Predicting Protected Lists: Calgary Flames
The Flames have a few small questions to answer before the expansion draft. They are not in as precarious of a situation as many other teams are heading into June, though.
For forwards, the Flames are definitely going to protect Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, Sam Bennett, and Mikael Baklund.
Michael Frolik also appears to be a shoe-in for a protection spot.
For the last two forward spots, it could come down to a number of players. Curtis Lazar, Michael Ferland, Hunter Shinkaruk, Emile Poirier, and Lance Bouma all could take positions.
However, if I had to guess, I would put Lazar on the protection list and one of Bouma or Ferland. The other options, Shinkaruk and Poirier, have upside but have not proved enough to warrant a place.
On defense, the selections are obvious. Mark Giordano, TJ Brodie, and Dougie Hamilton will be protected.
In goal, the Flames currently have two free agents in Chad Johnson and Brian Elliott and one AHL goalie in Tom McCollum.
The Flames need another signed goalie in order to fill the exposure requirements unless they choose to protect a free agent. Or, they could sign and protect one of Johnson (more likely) or Elliott (less likely). There are a lot of variables there.
The Flames protection list in the end could be:
Forwards: Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, Sam Bennett, Michael Frolik, Mikael Backlund, Curtis Lazar, and Lance Bouma OR Michael Ferland
Defense: Mark Giordano, TJ Brodie, Dougie Hamilton
Goalie: Tom McCollum or a signed Johnson/Elliott or a separate acquired goalie
Vegas could wind up taking Shinkaruk or Poirier for AHL depth.
Next team: Carolina Hurricanes