davidson ferguson

I get a few requests each month to write (don’t worry, I get a lot requesting NOT writing too) on specfic subjects. The MOST requested item this summer? Expansion draft protected list. Why have I resisted? Well, it’s a pain in the pain in the ass. That said, I’ve made the list and the Oilers don’t have a lot to worry over. Honest.

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Assuming we’re discussing an expansion draft next summer (2016), free agents aren’t on any list. They aren’t available to expansion teams (unless they want to buy a window for free) and the Oilers have no need to protect them. The list:

  • R Teddy Purcell
  • R Rob Klinkhammer
  • D Nikita Nikitin
  • D Eric Gryba
  • G Cam Talbot
  • G Ben Scrivens
  • R Andrew Miller
  • L Ryan Hamilton
  • D Brad Hunt

Edmonton is likely to sign a couple of these men during the year or before free agency next summer, so for our purposes let’s say Cam Talbot, Andrew Miller and Eric Gryba end up signed. Fair? I think so.

nurse and mcdavid by connor mah

(Photo by Connor Mah)


This includes all manner of players. Anyone from the 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 drafts would be ineligible, save Nail Yakupov. Dillon Simpson from the 2011 draft would not be eligible for the expansion draft. This is my understanding of what the draft will look like, so let’s proceed from there. Griffin Reinhart would not be eligible for the draft, no Darnell Nurse or Leon Draisaitl or Connor McDavid.



I’m going to proceed with standard expansion rules, which state a team can protect 1G, 5D, 9F OR 2G, 3D and 7F.

  1. G Cam Talbot
  2. D Andrej Sekera
  3. D Mark Fayne
  4. D Oscar Klefbom
  5. D Justin Schultz
  6. D Andrew Ference*
  7. C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
  8. C Anton Lander
  9. C Mark Letestu
  10. L Taylor Hall
  11. L Benoit Pouliot
  12. L Lauri Korpikoski
  13. R Jordan Eberle
  14. R Nail Yakupov
  15. R Iiro Pakarinen or Andrew Miller

That’s my list, I think everyone on it would be expansion-draft eligible. The one question is Iiro Pakarinen and he’s last man standing so it’s not a major item—I’ll take Andrew Miller if there’s no need to protect Pakarinen. The list doesn’t look especially impressive, but remember the ineligible list includes all the bubbling under group.

*Edit to add: As several people mentioned in the comments section (hat tip) Andrew Ference and his no-movement deal mean he makes the list. I’ve placed Eric Gryba on the ‘available’ list.

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  1. G Anders Nilsson
  2. G Laurent Brossoit
  3. D Eric Gryba
  4. D Brandon Davidson
  5. D David Musil
  6. D Martin Gernat
  7. L Matt Hendricks
  8. L Luke Gazdic
  9. R Tyler Pitlick
  10. R Andrew Miller

That’s the list as I see it, folks. If two teams are added, they probably grab one each from the available 30 teams. My guess? Oilers could lose two of Laurent Brossoit, Anders Nilsson, Brandon Davidson, David Musil, Matt Hendricks, Tyler Pitlick.

An expansion draft would NOT be a difficult process for the Oilers.

(Barons photos by Rob Ferguson, all rights reserved)

  • D

    LT, this article confirms that the expansion fee is really about paying for the rights to operate a licensed NHL franchise in a new location. It’s not about acquiring star players from the get go.

  • D

    Alot can change in time, but I would protect 2G if it happened today.

    My list.

    G Cam Talbot
    G Laurent Brossoit
    D Andrej Sekera
    D Oscar Klefbom
    D Justin Schultz
    C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
    C Anton Lander
    C Mark Letestu
    L Taylor Hall
    L Benoit Pouliot
    R Jordan Eberle
    R Nail Yakupov

    You risk losing Fayne here, but I’m of belief he can be replaced more easily.

  • Oilers G- Nations Poet Laureate

    I myself would go the 2G, 3D, and 7F route.
    My list would be

    G. Talbot, Brossoit

    D. Sekera, Klefbomb, Fayne

    F. Nuge, Lander, Letestu, Hall, Pouliot, Eberle, and Yak.

    By 2016, I fully expect that Nurse and Reinhart will eat up mins (15-17pg), and losing Jultz and or Gryba wouldn’t be too disasterous on the Blue.

    • Craig1981

      I thought so too, but then I remembered that there are 30 teams out there and several have solid goaltending options. Just off the top of my head, Lack or Ward in Carolina would be left open (if lack resigns) Markstrom from Van, Gibson from Anaheim, Hamburger in Ott, Scott Darling Chi, Lehtonen Dallas, Jake Allen St…..and so on. I like Brossoit, but a lot of teams have a solid 2nd goaltender as well

  • The Goalie 1976

    Sounds like we might will lose Scrivens (signed or otherwise ) either way if we elect to protect only one goalie . Still seems the best option , however . Others that elect to protect only one goalie might have better options than Scrivens in retrospect . Our strength is in our forwards , and even if Nurse and Reinhart make club this year it would still be nice to protect 5D rather than just 3D . Second player likely to get taken from Lowetides list I believe would be Hendricks .

    QUESTION TO LOWETIDE : Does Ference’s NMC not make him ineligible to be dealt , or anyone else with a NMC ? In other words does the draft supercede a NMC ? If it does , then that might be a good way to attempt to dump a bad contract for all clubs .

  • The Goalie 1976

    If Broissot has a big year, I think you have to look at protecting him, thus exposing a certain combo of (Jultz, Fayne, ect) That’s a risk I’m willing to take. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Jultz traded before then anyway, and you could also trade Fayne for a pick earlier, so you don’t lose him for nothing. That’s the play I’d make (if LB has a great year)

    If I’m the expansion team, I’m looking hard at Broissot, Musil, and Davidson.) They are all decent young building blocks available for free. And they could all likely impact the team in the first year (or 2)

  • The Goalie 1976

    I would expect that all players that have a no movement clause like Ference would have to be on the teams protected list.

    After all by signing a player to such a contract they indicate that he cant be traded or send to any other team no matter the situation (in this case expansion draft.)

  • The Goalie 1976

    Man, so protecting that 2nd goalie costs you protecting 2 extra D, and 2 extra forwards. The smart play would be to trade Broissot to a team with no goalie worth protecting (Calgary, both are UFA) for a draft pick, or young player ineligible for the draft. No point losing him for nothing.

    Hate the idea of him with the Flames, but I can`t think of another team with no goalie to protect off the top of my head (Phoenix maybe, Smith`s contract is terrible, Dallas?)

  • bwar

    After seeing that the Nordique and Vegas ids have moved to the 3 rd phase I was wondering when this article would happen. The one thought was that they would start play in 2017. I don’t believe that for a moment. I think if we are going to be realistic it will be at the start of the 2016 season. The arena are both going be complete without a major tenant for a year? I think not. Especially if the ask is 500 large. Both franchises will want to fill up those buildings fast.The Nordique won’t have an issue selling out 3 years worth of season tickets and box seats and advertising. The Vegas franchise will want those corporate commitments in the bank tout suit. The TV revenue will of course be sick. Especially for the Nordique. Back up a truck to the entrance and let Rogers and/or Bell off load the truck load of money that they/ll pay for the TV and Radio rights.Especially TSN.TSN execs I imagine will give a blank cheque to the ownership group and be happy to pay whatever they have to.

    If I am the NHL with a falling dollar and 1 billion dollars is going to 30 teams and 33 million dollars plus is going to be given to each of my franchises I am not think that waiting an extra year is even possible.The money is just to large. The national broadcast rights from SN will have to be adjusted to include the Nordique and the Aces for ESPN. Its too much money in a time where money’s vale is shrinking due to devaluation.

    Yup a 2016 expansion draft is likely and VIVE LES Nordique.

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    of your expansion list-available players, the only one i wouldn’t want to lose is Brossoit….could care a less about the rest of them. and if LB plays lights out in the AHL this year, the Oilers would have to seriously consider protecting 2 goalies instead of 1, which i believe at the moment only 1 is being considered so we can protect most of the D.

  • Lowetide

    Goalie 1976: Agree on Brossoit, he’s a player of interest for sure. If he posts another strong year, that’s a player worth keeping—it might require a trade before the expansion draft to protect the asset.

    Also, I thank all those who brought up Ference’s NMC and made the adjustments to original post.

  • MustardTiger

    This expansion draft could be a lot more interesting than those of previous years due to the salary cap. Big name, big money players could be left unprotected by teams in cap trouble, in the hope that an expansion team will take the contract of their hands.

    • bwar

      This is also a very good point

      Not to mention expansion teams could use draft picks as currency to land some blue chip prospects and RFA. Hamilton and Reinhart are examples. Offer sheets could also get them some valuable pieces. They won’t have the cap troubles of teams facing a shrinking salary cap.

  • bwar

    I really don’t think teams should be able to protect that many players. Really doesn’t give the expansion teams even a shred of hope for the first few years of their existence.

    I’d like to see a more in depth system for the expansion draft where the new teams at least have a chance of obtaining a top 6 forward and top 4 defender.

  • bwar

    The expansion teams would have lots of cap room available to put together a top 6 and top pairing.

    UFAs who might be available in 2016. It’s an impressive list.

    Anze Kopitar,
    David Perron,Milan Lucic, Erik Johnson, Tomas Plekanec, Kyle Okposo, Andrew Ladd, Brent Seabrook, Dustin Byfuglien, David Backes, Eric Staal,
    Steven Stamkos ,Jakub Voracek, Mark Giordano, 

    • bwar

      It’s unlikely top UFA’s would ever want to sign with an expansion team to continue their careers . It’s tough enough getting them to sign here to be honest .

  • Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"

    LT, what are ur thoughts on my 2 tier exp draft idea? Teams would produce 2 lists of protected players- a list of the 12 players that are protected, 3 of them would be offer sheet protected. Meaning that each exp team could offer sheet a max of 2 NHL players (from different teams) that are atleast top 6 guys, without being able to pick off all the top end talent. An expansion offer sheet could go to any player not on the “offer protected” list and must be more than that player is currently making. If they accept, previous contract would be void. This would help exp clubs to be more competitive out of the gate, rather than icing years of underwhelming AHLers, while teams could still hang on to their elite players. It will also help the new clubs reach the cap floor, with out having to over pay guys who should have retired. I know Eberle isnt even eligible for the draft but for an example if a player of his talent level received an offer sheet, it would suck for us, but it wouldn’t be unbearable, and it would give the Vegas Black Knights something to cheer about, which could be very important to them in the first cpl of years of trying to build a fan base. There would still have to be some compensation for an accepted offer sheet but nothing as high as what we usually talk about. Maybe a first and a second spread out over a 5 year period? Exp clubs choice? Just so they can still build going forward.

    Imo this all would work better for the entire league in the long run, rather than watching bad teams in places that don’t know what hockey is. Cough cough AtlantaPhoenixFlorida cough

  • Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"

    four things that will be interesting to watch. 1. Will teams suddenly be far more open to No-movement clauses in contracts this year? 2. With the new teams picking from the bottom of the barrel so to speak will they have a hard time getting to the cap floor. 3. The summer of 2017 you better not have a player going to free agency because these new teams will have a boat-load of coin to spend. If you are a player who is a free agent in 2017 you can look for a wonderful payday as these teams will be looking for names that draw fans. 4. With many lower end players on those new teams will they skew the salary points for basic players as they try to get players with seat filling power and spend to hit the cap floor?