Washington Capitals: Breaking down the protected list

T.J. Oshie, Washington Capitals (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
T.J. Oshie, Washington Capitals (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /

Yesterday was a wild day in the NHL but things were quiet on the Washington Capitals end as they submitted their protection list ahead of the Seattle Expansion Draft. This morning the moment of truth was revealed at 10 a.m. in an article from Mike Vogel of WashingtonCaps.com. Now that the list is out, let’s review it and see how General Manager Brian MacLellan did with his picks.

As expected, the Caps went with the 7-3-1 format when they made their protected list. Here are the guys that the Seattle Kraken can’t touch.

Forwards (7): Nicklas Backstrom, Lars Eller, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Anthony Mantha, T.J. Oshie, Daniel Sprong, Tom Wilson

Defense (3): John Carlson, Dmitry Orlov, Trevor van Riemsdyk

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Goalie (1): Ilya Samsonov

That leaves us with the players that are exposed. The Kraken will be able to pick Nic Dowd, Carl Hagelin, Garnet Hathaway, Conor Sheary, Brenden Dillon, Nick Jensen, Michal Kempny, Justin Schultz, Pheonix Copley or Vitek Vanecek. One of those players will become a member of the NHL’s 32nd team. Sadly that’s the way it is in this business.

Wednesday night is the expansion draft which will be a made for TV spectacle. The only team that isn’t losing a player is the Vegas Golden Knights, they are exempt from the expansion draft. Alex Ovechkin was left unprotected because he has yet to sign a contract extension and it is highly unlikely the Kraken take him since they would have to negotiate with him first.

Once the draft ends and the 30 players are taken, the Kraken have to make sure they assemble 14 forwards, nine defensemen, and three goaltenders. Doing the math, there’s four more spots left which can be any player of their choosing. Additionally, the salaries of each of the 30 players has to add up to 60 to 100 percent of the league’s salary cap. That number is flat at $81.5 million.

Yesterday a ton of trades went down across the league ahead of the 5 p.m. eastern deadline to submit protected lists. Some teams are doing this out of panic while others are trying to get value or assets from players they might lose to the Kraken. Expect more movements going around in the weeks ahead as the offseason really heats up.

More. Washington Capitals: 3 Prospects to Target With 2nd Round Pick. light

The Vegas Golden Knights set the bar high. How good can the Seattle Kraken be? They will play in a tough Pacific Division but had the same rules as Vegas did in their draft. We’ll get a general idea based on who they select Wednesday night. Buckle up.