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There are rumors all over the hockey world about expansion, and as a certified ‘draft nerd’ I took this opportunity to submit Edmonton’s protected list. These are always tricky, because a bunch of players aren’t eligible and of course free agents don’t need protection. It’s fun all the same, and here’s my list.

acton ferguson

Will Acton photo by Rob Ferguson, all rights reserved

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This could change, but the current list of 2015 free agents includes Jeff Petry, Jesse Joensuu and Viktor Fasth. Minor leaguers who are free agents in 2015 include Richard Bachman, Will Acton, Steve Pinizzotto and Ryan Hamilton.

draisaitl capture


All number of players included here, including Leon Draisaitl and his draft class, Darnell Nurse and his class too. Entry level players like Dillon Simpson, Oscar Klefbom, David Musil, Martin Gernat, Mitch Moroz, Travis Ewanyk—basically anyone drafted after 2010’s entry draft is ineligible save Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (note: this is my reading of the expansion draft format, God knows what those NHL crazies will come up with).


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Brandon Davidson photo by Rob Ferguson, all rights reserved


I’m going to assume classic rules, meaning one goalie, five defensemen and nine forwards.

  1. Ben Scrivens
  2. Mark Fayne
  3. Justin Schultz
  4. Martin Marincin
  5. Nikita Nikitin
  6. Brandon Davidson
  7. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
  8. Boyd Gordon
  9. Mark Arcobello
  10. Taylor Hall
  11. Benoit Pouliot
  12. David Perron
  13. Jordan Eberle
  14. Nail Yakupov
  15. Teddy Purcell

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    The following players would be eligible for the expansion draft.

    1. G Tyler Bunz—Unlikely to be chosen, unless he has a big season in 2014-15.
    2. G Frans Tuohimaa—Complete wild card, but not a strong draft option.
    3. D Andrew Ference—A new NHL team might leap at the chance to add an experienced leader.
    4. D Keith Aulie—Another quality option, he’s been up and down but has a lot of track left.
    5. D Phil Larsen—Chaos blue, but he could help the offense.
    6. D Brad Hunt—Similar to Larsen, one slot down.
    7. C Anton Lander—Might be just what he needs: A fresh start.
    8. L Luke Gazdic—An outstanding young enforcer.
    9. L Matt Hendricks—Veteran winger well known for leadership ability.
    10. L Roman Horak—Untapped talent could blossom.
    11. L Curtis Hamilton—Same spot as Bunz.
    12. R Tyler Pitlick—Might be an attractive option for a startup team.
    13. R Andrew Miller—Has some potential as an offensive winger.

    Given that list and the chance to choose two players, I’d pick Anton Lander and Roman Horak, but your mileage may vary.



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    Not one damn thing. But it’s fun! What about you? What does your protected list look like for the Oilers?

    • Bishai in the Benches

      Based on that list, it wouldnt surprise me to see an expansion draft happening and the oilers not losing anyone. The team is just the right combination of awful and young to not be affected by expansion.

    • 916oiler

      Lowetide, I think you are presently ahead of any NHL expansion. When will new NHL-ready facilities in Quebec City, Seattle or new outposts in the desert be fully completed?

      On the other hand, when it does happen it will offer the Oilers an opportunity to unload some useless contracts that you have identified on the Eligible List. The problem is our useless contracts will likely be useless players for any expansion teams.

          • The Last Big Bear

            As per the last expansion draft, you had to expose one goalie, or defenceman, and two forwards who have a reasonable amount of NHL experience (25 games over the last 2 seasons for goalies, 40 games last year or 70 games over the previous 2 seasons for skaters).

            Basically you have to expose a “veteran” at each position to waivers.

            Luckily guys like Arcobello and Lander fill these requirements, and are unlikely to be claimed. Otherwise teams like the Oilers could just protect all their vets and their have young guys all be ineligible anyways so they would have nobody exposed to the draft.

    • ubermiguel

      It’s been a while since we’ve been through an expansion draft; I think I know the answers but I want to be sure: no movement clauses are null and void in this situation and you draft a player with his existing contract?

    • ubermiguel

      Can Edmonton get an expansion team? In 3 years it will be better then the Oilers.

      Lowetide as GM, Struddy as coach, and they can play at the current Rexall.

      • The Soup Fascist

        The Edmonton “Nation”als. I like it.

        Although you just KNOW Struds and Sutherby are going to want to play.

        Struds can wear #7 and be “player / coach” just like Reggie Dunlop.

      • RCN

        Let Nikitin Play. Wow. Haven’t seen him play one game and already writing him off. Doesn’t that sound familiar from a lot of senseless Oilers fans. Have some patience. Let him play.

    • Reg Dunlop

      If the draft followed the format of the original expansion draft the 1st guy off the board would be Dave Dryden.

      The only team less likely to lose players than the oil would be the Godless flames.

      • The Last Big Bear

        I’m just looking at what a Calgary Flames unprotected list would look like.

        It would probably be Derek Engelland, Bollig, Paul Byron, and either Hiller or Ramo.

        Wouldn’t be surprised to see any of those guys taken (except Engelland).

        But also wouldn’t surprise me to see none of them taken.

    • The Last Big Bear

      Ever since this “news”/rumour came out, I have basically had a non-stop hockey boner over the prospect of an expansion draft.

      It’s the kind of thing advanced stats geeks like me have been dreaming of for YEARS.

    • The Last Big Bear

      The last few bouts of expansion have been anything from outright to merely mitigated disasters.

      The league is still recovering from the dilution of talent.

      It’s already insanely difficult being a fan knowing the odds of a team winning are 1-in-30 in the long run. That’s once every 30 years.

      Screw this greedy, hopeless league that doesn’t care about its fans. I’m done.

    • Quicksilver ballet

      Thinking realistically, more than half of these guys won’t even be Oilers by the time this expansion draft takes place.

      Outside of 6 or 8 current players/prospects. There really isn’t anything worth protecting. Especially if you don’t need to protect ELC players. This team will still struggle to compete and very much still look/play like an expansion team when this draft takes place.

      Could they leave Katz, Lowe, MacTavish and Eakins unprotected?

    • Serious Gord

      Before any expansion can happen the cba will have to be reopened to deal with it. The union will be cooperative because it means more ‘workers’ and a split of the expansion fees.

      In a cap world I think it will be a dollars based protected list – say 60% of the cap worth of players can be protected. NTCs would have to be monetized somehow. Then the unprotected players would be picked over by the new teams and then the remainder drafted somehow by all the teams. There are obviously many issues to be addressed, but one would be the players on longer term contracts would feel underpaid as many less skilled, currently ahl-level players would be getting paid relatively more as teams try and fill their rosters and in some cases overpay just to get to the salary floor.

      All that said, I think inside the nhl (and the nba and the nfl) there has been lots of work done to be prepared for expansion when (not if ) it comes.

    • Serious Gord

      It is my understanding that expansion fees are considered non hockey generated revenue. As such, the CBA and the players would not have a claim to any of the expansion fees, just the owners.

      If anybody is up on this, please comment.

    • Serious Gord

      Would less players need to be protected if there are more than two expansion teams? The crazy thing going around today mentioned 4 teams.

      If so, I think we’re safe leaving Arcobello and Davidson off the list and we could dump salary or protect higher salary players unlikely to be taken like Nitikin and Purcell.