Chicago Blackhawks Reveal Expansion Draft Protected List

Posted June 21, 2017

The teams submitted their lists to the National Hockey League this weekend and those lists were made available to the public on Sunday. It will last through Tuesday. 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.

Only players with more than two years of pro experience needed to be protected, so the Bruins didn't have to protect young defensemen Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo.

Key among those rumors and assumptions was that the Anaheim Ducks and Golden Knights have a deal in place that involves Sami Vatanen.

Regarding the player that sparked some internal debate on Monday morning - the guy who could either be in the starting lineup for the Golden Knights in October or traded away for assets - McPhee said they've ultimately made a decision to select him and keep him.

"We really like what we're looking at right now", McPhee said Sunday, per TSN.

In addition to Rask, forwards David Backes, Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Brad Marchand, Riley Nash, Ryan Spooner and David Pastrnak are not available to the Golden Knights, nor are defensemen Zdeno Chara, Torey Krug and Kevan Miller.

Neal is a nine-time 20-goal scorer. As for defensemen, Minnesota exposed both Matt Dumba and Marco Scandella, while Buffalos Zach Bogosian and Dallas Dan Hamhuis are also available.

Keep in mind that just because a player has been left unprotected doesn't mean he's necessarily going to be snapped up by Vegas.

Some players left unprotected, such as Ottawa forward Bobby Ryan, carry hefty contracts, which Vegas might shy away from so not to restrict the teams payroll structure under the salary cap.

The Vegas Golden Knights, the NHL's latest expansion team, will begin play next season. "Now that we're here at the finish line, we can look back and say we're glad that we did". Among the notable players left unprotected were Nate Schmidt, Philipp Grubauer, Jay Beagle, Brett Connolly, Tyler Graovac, Brooks Orpik and Taylor Chorney and all five unrestricted free agents, an impressive group that features T.J. Oshie, Kevin Shattenkirk, Justin Williams, Karl Alzner and Daniel Winnik.

Theres also nothing barring Vegas from making deals to select a player and trade him to another team. "We are going to pick our team tomorrow". A 30-goal guy on a one-year, $750,000 deal, there's no team in the league that wouldn't want him. Opportunistic GMs can feed the Golden Knights future to get a player who otherwise wouldnt be on the trade market.

The list of players protected from Wednesday's draft to stock the expansion Vegas Golden Knights is out, and conversely-and most importantly-the list of unprotected players.

"This is a complicated process", McPhee said.

ROLLING THE DICE: Pending free agent Kevin Shattenkirk of the Capitals wants to be a No. 1 defenseman and could get that role in Vegas.

"Vegas has indicated that they will give all 30 clubs every opportunity to keep their rosters intact if they'd like", read the press release.

Lots of people wondered whether or not Dennis Rasmussen would be among the protected. Vegas must select players whose salary cap charges add up to at least $43.8 million, or 60 percent of the $73 million salary cap that was in place for the 2016-17 season.

Even after spending four straight days on the phone, he didn't seem daunted by the task.