Ahead of the Seattle Kraken Expansion Draft next week, the Devils have – along with the other 30 teams eligible for the Draft – revealed their protected list.
Only 30 established NHL teams are eligible for the Draft since the Vegas Golden Knights are exempt and do not have to make any players available to the Kraken.
The Devils, according to “Inside the Devils Blog” author Amanda Stein, “used a 7-3-1 model forgoing the other alternative of” pooling their skaters and protecting one goalie. This means that General Manager Tom Fitzgerald elected to protect seven forwards, three defensemen and a goalie. Instead of protecting as many skaters (any combination of forwards and defensemen) as they could, the Devils did it by position.
Stein says that the forwards protected are: captain Nico Hischier, Jesper Bratt, Janne Kuokkanen, Michael McLeod, Yegor Sharangovich, Miles Wood and Pavel Zacha. Defensemen protected include: Jonas Siegenthaler, Damon Severson and Ryan Graves. Mackenzie Blackwood is the goalie protected.
Stein also mentioned that players like Jack Hughes, Ty Smith, Jesper Boqvist, Nolan Foote and Kevin Bahl were not eligible for the Draft due to being on entry level contracts/not having enough NHL service time.
Notable names eligible to be taken by Seattle according to Stein include: PK Subban, Will Butcher, Ryan Murray, Connor Carrick (defensemen), forwards Andreas Johnsson, Nathan Bastian and Nick Merkley and goaltenders Scott Wedgewood, Evan Cormier and Aaron Dell.
Stein also did an “Around the League” component to her latest post and noted that among other NHL teams, some former Devils have been exposed to the Kraken.
These include Taylor Hall (Boston Bruins), Blake Coleman (Tampa Bay Lightning), Andy Greene, Travis Zajac and Cory Schneider all currently of the New York Islanders, Adam Henrique (Anaheim Ducks), Sami Vatanen (Dallas Stars), Marcus Johansson (Minnesota Wild) and the man Hall was traded for, Adam Larsson (Edmonton Oilers). Those are just a taste of some of the players teams had to leave exposed to stay compliant for the Expansion Draft.
A few of these players, including Greene and Larsson, had just signed new contracts with their current teams. (EDIT: Larsson has not signed a new contract with the Oilers yet and now cannot do so until after the Expansion Draft).
But as Stein continued, there were other players just as (or more) surprising being left for Seattle to take. These include Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens – coming off of his first trip to the Stanley Cup Final, he was asked to waive his No Trade Clause by the Habs.
The Nashville Predators, fresh off of trading Viktor Arvidsson to the Los Angeles Kings and Ryan Ellis to the Philadelphia Flyers, left Ryan Johansen and Matt Duchene (their big free agent signing a few seasons back) open for Seattle to select.
In addition, the Stanley Cup champs, the Lightning, have left key pieces Yanni Gourde, Ondrej Palat, Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn exposed.
The Expansion Draft will do down this coming Wednesday, July 21.