Predicting Protected Lists: Edmonton Oilers
Luckily for the Edmonton Oilers, Connor McDavid is exempt from the expansion draft. It is just mind-boggling to even think about that to be fair — a 100 point scorer, Art Ross Trophy winner, and potential Hart Trophy winner is exempt from the expansion draft. It just goes to show the true brilliance of McDavid at such a young age.
As for the rest of the team, the Oilers should not have many problems when it comes to the expansion draft.
Up front, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Milan Lucic, Leon Draisaitl, and Patrick Maroon are guaranteed to be protected. Jordan Eberle could go on this list too, even if he is likely to be traded after the expansion draft happens.
The last two spots could go to Zack Kassian and Jujgar Khaira.
Edmonton is Kassian’s third NHL team and he has seen time split between the NHL and the AHL over time, but he seems to have found a home with the Oilers. He was dominant as a power forward in the playoffs, especially in Edmonton’s first round matchup against San Jose.
Khaira was a third round pick in 2012 by Edmonton. He has only appeared in 25 NHL games, but he is a more attractive option to protect than Benoit Pouliot, Iiro Pakarinen, or Mark Letestu are.
As for defense, it seems extremely likely that it is Andrej Sekera, Oscar Klefbom, and Adam Larsson that will get protected. Sekera has a no-movement clause and the other two are young defensemen with plenty of time left to grow.
In goal, Cam Talbot has a no-movement clause and will be protected.
The Edmonton Oilers protection list could shake out like this:
Forwards: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle, Milan Lucic, Leon Draisaitl, Patrick Maroon, Zack Kassian, Jujhar Khaira
Defense: Andrej Sekera, Oscar Klefbom, Adam Larsson
Goalie: Cam Talbot
For players that Vegas could take, Griffin Reinhart and Mark Letestu are options.
Next team: Florida Panthers