On June 22nd, Las Vegas was awarded the 31st franchise in the NHL and the rules of the Expansion Draft were made official. Since then 14 trades were completed. Here’s a breakdown of each of the 14 deals made prior to free agency beginning
- Nashville – The deal also probably turns the Predators from a 7/3/1 team to an 8/1 team. Subban, Josi, and Ekholm are no-brainers with Ryan Ellis as potential protected player as well. They’ll likely protect four of those five allowing for just four forwards to be protected. Craig Smith and Colin Wilson may be the odd men out as it currently stands.
- Montreal – Weber was projected by many to be exposed come June of next season by the Predators. Now, as a member of the Habs, he’ll almost certainly make the cut and will no longer by available to Las Vegas. It’s essentially a one for one swap with Subban so there’s no impact on the Canadiens roster.
- New Jersey – The addition of Hall means the Devils have one fewer forward spot to work with. Centers Tyler Kennedy or Joseph Blandisi may have fallen below the protection line with the move, but the Devils roster has a lot of shaping to do before June 17th, 2017. Defensively, the loss of Larsson likely means protection for either Jon Merrill or John Moore.
- Edmonton – With Andrej Sekera‘s NMC and the addition of Larsson, the Oilers are another team who may opt for 8/1 rather than 7/3/1. They currently have six defenseman making over $3 million and two more who qualify for the 40/70 rule. Mark Fayne and Nail Yakupov look like the highest profile names who may be exposed (assuming Yakupov is still on the roster at that time)
- Calgary – Chiasson can’t automatically be slotted in for protection on Calgary as he likely was in Ottawa. It’s possible the Flames were adding another asset to consider for exposure with Chiasson. Sieloff was not likely be protected by Calgary.
- Ottawa – Sieloff will likely not make the cut on the Senators either. Chiasson would probably have been considered for protection in Ottawa which leaves players like Chris Neil, Casey Bailey, Curtis Lazar and a few others possibly being protected with Chiasson’s departure.
New York Rangers receive Nick Holden from Colorado for 2017 4th-Round Pick
- New York – Holden will almost certainly be left exposed as the Rangers have two defensemen with NMC’s (Marc Stall and Dan Girardi). Holden would have to climb past Ryan McDonagh, Dan Boyle, and Kevin Klein to be protected. New York may have been thinking to add Holden as depth assuming they lose one of the three previously mentioned players.
- Colorado – Holden was going to be exposed in Colorado. Erik Johnson and Francois Beauchemin have NMC’s leaving the Avs likely to protect youngster Nikita Zadorov as their third defenseman. Holden was going to be available prior to this move, he still will after it.
- Toronto – Kerby Rychell exempt from selection in the 2017 Expansion Draft.
- Colorado – Harrington would have been exposed in Toronto, will be exposed in Colorado.
Los Angeles receives Jack Campbell from Dallas for Nick Ebert
- Los Angeles – Campbell will likely become the backup to Jonathan Quick when Jhonas Enroth takes off in free agency. All backup goalies must be considered by Las Vegas but Campbell is not likely to wind up here.
- Dallas – Ebert would have been exposed in Los Angeles, will be exposed in Dallas.
New Jersey receives Beau Bennett from Pittsburgh for 2016 3rd-Round pick (77th overall)
- New Jersey – Bennett almost certainly would have been exposed in Pittsburgh but has a chance at protection in New Jersey. He’ll still likely fall below the line as a Devil but there’s more of a shot there than in Pittsburgh.
- Pittsburgh – No change
Arizona receives Anthony DeAngelo from Tampa Bay for 2016 2nd-Round pick (37th overall)
- Arizona – DeAngelo is exempt from selection in the 2017 Expansion Draft
- Tampa Bay – No change
- Buffalo – Kulikov is likely going to be protected by the Sabres where Pysyk may not have been. With Zach Bogosian‘s NMC, Buffalo is left with just one more defenseman or going 8/1. Cody Franson and Rasmus Ristolainen may now be exposed with Kulikov in the mix.
- Florida – Keith Yandle‘s NMC and Aaron Ekblad will be protected. They could elect to go 8/1 and save newly acquired Pysyk with Brian Campbell and/or Jakub Kindl (if either are still around). There’s also 26-year old Cameron Guance who may earn protection. Losing Kulikov opens the door to plenty of options in Florida, but still should help earn Las Vegas a solid defenseman from the Panthers.
- Arizona – Datsyuk will not play in the NHL in 2016-17, the addition by the Coyotes was to use his salary as an asset to move up and get the player they wanted in the draft. Therefore, there’s really no change to the Coyotes protection lists with an injured Vitale leaving and a player who won’t be in the league “coming in.”
- Detroit – Vitale is out for the entirety of the 2016-17 season so it would be tough to project him to be protected by the Red Wings next offseason. Ken Holland claims he likes Vitale a lot, but it’s still probable he’s exposed. Therefore, not much changed in relation to expansion on either end in this deal.
Calgary receives Brian Elliott from St. Louis for 2016 2nd-Round Pick and a 2018 Conditional 3rd-Round Pick
- Calgary – Elliott immediately slots in as the starter no matter what happens with Karri Ramo during free agency. Movement of goalies is almost always going to be a negative for Las Vegas and this is no different. Vegas benefits from multiple good goalies being on the same team. Elliott moving North means both he and Jake Allen are off the market.
- St. Louis – They were able to turn a goalie they would have had to expose into a 2nd and a 3rd round pick. Good for the Blues, bad for Las Vegas.
Montreal receives Andrew Shaw from Chicago for two 2016 2nd-Round Picks
- Montreal – Shaw will sign a massive contract with the Habs and then be protected. See the Lars Eller trade below.
- Chicago – The Blackhawks and shaw were unlikely to come to a long term contract agreement so his protection was probably never even considered. Definitely a move motivated by money not expansion.
Washington receives Lars Eller from Montreal for 2017 2nd-Round Pick and 2018 2nd-Round Pick
- Washington – Eller finds himself in a crowded and talented collection of forwards in Washington. He may end up being exposed as a Capital where he likely would not have been in Montreal. Similar to the Nick Holden deal to the Rangers, Eller was added for depth with the understanding that one of those talented forwards is heading to Las Vegas.
- Montreal – Kind of a one for one in a sense with Shaw coming in. Shaw will now be protected using the spot Eller would have taken.
- Florida – Berra would not have been protected in Colorado, will not be protected in Florida.
- Colorado – Grimaldi would not have been protected in Florida, will not be protected in Colorado.
**Shout out to the TSN NHL Trade Tracker for the details on every deal.