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Predicting Protected Lists: Colorado Avalanche 

Many of Colorado’s major moves, which could include trading Matt Duchene and Tyson Barrie, are likely to come after the expansion draft. That being established, Colorado will not have many issues, outside of goaltending, when it comes to Vegas taking a player from them. 

The Avalanche could go with either seven forwards and three defensemen or four forwards and four defensemen. It all comes down to whether they buy out Francois Beauchemin or if he waives his no-movement clause.

Beauchemin is 37-years-old with one more year on his deal at $4.5 million. A buyout would not be crippling for Colorado, but it still would not be ideal. Getting Beauchemin to waive his no-movement clause for the expansion draft would be a huge plus for Joe Sakic and company. 

Assuming Beauchemin is not protected, the Avalanche will likely go with the 7-3-1 scenario. 

Up front, Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog, and Matt Duchene will definitely be protected. 

Outside of those three, though, there are not many other clear choices. 

Mikhail Grigorenko is a decent asset that Colorado probably will not want to lose for nothing. 

Other protected players could include Sven Andrighetto, Joe Colborne, and Matt Nieto. Blake Comeau and Carl Soderberg are producing too little and have too big of contracts to warrant protection. 

On defense, without Beauchemin, it will likely be Tyson Barrie and Nikita Zadorov that will be protected, along with Erik Johnson who has a no-movement clause. 

In goal, Joe Sakic already said it will be Semyon Varlamov that will get the spot. Calvin Pickard, therefore, becomes a prime candidate to be picked by Vegas. 

The Colorado Avalanche’s protection list could wind up looking something like this:

Forwards: Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog, Matt Duchene, Mikhail Grigorenko, Matt Nieto, Sven Andrighetto, Joe Colborne 

Defense: Tyson Barrie, Erik Johnson, Nikita Zadorov 

Goalie: Semyon Varlamov 

The Avalanche have a lot of questions to answer in the next few weeks. Joe Sakic’s actions this June will determine the state of the franchise moving forward for the next decade. 

It all starts with the expansion draft. The Avalanche have a few core pieces set to be protected, but after that it becomes a matching game. In the end, they could still go down the route of four forwards and four defensemen (with Beauchemin or Barberio) as opposed to the option mentioned here. 

Next team: Columbus Blue Jackets 

-Kevin, @TheNHLFiles

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