The first step to our mock draft is to establish the list of players that will be available for the Las Vegas franchise to draft. To do this, we decided to have a blogger from each team represent their own franchise and select the players that will be protected from the Mock Expansion Draft available player pool. To see the rules which were followed to protect players, hit this link.
Next up, we have the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Lightning are being represented by John Fontana from RawCharge.com.
- G – Andrei Vasilevskiy
- G – Ben Bishop
- F – Steven Stamkos
- F – Jonathan Drouin
- F – Tyler Johnson
- F – Nikita Kucherov
- F – Ondrej Palat
- F – Alex Killorn
- F – Vladislav Namestnikov
- D – Victor Hedman
- D – Anton Stralman
- D –Jason Garrison
Analysis from RawCharge.com:
With Andrei Vasilevskiy all of 21 and Ben Bishop still having time on his contract, it seemed like a sounder decision o protect two goalies than expose the veteran and put all eggs in one basket with the young Russian, that’s why two goalies are protected.
Young talent gets protected over many solid veterans for one reason and one reason alone – money. Steven Stamkos’ next contract was actually a guiding factor and hoping to make some cap room by ditching large contracts in Callahan or Filppula or Carle. Condra and Brown are not high-priced talent but lower line contributors who could be replaced via organizational depth.
This list is not based on long term but immediate future is part of it – salary and the salary cap is what is the driving force behind the exposure of Ryan Callahan, Valtteri Filppula, Matt Carle and Brayden Coburn.
The entire list of unprotected players that will be available for Team Lane and Team Pothier to select from can be found here.
To see more team explanations just like this one, check out The Sin Bin Mock Expansion Draft Landing Page.