord, Anton Forsberg, Marcus Hogberg, Matt Murray
The protection list for the forwards for the Senators comes down to Watson vs. Tierney, with the former measuring much more admirably than the latter.
The defense list comes down to Brown and Zaitsev, and in this case the contract of Zaitsev works against his case.
Gustavsson reigned supreme in goals saved above expected among the Sens goaltenders last season, and he projects much stronger than his three counterparts.