Mock expansion keeper list: Atlantic Division
Steve Mitchell / USA Today Sports

Each day this week, we'll publish mock expansion keeper lists by division, beginning with the Atlantic. On Friday, we'll reveal our mock expansion Las Vegas Golden Knights team.

*NMC = No-movement clause
*All first- and second-year professionals, as well as all unsigned draft choices, will be exempt from selection (and will not be counted toward their club's applicable protection limits).
*Notable protected 2017 unrestricted free agents are kept based on an assumption they will re-sign with their respective teams before Las Vegas' window to negotiate with UFAs opens.

Boston Bruins

F D G
David Krejci (NMC) Zdeno Chara Tuukka Rask
Patrice Bergeron (NMC) Torey Krug
David Backes (NMC) Colin Miller
Brad Marchand
Matt Beleskey
David Pastrnak
Ryan Spooner
  • The Bruins risk losing 2012 first-round pick Malcolm Subban, although his minor-league development may not give Vegas much reason to slot him into one of its three goalie spots.

Buffalo Sabres

F D G
Ryan O'Reilly Rasmus Ristolainen Robin Lehner
Kyle Okposo (NMC) Zach Bogosian
Evander Kane Jake McCabe
Tyler Ennis
Zemgus Girgensons
Marcus Foligno
Johan Larsson
  • The decision-making process should not be difficult after yet another disappointing season in Buffalo. Keep the young, key players; expose the dead weight.
  • That said, Vegas may focus its attention on goaltenders Anders Nilsson and Linus Ullmark.

Detroit Red Wings

F D G
Henrik Zetterberg Mike Green Petr Mrazek
Frans Nielsen (NMC) Danny DeKeyser
Gustav Nyquist Xavier Ouellet
Justin Abdelkader
Tomas Tatar
Anthony Mantha
Andreas Athanasiou

Florida Panthers

F D G
Aleksander Barkov Keith Yandle (NMC) Roberto Luongo
Vincent Trocheck Jason Demers
Nick Bjugstad Aaron Ekblad
Reilly Smith
Jonathan Huberdeau
Colton Sceviour
Jonathan Marchessault
  • Florida has a big decision to make in goal - protect Robert Luongo, whose durability seems to be fading, or the younger, cheaper, but less established James Reimer?
  • Jaromir Jagr in Vegas? Yes please.

Montreal Canadiens

F D G
Max Pacioretty Shea Weber Carey Price (NMC)
Alex Galchenyuk Jeff Petry (NMC)
Brendan Gallagher Nathan Beaulieu
Andrew Shaw
Alexander Radulov
Phillip Danault
Paul Byron
  • If Montreal can't come to terms on a contract extension with Alexander Radulov, he could very well be exposed, with Charles Hudon his likely replacement on this list.

Ottawa Senators

F D G
Mike Hoffman Dion Phaneuf (NMC) Craig Anderson
Zack Smith Erik Karlsson
Derick Brassard Cody Ceci
Mark Stone
Kyle Turris
Jean-Gabriel Pageau
Ryan Dzingel
  • The Senators can expose Bobby Ryan, who - despite being the highest-paid player on the team - does not have an NMC in his deal. Ditching that $7.25-million cap hit would be a gift, but it's unlikely to happen.
  • A good defenseman could be lost here (likely Marc Methot or Chris Wideman), while Mike Condon may have played himself into consideration.

Tampa Bay Lightning

F D G
Steven Stamkos (NMC) Victor Hedman (NMC) Andrei Vasilevskiy
Ryan Callahan (NMC) Anton Stralman
Nikita Kucherov Andrej Sustr
Alex Killorn
Ondrej Palat
Tyler Johnson
Jonathan Drouin
  • The fact Ryan Callahan has an NMC is rather unfortunate, since it means Vladislav Namestnikov will be exposed.
  • 2012 first-round pick Slater Koekkoek hasn't emerged as a full-time NHL option with the Lightning, but could turn into a nice piece for the Golden Knights.

Toronto Maple Leafs

F D G
Nazem Kadri Morgan Rielly Frederik Andersen
James van Riemsdyk Jake Gardiner
Tyler Bozak Connor Carrick
Leo Komarov
Connor Brown
Josh Leivo
Brendon Leipsic
  • Despite a measure of unforeseen success this season, Toronto should remain focused on building and therefore protect younger (and cheaper) forwards like Josh Leivo and Brendan Leipsic over veterans such as Eric Fehr and Matt Martin.

(Photos courtesy: Action Images)

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Mock expansion keeper list: Atlantic Division
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