Predicting Protected Lists: Arizona Coyotes
Unlike the Ducks, the Coyotes are in a solid spot in terms of expansion. GM John Chayka does not have the best forward group, and therefore Arizona might have a few spots open up front to acquire and protect players via trade.
The only player on the Coyotes with a no-movement clause is Alex Goligoski. Despite a first disappointing season in Arizona, he would have likely been protected regardless so the clause is not an issue.
In terms of other defensemen, Oliver Ekman-Larsson is easily protected. Connor Murphy, a young and promising defenseman who recently captained the United States at Worlds, is likely to be protected as well.
Due to their weakness up front, the Coyotes could wind up protecting four defensemen for the expansion draft. The other defensive protection spot could go to one of two of Luke Schenn or Kevin Connauton. If I had to make a guess, I would say Schenn gets the nod.
Because in this scenario the Coyotes are protecting four defensemen, they only have four forward spots to use. They have a few unrestricted free agents (like Shane Doan and Radim Vrbata), so they are not issues.
They have a few restricted free agents to worry about, but no one of huge significance that they might lose.
The Arizona Coyotes expansion draft protection list could wind up looking like this:
Forwards: Anthony Duclair, Jamie McGinn, Tobias Rieder, Jordan Martinook
Defense: Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Connor Murphy, Alex Goligoski, Luke Schenn
Goalie: Mike Smith
In terms of players the Coyotes could lose, Louis Domingue, Kevin Connauton, and Brad Richardson are possible bets.
Should they acquire another forward or two to protect, the Coyotes would switch to the 7-3-1 protection scenario instead of 8-1.
Next team: Boston Bruins