Predicting Protected Lists: Chicago Blackhawks
The Blackhawks are in a tough spot for the expansion draft. They have eight players currently on no-movement clauses, including three defensemen. Chicago does not have many options in terms of who they are going to protect, but they could make some deals before the expansion draft to ensure they do not lose a major asset.
From the forward group, Kane, Toews, Anisimov, and Hossa all have no-movement clauses. None are expected to waive.
For the remaining three spots, Ryan Hartman and Richard Panik will likely get two of them.
The last protection space could go to either Dennis Rasmussen or Tomas Jurco.
On defense, Stan Bowman does not have a choice (unless he goes with 8 skaters and 1 goalie and loses Ryan Hartman instead — which is highly unlikely). Keith, Seabrook, and Hjalmarsson have no-movement clauses.
By being required to protect these three defensemen, the likes of Ville Pokka and Trevor van Riemsdyk will be exposed.
In goal, Corey Crawford also has a no-movement clause. Scott Darling was traded to Carolina a few weeks ago, so protecting Crawford is not an issue.
Chicago’s protection list is likely to look like this:
Forwards: Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Artem Anisimov, Marian Hossa, Ryan Hartman, Richard Panik, and Dennis Rasmussen OR Tomas Jurco
Defense: Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, and Nick Hjalmarsson
Goalie: Corey Crawford
In all, the Blackhawks have very limited options when it comes to the expansion draft unless they make a significant trade.
There have been rumors of Vegas taking Marcus Kruger’s contract, but the Blackhawks would be giving up Trevor van Riemsdyk and other assets to Vegas as well. However, nothing has come to fruition yet.
Next team: Colorado Avalanche