Predicting Protected Lists: Los Angeles Kings
The Los Angeles Kings may go a more unconventional route than what people are expecting in terms of the expansion draft. Instead of protecting seven forwards and three defensemen, new general manager Rob Blake may elect to go with four forward and four defensemen.
Up front, the four locks to be protected would be Anze Kopitar, Jeff Carter, Tyler Toffoli, and Tanner Pearson.
That’s it. That’s where it ends here. There are certainly other candidates that could have been protected, like Nick Shore and Trevor Lewis, but the Kings have four valuable defensemen that they will not want to lose.
The four defensemen are Drew Doughty, Jake Muzzin, Alec Martinez, and Brayden McNabb.
To be fair, the Kings could send McNabb somewhere in a trade in exchange for a forward in the upcoming days. Or, the Kings could bribe George McPhee to take Marian Gaborik or Dustin Brown from them. The second scenario would likely come at a cost of their 11th overall pick, though.
If the Kings were to protect seven forwards and three defensemen with their current roster, it would likely be Trevor Lewis, Nick Shore, and Nic Dowd in and Brayden McNabb out.
For goalies, Jonathan Quick will undoubtedly be protected.
My guess is that the Los Angeles Kings’ protection list will look like the following:
Forwards: Anze Kopitar, Jeff Carter, Tyler Toffoli, Tanner Pearson
Defense: Drew Doughty, Jake Muzzin, Alec Martinez, Brayden McNabb
Goalie: Jonathan Quick
As I previously said though, it would not be surprising to see Los Angeles pull off a trade in the upcoming days. If a trade is made, it will obviously affect their standing for the expansion draft heavily.
Next team: Minnesota Wild