Predicting Protected Lists: Minnesota Wild
The Minnesota Wild are in an undesirable spot when it comes to the expansion draft. General manager Chuck Fletcher is going to have to wind up making a trade or two to ensure that he does not lose quality players for nothing.
The Wild have three forwards on no-movement clauses, those being Zach Parise, Mikko Koivu, and Jason Pominville. The first two do not present a problem, however Pominville does.
Pominville is 34-years-old and has two years remaining on his deal at $5.6 million per. Pominville’s statline last season of 47 points in 78 games is not horrible, but he is still not an ideal protection candidate.
The Wild can ask Pominville to waive his no-movement clause or buy him out. It just depends on how they value him over someone like Eric Staal.
Staal is the odd man out if Pominville is protected. With young players such as Mikael Granlund, Charlie Coyle, Nino Niederreiter, and Jason Zucker needing protection, one of Staal or Pominville must be exposed.
On defense, the choices are just as difficult. Ryan Suter has a no-movement clause. Jared Spurgeon is also slated to be protected.
That leaves one spot for Jonas Brodin or Matt Dumba. One will not be exposed, but rather one will be traded. It is unclear which one player will be on his way out.
For goalies, Devan Dubnyk is the obvious selection to be protected.
The Wild’s protection list could look like this:
Forwards: Zach Parise, Mikko Koivu, Mikael Granlund, Nino Neiderreiter, Jason Zucker, Charlie Coyle, and Eric Staal OR Jason Pominville
Defense: Ryan Suter, Jared Spurgeon, and Jonas Brodin OR Matt Dumba
Goalie: Devan Dubnyk
Vegas has a number of options to take from Minnesota in this scenario. Staal if unprotected is one. Staal is not young, but he would provide a veteran presence for Vegas and help the franchise adjust nicely. His resurgence last season in Minnesota made this possible.
Erik Haula is another attractive option, as is Marco Scandella.
Next team: Montreal Canadiens