Seattle mock expansion draft: Pacific Division's protection lists, picks

Juan Ocampo / National Hockey League / Getty

This week, theScore's unveiling a five-part series in which we predict who will be protected and picked when the new Seattle franchise selects one player from every other NHL team except Vegas in 2021. Today, we project the Pacific Division.

Others in the series: Atlantic | Metropolitan | Central | Full Seattle Roster

Before diving into our Pacific Division projections, here's a refresher on the expansion draft process:

  • Teams must submit a protected-players list of either seven forwards, three defensemen, and one goalie OR eight skaters and one goalie
  • All players with no-movement clauses must be protected

  • All first- and second-year players, as well as unsigned draft picks, are exempt and can't be picked

  • Any player with a career-ending injury is also exempt

And some notes about our process:

  • We assumed most 2019 and '20 restricted free agents will re-sign with their current club
  • We made judgment calls on 2019 and '20 unrestricted free agents, projecting some will stay with their current team and others will leave

  • We didn't factor in any trades or buyouts between now and June 2021

  • In the tables below, * indicates the player is a projected free-agent signing before 2021, while bold text indicates the player has a no-movement clause

Anaheim Ducks

Pos. Protected players
F Ryan Getzlaf
F Ryan Kesler
F Adam Henrique
F Rickard Rakell
F Ondrej Kase
F Nick Ritchie
F Sam Steel
D Hampus Lindholm
D Cam Fowler
D Brandon Montour
G John Gibson

Pick: Josh Manson (D)
Other considerations: Pontus Aberg (F), Max Comtois (F), Corey Perry (F, UFA 2021)

The Ducks could find themselves in a pickle if they don't move a defenseman before the expansion draft. They could protect Lindholm, Fowler, Montour, and Manson, but that would limit themselves to protecting four forwards and they'd almost certainly lose either Kase or Steel. Needing offense, we project the Ducks would bite the bullet and go with seven forwards, three defensemen, and one goalie. This will expose Manson, handing Seattle a tough, shutdown rearguard.

Calgary Flames

Derek Leung / Getty Images Sport / Getty
Pos. Protected players
F Johnny Gaudreau
F Sean Monahan
F Matthew Tkachuk
F Elias Lindholm
F Sam Bennett
F Mikael Backlund
F Dillon Dube
D Noah Hanifin
D Rasmus Andersson
D Juuso Valimaki
G David Rittich

Pick: TJ Brodie (D)
Other considerations: Mark Giordano (D), James Neal (F), Oliver Kylington (D), Mark Jankowski (F)

Could Neal be taken in consecutive expansion drafts? It's a possibility, but we don't think it will happen, considering the availability of both Brodie and Giordano. Even though we believe Calgary will re-sign Brodie - and let Travis Hamonic walk - in 2020, he's the pick here. At 31, he'll be seven years younger than Giordano for Seattle's first season.

Edmonton Oilers

Pos. Protected players
F Connor McDavid
F Leon Draisaitl
F Milan Lucic
F Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
F Kailer Yamamoto
F Jesse Puljujarvi
F Tyler Benson
D Oscar Klefbom
D Darnell Nurse
D Adam Larsson
G Thomas Greiss*

Pick: Jujhar Khaira (F)
Other considerations: Matt Benning (D), Ty Rattie (F), Valentin Zykov (F), Mikko Koskinen (G)

The Oilers don't have the cap flexibility to make significant free-agent additions over the next few years, but we do have them signing Greiss to replace Cam Talbot in goal. With little to choose from, it seems plausible Seattle would pluck Khaira, a versatile forward with size, strength, and underrated skill.

Los Angeles Kings

Adam Pantozzi / National Hockey League / Getty
Pos. Protected players
F Anze Kopitar
F Jeff Carter
F Adrian Kempe
F Alex Iafallo
F Craig Smith*
F Sheldon Rempal
F Matt Luff
D Drew Doughty
D Travis Hamonic*
D Cale Klague
G Cal Petersen

Pick: Jonathan Quick (G)
Other considerations: Dustin Brown (F), Nikita Scherbak (F), Derek Forbort (D), Sean Walker (D)

We're projecting the Kings will sign Smith and Hamonic in free agency to replace Tyler Toffoli and Jake Muzzin. In a youth movement, we expect the Kings will leave franchise legends Brown and Quick exposed. Although Walker - a puck-moving defenseman who's posted gaudy numbers in the AHL - is enticing, we think Seattle will start its existence with Quick, a former Conn Smythe winner, between the pipes.

San Jose Sharks

Pos. Protected players
F Logan Couture
F Evander Kane
F Joe Pavelski
F Tomas Hertl
F Timo Meier
F Joonas Donskoi
F Kevin Labanc
D Brent Burns
D Erik Karlsson
D Marc-Edouard Vlasic
G Martin Jones

Pick: Antti Suomela (F)
Other considerations: Marcus Sorensen (F), Joakim Ryan (D)

We don't believe the Sharks' roster will look a whole lot different three years from now, with a number of pending free agents signing up for more time in the Bay Area - most notably Karlsson and Pavelski. Although this leaves Seattle with few enticing options, Suomela would provide the first-year club with some much-needed depth down the middle.

Vancouver Canucks

Icon Sportswire / Icon Sportswire / Getty
Pos. Protected players
F Elias Pettersson
F Bo Horvat
F Brock Boeser
F Wayne Simmonds*
F Jake Virtanen
F Jonathan Dahlen
F Adam Gaudette
D Justin Faulk*
D Olli Juolevi
D Quinn Hughes
G Thatcher Demko

Pick: Nikolay Goldobin (F)
Other considerations: Sven Baertschi (F), Ben Hutton (D), Troy Stecher (D)

As the Canucks shift from a rebuilding team to a contending squad, we envision them signing Simmonds this summer and Faulk in 2020. Seattle would likely take a long look at Hutton, who's having a strong season, but ultimately wind up selecting Goldobin, who's oozing with potential.

Seattle mock expansion draft series:
Atlantic | Metropolitan | Central | Pacific | Full Seattle Roster

Seattle mock expansion draft: Pacific Division's protection lists, picks
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