Expansion Draft – Ducks, Predators, Senators, Penguins

The final 4. With the Stanley Cup Final here, we look at the last 4 surviving teams to see who will be protected and who will be left for the Vegas Golden Knights to select from. With 4 clearly quality rosters, there ought to be something worth selecting for the Knights.   Mike, Joe and Carl make the picks this time. For the previous teams selected:

Oilers, Rangers, Blues, Capitals

Bruins, Blue Jackets, Leafs, Canadiens

Flames, Blackhawks, Wild, Sharks

Sabres, Hurricanes, Panthers, Kings, Islanders, Flyers, Lightning

Coyotes, Avalanche, Stars, Red Wings, Devils, Canucks, Jets

Rules and regulations for the expansion draft can be found on NHL.com

Anaheim Ducks (Joe)

The Ducks fell just short of the cup with John Gibson injured and journeyman Jonathan Bernier in net. Without their number 1 the Ducks, previously dominate, just couldn’t get past the Predators and Pekka Rinne. With the expansion draft coming up and injury news flying out of Anaheim it’ll be interesting to find out if they’re willing to leave someone unprotected to see if the injury will scare the Knights off.

Protected Unprotected Exempt
 Corey Perry Jakob Silfverberg  Nick Ritchie
 Ryan Getzlaf  Logan Shaw  Max Jones
 Ryan Kesler  Andrew Cogliano  Jack Kopacka
 Rickard Rakell  Antoine Vermette
 Hampus Lindholm  Jared Boll
 Sami Vatanen  Chris Wagner
 Cam Fowler  Josh Manson
 Kevin Bieksa  Dustin Tokarski
 John Gibson


Nashville Predators (Carl)

The #16 seed in the Stanley Cup playoffs are currently 3 wins away from being Stanley Cup champions. As much as some people want to give all the credit to the crowd in Nashville, the real heroes are the blueline. Holding both Crosby and Malkin shotless in Game #3, their excellence can be seen. Protecting 4 defensemen means that a quality forward will be lost by Nashville. Vegas will have plenty to chose from when the time comes.

Protected Unprotected Exempt
 Ryan Johansen  Craig Smith  Kevin Fiala
 Filip Forsberg  Colin Wilson  Frederick Gaudreau
 James Neal  Calle Jarnkrok  Juuse Saros
 Viktor Arvidsson  Cody McLeod
 P.K. Subban  Colton Sissons
 Ryan Ellis  Miikka Salomaki
 Mattias Ekholm  Matt Irwin
 Roman Josi  Marek Mazanec
 Pekka Rinne

Ottawa Senators (Mike)

My original plan was to protect Anderson and Karlsson and leave everyone else unprotected. But the rules don’t work that way. Somehow Guy Boucher dragged the Senators into the Conference Finals, a fine feat considering he has but two competent players on the roster. Anderson and Karlsson were the first to be protected as without them Ottawa would crumble into dust. If the front office could convince Phaneuf to waive his NMC then he might make an interesting target for Vegas. But as it stands it’s gonna be slim pickings for the expansion new boys.

Protected Unprotected Exempt
 Craig Anderson  Bobby Ryan  Andreas Englund
 Erik Karlsson  Clarke MacArthur  Colin White
 Kyle Turris  Alexandre Burrows  Chris Didomenico
 Mark Stone  Marc Methot
 Derick Brassard  Mark Borowiecki
 Dion Phaneuf  Chris Wideman
 Zack Smith  Fredrik Claesson
 Jean-Gabriel Pageau  Jyrki Jokipakka
 Ryan Dzingel
 Cody Ceci

Pittsburgh Penguins (Mike)

If Marc-Andre Fleury could be persuaded to part ways with his NMC then he’d be a great addition to the Vegas Golden Knights while solving a big part of the Pens’ salary cap issues. Whoever ends up getting protected, I’d be very surprised if Vegas didn’t pick up one of their goalies from Pittsburgh. The Pens have a lot of big names who’ll be out of contract very soon: Chris Kunitz, Nick Bonino to name but two and need to tie up some big contracts.

Protected Unprotected Exempt
Evgeni Malkin Tom Kuhnhackl  Jake Guentzel
Sidney Crosby Ian Cole Conor Sheary
Phil Kessel Brian Dumoulin Carter Rowney
Kris Letang Matthew Murray Zach Aston-Reece
Marc-Andre Fleury Thomas DiPauli
Olli Maatta
Bryan Rust
Justin Schultz
Carl Hagelin
Patric Hornqvist
Scott Wilson

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