Blues' protected list will be announced soon

Kristopher Nichols
June 19, 2017

Penn State has had its share over the past few years, Eamon McAdam's status as a third round NY islanders draft choice the highest a Penn State player has gone. He's owed just $2.075 million next season and is controllable through 2018. But in protecting seven forwards, the Hawks have to expose van Riemsdyk, who will be entering the past year of his entry-level deal.

The Panthers left Jonathan Marchessault out there after he broke through last season by leading Florida with 30 goals. After 22-goal scorer Panik re-signed with the team on a two-year deal, a source told the Tribune the team was likely to protect him in the expansion draft.

His appeal: Like Manson, Dumba could be a nice long-term piece for the Vegas core, a former top-10 pick (seventh overall in 2012) coming off his finest National Hockey League season.

Vegas has not been shy about wanting to go big in its first offseason, whether through trades, the open market or expansion draft-fueled deals. A former first round pick with good size (six foot three) and youth on his side, Nelson would offer the Knights depth down the middle and team control after next season.

Kevan Miller: In what was really a year-long tryout between Adam McQuaid, Kevan Miller, and Colin Miller, I really think it was a strong postseason showing from Kevan Miller that's earned him the right as the club's third and final protected defenseman. Youngsters Connor McDavid and Darnell Nurse don't meet the minimum pro experience criteria, so they're automatically protected and don't need to be exposed. Girardi and the Rangers bid an emotional goodbye after 11 seasons, but it was a necessary move as many of these are with Vegas about to poach 30 players for its inaugural season. Though he's clearly overpaid, he's one of the team's assistant captains and could be in line to inherit the "C" when Zetterberg retires. With Brian Elliott a pending UFA, the Flames have no NHL-level goalies under contract to be exposed. Deals with the Knights can be made until 5 a.m. Thursday.

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This story has been corrected by removing Red Wings defenseman Mike Green from list of unprotected players. Could there be more trades for these guys?

His appeal: Grubauer posted numbers this past season in Washington that were actually slightly better (in far fewer starts mind you) than teammate Braden Holtby, a Vezina trophy nominee. Just like they will deal with it if McPhee takes Grabner or Lindberg or Fast.

That leaves the Blues with approximately $6.5 million in cap space with 20 players signed. With his last name, his 17 goals past year and the fact he's a top face-off performer, it's a good bet Vegas would take him, too.

Hear Mike Zeisberger's take on the Stanley Cup Final and the upcoming National Hockey League expansion draft.

If the Golden Knights selected Ward, the Sharks would get rid of some dead weight in their forward group while Vegas would gain veteran leadership in what will likely be a young locker room.

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