Vancouver’s Protected List for the 2017 Expansion Draft

Now that expansion to Las Vegas has been announced, the expansion draft rules have been set, and the draft and free agency are now complete, we can finally begin to take a good look at the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft and its potential implications.

 

First of all, here are those rules:

https://www.nhl.com/news/nhl-expansion-draft-rules/c-281010592

 

“The following rules were approved for the 2017 Expansion Draft:

Protected Lists
* Clubs will have two options for players they wish to protect in the Expansion Draft:

  1. a) Seven forwards, three defensemen and one goaltender
  2. b) Eight skaters (forwards/defensemen) and one goaltender

* All players who have currently effective and continuing “No Movement” clauses at the time of the Expansion Draft (and who to decline to waive such clauses) must be protected (and will be counted toward their club’s applicable protection limits).

* All first- and second-year professionals, as well as all unsigned draft choices, will be exempt from selection (and will not be counted toward their club’s applicable protection limits).

Player Exposure Requirements
* All Clubs must meet the following minimum requirements regarding players exposed for selection in the Expansion Draft:

  1. i) One defenseman who is a) under contract in 2017-18 and b) played in 40 or more NHL games the prior season OR played in 70 or more NHL games in the prior two seasons.
  2. ii) Two forwards who are a) under contract in 2017-18 and b) played in 40 or more NHL games the prior season OR played in 70 or more NHL games in the prior two seasons.

iii) One goaltender who is under contract in 2017-18 or will be a restricted free agent at the expiration of his current contract immediately prior to 2017-18. If the club elects to make a restricted free agent goaltender available in order to meet this requirement, that goaltender must have received his qualifying offer prior to the submission of the club’s protected list.

* Players with potential career-ending injuries who have missed more than the previous 60 consecutive games (or who otherwise have been confirmed to have a career-threatening injury) may not be used to satisfy a club’s player exposure requirements, unless approval is received from the NHL. Such players also may be deemed exempt from selection by the League.”

 

Vancouver Canucks Ideal Protected List:

First, we’ll look at who the Canucks would ideally protect, and then check it against the exposure requirements and make any necessary adjustments.

There is no doubt that the Canucks will choose the 7 forwards, 3 defense, 1 goalie option.

Canuck contract information from:

https://www.capfriendly.com/teams/canucks

 

Forwards:

Henrik Sedin- Has to be protected due to his NMC, and would be anyway.

Daniel Sedin- Ditto for Daniel.

Loui Eriksson-Eriksson is in the same boat as the Sedins with a NMC, and the team just committed to him long-term anyway.

Bo Horvat- Horvat is the most valuable Canuck forward and will not be exposed under any circumstance.

Sven Baertschi- Baertschi has developed into a dynamic scoring threat and is signed to a cheap contract for the next two years.

Brandon Sutter- Although Canucks fans haven’t seen much of Sutter due to injury, his contract makes him a core piece of the Canucks moving forward. Here’s hoping for a healthy 2016-17 season so he can earn that status on the ice, too.

Jannik Hansen/Anton Rodin- This will be the Canucks’ toughest decision. If Rodin plays well at the NHL level, the Canucks should look to re-sign him and trade Hansen for value before he is exposed in the Expansion Draft. Hansen would almost certainly be picked by Las Vegas, so it makes sense to cash in on him now if it looks like they will protect Rodin.

 

Defense:

Chris Tanev- A no-brainer, Tanev is the best Canucks defenseman by a mile.

Alex Edler- The Canucks may still be exploring the option of trading Alex Edler, but at this point it’s hard to imagine them doing so without a roughly equivalent blueliner returning. Either way, the Canucks don’t really have anyone else worth protecting here.

Erik Gudbranson- No matter what kind of season Gudbranson has, it’s unlikely the Canucks will expose their new acquisition. Gudbranson is up for a new contract at the end of the season, but he is a Restricted Free Agent, meaning that the Canucks could lose his re-signing rights if he were exposed.

 

Goalie:

Jacob Markstrom- Perhaps the biggest no brainer. Markstrom is the only goalie we need to protect, with Miller’s contract expiring and Thatcher Demko and Michael Garteig exempt. Nevermind the fact that Markstrom should be the starting goalie for the 2016-17 season.

 

Exempt:

Jake Virtanen, Ben Hutton, Nikita Tryamkin, Thatcher Demko, Brock Boeser, Olli Juolevi, Michael Garteig, Troy Stecher, Yan-Pavel Laplante, Jordan Subban, Guillame Brisebois, Joe Labate, Ashton Sautner, Mackenze Stewart, Anton Cedarholm, Cole Cassels, Evan McEneny, Tom Nilsson+ all unsigned draft choices or any signed between now and then.

The Canucks catch a bit of a break on Tryamkin and Nilsson, as European pro experience does not count as any of the minimum two professional seasons to be exposed. On the flip side, AHL experience does count, so players like Brendan Gaunce and Alex Grenier are eligible to be exposed.

 

Exposed:

Jannik Hansen/Anton Rodin, Alex Burrows, Derek Dorsett, Markus Granlund, Brendan Gaunce, Emerson Etem, Mike Zalewski, Luca Sbisa, Alex Biega, Andrey Pedan, Ryan Miller, Philip Larsen, Jayson Megna, Michael Chaput, Chad Billins, Borna Rendulic, Richard Bachman, Alex Grenier

 

Exposure Requirements Check?:

i) One defenseman who is a) under contract in 2017-18 and b) played in 40 or more NHL games the prior season OR played in 70 or more NHL games in the prior two seasons.

CHECK: Luca Sbisa and Alex Biega!

 

 ii) Two forwards who are a) under contract in 2017-18 and b) played in 40 or more NHL games the prior season OR played in 70 or more NHL games in the prior two seasons.

CHECK: Derek Dorsett, Markus Granlund, and Jannik Hansen if he’s exposed

 

iii) One goaltender who is under contract in 2017-18 or will be a restricted free agent at the expiration of his current contract immediately prior to 2017-18. If the club elects to make a restricted free agent goaltender available in order to meet this requirement, that goaltender must have received his qualifying offer prior to the submission of the club’s protected list.

UN-CHECK: The Canucks are missing someone here, as Ryan Miller and Richard Bachman both have their contracts expiring at the end of the season. The simple solution is to just re-sign Bachman and expose him. Otherwise, the team will have to get creative and trade for someone to expose, because they’re definitely not exposing Markstrom or Demko!

 

THOUGHTS:

The Canucks are one of the luckier teams when it comes to the Expansion Draft, as they will not lose any key pieces. If Anton Rodin plays well, the team will almost certainly have to expose Jannik Hansen, so it may make sense to trade him for value now.

Canucks fans may hope that a player with a long-term contract, like Sbisa or Dorsett are taken, and while that is possible, it is more likely that the Canucks will be plundered for a depth player. Remember, the Las Vegas team must pick 30 players, one from every team, and so they’ll need players to fill out their minor league roster and healthy scratches, too. Since the Canucks have a fairly weak roster, it is likely that Las Vegas will pick their upper tier players from other teams and look for low-salary options from the Canucks.

With that in mind, I would predict the Canucks lose either Andrey Pedan or Brendan Gaunce.

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