Best Players Left Exposed In The NHL Expansion Draft

Hurricanes release protected list for NHL expansion draft
NHL Set To Have First Expansion Draft In 17 Years As Las Vegas Golden Knights Get Ready For First Season
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21 June, 2017

The protected lists were revealed Sunday morning and distinctly state which players are available and which are protected. It will last through Tuesday.

The release of the teams protected lists kicks off a busy two-week stretch for the National Hockey League.

But since teams weren't able to protect everyone they would like, Vegas is going to use that against them and try to swing deals to selecting specific players.

"What we've told everyone today is that today will be the last day we're going to have those discussions".

Vegas Golden Knights general manager George McPhee had difficulty containing his excitement in anticipation of the NHLs expansion draft list being released. Not only will it allow the Golden Knights to build up a stable of picks and prospects - there is speculation they could have as many as three first-round choices this weekend - but again the league is getting a huge bang when it comes to speculation about those deals.

The Predators were put in a bind in when exposing Neal, a 10-time 20-goal-scorer, because they elected to protect a fourth defenseman. As for defensemen, Minnesota exposed both Matt Dumba and Marco Scandella, while Buffalo's Zach Bogosian, Chicago's Trevor van Riemsdyk, Dallas' Dan Hamhuis and San Jose's Paul Martin are available. If you really want to keep a good, unprotected player, it'll cost you.

Some players left unprotected, such as Ottawa forward Bobby Ryan, carry hefty contracts, which Vegas might shy away from so not to restrict the teams payroll structure under the salary cap.

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Reports have been swirling that the Blackhawks already have a deal in place to ensure that the Golden Knights take Kruger in the draft, but the official announcement will not be made until after the draft on Wednesday.

"We've got another office in there preparing for the entry draft", McPhee said. Detroit's Petr Mrazek, once considered the top Red Wings goaltender, wasn't protected along with defenseman Xavier Ouellet, a second-round pick in 2011. The protection lists have been submitted, and the Golden Knights are in their 72-hour window of exclusive free agent negotiation. Make your guesses as to who Vegas will select in our Expansion Draft Pool.

There are very good players available, but rather than select them for a middling club, Vegas is going to ransom them in exchange for young players or for draft picks, in the hopes of building a legitimately good roster a few years down the line. Rules of that nature will make it easier for the team to collect a cache of draft picks before they ever play a single game. "They only need a couple, and there's opportunities for trades from that perspective".

Kunitz and Fleury are among the most high-profile players available in this week's draft for the expansion Vegas Golden Knights who will make their National Hockey League debut in the 2017-18 season.

Similarly, the Anaheim Ducks are expected to send one of Shea Theodore, Nick Ritchie or Brandon Montour to Vegas so the Golden Knights keep their paws off Josh Manson.

Lots of people wondered whether or not Dennis Rasmussen would be among the protected. They'll announce the team during the NHL Awards on Wednesday, June 21st but rumblings have already begun on who will be on the initial roster.

The NHL salary cap has been set at $75 million for this season in a slight increase over previous year. “Im really interested to see how much movement that theres going to be.”.


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