On Saturday, July 17, each NHL team (except the Vegas Golden Knights) will submit a small list of players who cannot be selected in the Expansion Draft. The Seattle Kraken will then choose a roster of players who have been excluded from those rosters to form the majority of their roster for their inaugural season in 2021-22.
Existing teams can choose to protect seven forwards, three defenders and a goalie. There is also an option to protect eight skaters if a team prefers to have more than seven forwards or three defenders, although this is two less protected skaters, and therefore a rare option. Despite this, six teams – the Arizona Coyotes, Florida Panthers, Los Angeles Kings, New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins – opted for this path in 2017 when Las Vegas entered the league.
This is the first decision each of the 30 eligible CEOs must make, choosing the strategy that best fits their roster. Marc Bergevin envisioned this for his group of Montreal Canadiens players, using the playoff race to make final evaluations. These are the players eligible for protection with whom he deals.
|Josh Anderson||27.2||RW||UFA 2027|
|Joel armia||28.1||RW||UFA 2021|
|Brandon Baddock||26,3||LW||UFA 2022|
|Joseph Blandisi||27,0||C||Call for tenders 2021|
|Paul Byron||32,2||RW||UFA 2023|
|Philippe Danault||28,4||C||UFA 2021|
|Laurent Dauphin||26,3||C||Call for tenders 2021|
|Jonathan drouin||26,3||LW||UFA 2023|
|Jake Evans||25.1||C||Call for tenders 2022|
|Michel Frolik||33,4||LW||UFA 2021|
|Brendan Gallagher||29.2||RW||UFA 2027 + NMC|
|Charles Hudon||27.1||LW||Call for tenders 2020|
|Jesperi Kotkaniemi||21,0||C||Call for tenders 2021|
|Artturi Lehkonen||26,0||LW||Call for tenders 2021|
|Corey Perry||36,2||RW||UFA 2021|
|Michel Pezzetta||23.3||LW||Call for tenders 2021|
|Eric Staal||36,7||C||UFA 2021|
|Tomas Tatar||30.6||LW||UFA 2021|
|Tyler Toffoli||29.2||RW||UFA 2024|
|Lukas Vejdemo||25,5||C||Call for tenders 2021|
|Ben Chiarot||30.2||LD||UFA 2022|
|Joël Edmundson||28,0||LD||UFA 2024|
|Cale Fleury||22,6||DR||Call for tenders 2021|
|Erik Gustafsson||29,3||LD||UFA 2021|
|Brett Kulak||27,5||LD||UFA 2022|
|Jon Merrill||29,4||LD||UFA 2021|
|Gustave Olofsson||26,6||LD||Call for tenders 2021|
|Xavier Ouellet||28,0||LD||UFA 2022|
|Jeff Petry||33,6||DR||UFA 2025 + NMC|
|Shea Weber||35,9||DR||UFA 2026|
|Player||Date of Birth||Age||Contract|
|Player||Date of Birth||Age||Contract|
|Jake Allen||1990-08-07||30,9||UFA 2023|
|Charlie Lindgren||1993-12-18||27,6||UFA 2021|
|Michael McNiven||1997-07-09||24,0||Call for tenders 2021|
|Prix Carey||1987-08-16||33,9||UFA 2026 + NMC|
It’s not just about protecting the players you want to keep. There are certain rules for players that must be left exposed. There must be a goaltender who is either under contract for next year or a restricted free agent at the end of it. Carey Price, Jake Allen and Michael McNiven all meet this requirement. Each team must also leave at least one defender and at least two strikers unprotected who are under contract for the 2021-22 season and who have played 27 games this year for a total of 54 in the last two campaigns.
Seattle will select a roster of at least 20 contracted players (they are still able to choose unrestricted or restrained free agents on hold) that represents between 60% and 100% of the $ 81.5 million salary cap of the next season. The 30-player roster they end up with must have at least 14 forwards, nine defenders and three goalkeepers.
Four members of the Eyes on the prize staff submitted fictitious protected lists (easily CapFriendly‘s fictitious extension draft tool). Such were the results of these polls.
There was no controversy surrounding which goalie would be protected. There had been talk of asking Price to waive his no-move clause (teams are required to protect any player who has one) either to accept a move closer to his home province or to help protect Allen who has a much more acceptable salary for the new franchise. However, after the playoffs, Price proved he is not a player one wants to even risk parting with as the Canadiens window of contention opens.
All four participants went the 7-3-1 route, and Shea Weber and Jeff Petry were on all the rosters, but there was some debate over who should be the third defenseman. Three went with youngster Joel Edmundson who had a great season and strong playoff performance. One of them chose Ben Chiarot instead, enjoying the greater flexibility his remaining contract – one year against Edmundson’s three – gives the team with a host of promising defensive prospects.
Consensus was also reached on six of the seven attackers we would protect. Josh Anderson, Brendan Gallagher and Tyler Toffoli, who all have contracts for at least the next three years, are expected to stay with the squad. While waiting for the restricted free agents, Artturi Lehkonen and Jesperi Kotkaniemi were also chosen by the four. Jake Evans probably wasn’t on a lot of simulation rosters during the regular season, but he really showed his playoff value with his speed and defensive play, both of which extended to the best penalty shootout in the playoffs. At 25 and just $ 750,000, this is a very attractive skill set for a club watching a lot of overpriced last six players left unprotected by other teams.
The majority of the staff feel the same about Phillip Danault, as the mainstream idea seems to try to protect as many U-30 centers as possible, but one list instead included Joel Armia. Armia demonstrated the puck protection and penalty kill skills that her big body allows during the playoffs. With the negotiation of Danault’s contract already a bit dramatic, it is feared that an agreement could be reached by the player and the team, and therefore that a place of protection would be wasted. This concern can be allayed if a contract extension is signed in the next few days before the protection list expires.
Any version of a list with the options listed above still leaves some key names available. One of the best projected selections of the Montreal squad is Allen. He’s ranked 33rd in the NHL in save percentage this year among goaltenders to have played 10 games. He could take on the role of a competent starter when needed and serves as a top-of-the-line number two in tandem, as Montreal has seen this year. It would be a major loss for Montreal, and it would likely force Bergevin to trade to find a similar goalie for next year.
The Kraken might have their eye on which one of Edmundson and Chiarot remains available, Brett Kulak and his contract year, or perhaps restricted free agent Cale Fleury, but it’s more likely they’re watching forwards s ‘They don’t choose Allen.
There are two more signed forwards who meet the exposure requirement that weren’t on either of our rosters: Paul Byron and Jonathan Drouin. Byron had a decent playoff performance, but it wasn’t a performance that made him stand out from similar defensive players, and his age (32) and success ($ 3.4 million for two years of more) conspire against his chances of being protected.
Drouin took time off from the team in April and has been absent from the team since. He is much younger than Byron but has the same two years left with a sizeable salary. We’re not sure what’s stopping Drouin from playing, but if it’s something that a change of pace and scenery could help alleviate, Seattle might be very interested in adding a skilled playmaker to the game. listing.
Corey Perry is also an option. He doesn’t have a contract beyond this year, but the Kraken can still pick him up and try to negotiate a deal. In fact, they can speak with any unprotected unrestricted free agent between the time the listings are submitted on July 17 and July 21. If the parties agree on a deal, that player becomes their pick from his former club, and everyone is safe. It looked like Perry was hoping to stay in Montreal during his end-of-season press conference, and an expansion franchise is probably not where Perry wants to play in one of his final seasons in the league as he goes. he’s looking for another Stanley Cup.
There is also Tomas Tatar, who also does not have a contract, but who will not be eager to return to the club which has decided to continue in the playoffs without him. He will be looking for a new team for next season. Could it be Seattle? Even if it does, it’s probably not a deal they’d want to make before the draft, taking on another player from the Montreal roster in the meantime.
At least one of the eight forwards from our protected list above will be available, whether it’s Danault or Armia, or Lehkonen or Evans. Any of them would be an everyday actor for the franchise, and potentially for a while. This could be a big advantage for a team just starting out in the league.
No matter who the new organization picks, it will be a bit of a pain for Montreal and will likely leave the GM looking for a replacement. Bergevin will not be alone as the league adds its 32nd team by siphoning off players from existing clubs. All of this sets up a busy off-season, and short at that.