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.
David Krejci (NMC)
Patrice Bergeron (NMC)
David Backes (NMC)
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.
Kyle Okposo (NMC)
The decision-making process should not be difficult after yet another disappointing season in Buffalo. Keep the young, key players; expose the dead weight.
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.
Dion Phaneuf (NMC)
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.
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
James van Riemsdyk
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.