Expansion Draft – Oilers, Rangers, Blues, Capitals

It’s time to look at the next bunch of lovable losers in the NHL playoffs.  These four lost in the conference finals, with a wide range of emotions. The Oilers were happy to get that far while the Capitals were furious to get bounced by the Penguins for the second year in a row. Today, Mike, Kyle, Joe and Carl let you know who will be chosen to be protected and left unprotected for the Edmonton Oilers, New York Rangers, St. Louis Blues and Washington Capitals. Previous teams can be found here:

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

Edmonton Oilers (Mike)

The Oilers’ first visit to the playoffs since 2006 came to a premature end at the gloves of the Anaheim Ducks. Well, Ryan Getzlaf. But Edmonton fans have a lot to be proud of, and even more to be excited about moving forward. Fortunately Connor McDavid is exempt, which is handy as the whole team is essentially built around him. To that end, I’ve protected his linemates. The Oilers’ strength lies in its offence so I’ve also saved the second and third lines from being reshuffled by Vegas. The Unprotected list is much shorter than other teams because a lot of the roster are set to become UFAs at end of the season. The front office will need to decide where to spend the money as they prepare for 2017/18.

Protected Unprotected Exempt
 Jordan Eberle   Benoit Pouliot   Connor McDavid
 Milan Lucic  Anton Lander   Anton Slepyshev
 Ryan Nugent-Hopkins  Iiro Pakarinen   Jesse Puljujarvi
 Mark Letestu  Laurent Brossoit  Drake Caggiula
 Patrick Maroon  Patrick Russell
 Zack Kassian  Matthew Benning
 Leon Draisaitl
 Andrej Sekera
 Oscar Klefbom
 Adam Larsson
 Cam Talbot


New York Rangers (Kyle)

Another season has ended early for the New York Rangers. “The King” is still without a Stanley Cup and hard decisions loom. Heading into the off season with the expansion draft right around the corner, the choices made by the front office might not be as cut and dry as many would think. Past contracts may handcuff the New York Rangers and this could cause young talent to go unprotected. If the Rangers could swing a trade of a veteran defenceman it would make things much more manageable, unfortunately the multiple NMC’s on this roster will make that easier said than done. It’s real possibility Vegas will get one of its nicest pieces from the Rangers roster and unless something big happens there is nothing they can do about it.

Protected Unprotected Exempt
 Rick Nash  Jesper Fast  Jimmy Vesey
 Derek Stepan  Tanner Glass  Pavel Buchnevich
 Chris Kreider  Michael Grabner  Brady Skjei
 Mats Zuccarello  Nick Holden
 J.T. Miller  Kevin Klein
 Mika Zibanejad  Brandon Pirri
 Kevin Hayes  Brendan Smith
 Dan Girardi  Oscar Lindberg
 Marc Staal
 Ryan McDonagh
 Henrik Lundqvist

St. Louis Blues (Joe)

The St. Louis Blues are in the boat they’re in every year, knocked out in the first or second round. At least this year they were able to claim that it wasn’t at the hands of the Chicago Blackhawks. Losing their second round series to the Nashville Predators in six games won’t be easy for this team to swallow either, with changes already coming in their coaching staff including Ray Bennett, Steve Thomas, Rick Wilson and Goaltending development coach Ty Conklin. This will truly allow the Mike Yeo era to begin in St. Louis and next season we will see if that is enough. They first need to get through the expansion draft though.

Protected Unprotected Exempt
 Vladimir Tarasenko  Ryan Reaves  Robby Fabbri
 Paul Stastny  Dmitrij Jaskin  Ivan Barbashev
 Alex Steen  Kyle Brodziak  Conner Bleackley
 Jaden Schwartz  Robert Bortuzzo
 Jori Lehtera  Jay Bouwmeester
 David Perron  Carter Hutton
 Patrik Berglund
 Carl Gunnarsson
 Alex Pietrangelo
 Joel Edmundson
 Jake Allen

Washington Capitals (Carl)

Questions abound when it comes to the offseason in Washington. Frustration levels were high after their second round exit to the Pittsburgh Penguins, and it’s hard to think that the front office will be content coming back with more of the same lineup next year. Fortunately, they’ll be forced to make some adjustments with several free agents. Which also means that there are limited options when it comes to who to leave unprotected. Most of the tough decisions come on the back end, with the likes of Carlson, Niskanen, Orpik, Orlov and Schmidt filling the current slots. Expect one of these defensemen to end up in Las Vegas.

Protected Unprotected Exempt
 Alex Ovechkin  Jay Beagle  Jakub Vrana
 Nicklas Backstrom  Brett Connolly
 Andre Burakovsky  Brooks Orpik
 Evgeny Kuznetsov  Nate Schmidt
 Lars Eller  Christian Djoos
 Marcus Johansson  Philipp Grubauer
 Tom Wilson
 Matt Niskanen
 John Carlson
 Dmitry Orlov
 Braden Holtby

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