Predicting Protected Lists: Boston Bruins
Ahead of the expansion draft, the Bruins have a multitude of no-movement clause players that require protection. However, none of these players should cause a problem. A bunch of the Bruins core players moving forward are young and exempt from being selected by Vegas which is a huge advantage for Don Sweeney.
Up front, the Bruins are required to protect Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, and David Backes. None of these three would have been left exposed anyways.
For the remaining four slots, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak are definitely getting two of them.
The last two spots leave room for some flexibility. Ryan Spooner could get one, although he could be traded before protection lists are submitted as well. If the Bruins acquire a forward in exchange for Spooner, they could protect him if he is expansion eligible. Otherwise, there are not many other players the Bruins could protect.
If Spooner goes, they could choose to protect Alex Khokhlachev, a skilled forward who bolted to the KHL last season. It would just be a move to protect his rights from being taken by Vegas.
Riley Nash being on the protection list is plausible as well.
Jimmy Hayes and Matt Beleskey are also options, but Boston will likely leave both players unprotected in hopes that Vegas will take one of them.
On defense, Zdeno Chara has a no-movement clause and Torrey Krug is a sure-fire protected player. The last slot will probably go to Colin Miller, but the Bruins protecting Adam McQuaid instead would not be surprising.
In goal, Tuukka Rask will be protected. In all likelihood, it will be Malcolm Subban that winds up on Vegas’ team next season. Subban was Boston’s 24th overall pick in 2012.
Boston’s protection list could look like this:
Forwards: Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, David Backes, Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak, Riley Nash, Ryan Spooner
Defense: Zdeno Chara, Torrey Krug, Colin Miller OR Adam McQuaid
Goalie: Tuukka Rask
Next team: Buffalo Sabres