Red Wings Expansion Draft Protection List Revealed

Nichole Vega
June 19, 2017

It's possible Vegas general manager George McPhee might consider Ward, a veteran and former Stanley Cup victor with the Canes, or could take Lack. The NHL's newest team will select one player from each organization to complete its first roster. The goal behind this is to allow the Golden Knights to get a sense of whether or not they will be able to sign a free agent before going ahead and using a pick on them in the Expansion Draft.

According to a report last month from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Blues have chose to protect seven forwards, three defensemen and a goalie.

The Knights now have until Wednesday at 10 a.m. ET to submit their expansion draft selections and any standard player contracts that were signed.

"The issue for us isn't going to be, 'Can we fill out the roster?'" McPhee told reporters after the list was released. They will identify the best asset on each team they can select.

That left the required two forwards (Joakim Nordstrom and Lee Stempniak) and one defenseman (Klas Dahlbeck) with the required experience mandated by the league, along with goaltenders Cam Ward and Eddie Lack. The league's annual awards ceremonies will be held in Las Vegas on Wednesday and then teams will gather in Chicago for the two-day entry draft, which opens on Friday.

Impending unrestricted free agent forward Patrick Sharp is also preemptively available to Vegas during their exclusive 72-hour free agency window (which would preclude Dallas losing anyone else via the expansion draft) but that does not seem to be a probable outcome.

That benefits the Golden Knights because it maintained a deeper pool of talent available.

There's also nothing barring Vegas from having a deal in place to select a player in order to trade him to another team.

Some reports have trickled out, and there have been musings from well-connected media members that Vegas may already have as many as three first-round picks in its back pocket. Also needing to be accommodated are defenceman Marc-Edouard Vlasic and goalie Martin Jones, with a year to run on their deals and significant raises due.

With all that in mind, we assembled a panel of Postmedia hockey writers to look at which players are most likely to be protected by Canada's seven NHL team. Signing pending restricted free agent Marko Dano on Tuesday makes it likely he and Shawn Matthias are the forwards who are left unprotected under the 7-3-1 option.

Things remained quiet on that front as the Rangers approached Saturday's 5 p.m. deadline to submit their list of protected players. Smirnov finished last season with 47 points in 39 games to the tune of 28 assists and 19 goals.

After that there will be a frenzy of pre-draft trades and the usual flurry of activity just ahead of the July 1 opening of free agency, and numerous names we've heard floated over the last couple of weeks in trade rumors will likely be moved.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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