The week of the expansion draft is now upon the NHL. Teams have already submitted their protected players list, but of course that’s only about 11 or so players. On every NHL team there are players who teams do not want to lose but they could not protect. The Bruins are no exception, there is plenty of talent in Boston available for Seattle to take.
Boston’s Protected Players
The Bruins opted to protect seven forwards, three defenseman and one goalie. Their list of protected players is; Forwards: Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak, Charlie Coyle, Craig Smith, Jake DeBrusk, Trent Fredric.
Defenseman: Charlie McAvoy, Brandon Carlo, Matt Grzelcyk.
Goalie: Dan Vladar
Many of these protected players were obvious choices for Boston in the expansion draft. Most of the names on Boston’s protected list are pretty much the Bruins’ core. Notable absences from this list are David Krejci, Taylor Hall and Tuukka Rask. However those players are free agents, so Seattle selecting any of them on Wednesday would be redundant.
Boston’s Exposed Players
Since Boston only protected 11 players, that obviously means that there are plenty who are not protected. A few of the exposed players are going to be entering free agency, so it is a good bet that they will not be selected by Seattle. There are players though who are still under contract with Boston, and Seattle may just have its eyes on them.
Forwards such as Ondrej Kase and Nick Ritchie are two candidates for Seattle. Both these players would serve as decent bottom six forwards for Seattle. Both Kase and Ritchie though are restricted free agents. Seattle selecting RFAs though would not be redundant like selecting unrestricted free agents. Ritchie or Kase would have to negotiate with Seattle for a new contract if selected. If they do not want to sign in Seattle, then the Kraken can use Ritchie’s or Kase’s as leverage in a trade.
Boston also has a decent number of young defenseman available. Defenseman such as Connor Clifton, Steven Kampfer, Jeremy Lauzon and Jakub Zboril all are available for Seattle. Each of these defenseman have seen decent NHL minutes and have produced decent performances. Each of these defenseman have potential, and Seattle may want to jump on that.
Who Will Seattle Take?
After the expansion draft, a Bruins defenseman will most likely be a Kraken defenseman. While the Bruins do have decently skilled forwards exposed, the potential talent on defense in Boston is something Seattle will most likely want. Seattle may not exactly be looking to recreate the 2018 magic of the Golden Knights, so selecting a young team to mold and build around may be their strategy.
Of the defenseman listed earlier, the prime candidate for Seattle to take might just be Connor Clifton. The 26-year old never has played a big role in Boston but has turned out decent performances. While he may not be as young or have as much potential as other available defenseman, Clifton could serve very well in a bottom 4 defense pairing for Seattle. Perhaps too on a different team, Clifton could shine like how players selected by Vegas in 2018 have.
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