Predicting Protected Lists: Nashville Predators
The plan of action for the Nashville Predators in regards to the expansion draft is relatively easy to predict. They will be going with four forwards and four defensemen and there are clear choices for those slots for most part.
Up front, Ryan Johansen, James Neal, and Filip Forsberg will be protected. All three are key to Nashville’s offensive success.
The other spot could either go to Viktor Arvidsson or Craig Smith, depending on who David Poile and Peter Laviolette prefer.
The four defensemen are even less difficult to put together. It will be PK Subban, Mattias Ekholm, Ryan Ellis, and Roman Josi.
In goal, Pekka Rinne has a no-movement clause and will be protected.
Vegas will probably be taking a forward from Nashville. Whoever is exposed out of Arvidsson or Smith will be a top choice. Calle Jarnkrok (and his insane contract that has five more years at $2 million per) is a prime candidate as well. Colin Wilson and Colton Sissons are less likely possibilities.
Had he not been exempt, goaltender Juuse Saros would have been a good bet too.
Nashville’s likely protection list:
Forwards: Ryan Johansen, James Neal, Filip Forsberg, and Viktor Arvidsson OR Craig Smith
Defense: PK Subban, Mattias Ekholm, Ryan Ellis, Roman Josi
Goalie: Pekka Rinne
Next team: New Jersey Devils