The Edmonton Oilers’ protected list for the upcoming Seattle Kraken Expansion Draft has been released.
The team is using the standard 7-3-1 protection scheme. Here’s how it breaks down…
- Forwards: Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jesse Puljujarvi, Kailer Yamamoto, Zack Kassian, Josh Archibald.
- Defencemen: Duncan Keith (NMC), Darnell Nurse, Ethan Bear.
- Goaltender: Stuart Skinner.
After the acquisition of Duncan Keith from Chicago, Edmonton’s protection list was fairly predictable. We knew that Keith, Nurse, and Bear would be the three defenders and that McDavid, Draisaitl, Nugent-Hopkins, Puljujarvi, and Yamamoto would be five of the seven forwards. It also isn’t surprising to see young goaltending prospect Skinner protected given the season he put together in the AHL in 2021.
The big question was who Ken Holland would opt to protect with his final two spots up front. He ended up using them on Kassian and Archibald, ultimately leaving names such as @Tyler Benson, @Dominik Kahun, and @Jujhar Khaira open for Seattle.
Archibald has been a quality depth forward for the Oilers over the past couple of seasons, scoring 19 goals and 34 points over 114 games while serving as one of the team’s top penalty killers, so seeing him on the list isn’t a surprise.
Kassian, on the other hand, is a bit more controversial. He scored just two goals over 27 games last season and carries a cap hit of $3,200,000 for three more seasons, so there’s reason to believe that he could have slipped through the cracks due to his contract.
It’ll be interesting to see who Seattle takes from Edmonton. Benson has produced at a high level in the AHL but hasn’t been able to translate that success to the big league level. Khaira has grown into a good shutdown centre but doesn’t bring much offence and has had issues with concussions. Kahun has produced at a solid clip at even-strength in his career and would be a cheap depth forward for the team.
If Seattle wants a young defender, they could go with @William Lagesson. And then there’s @Oscar Klefbom, who missed all of 2021 after getting shoulder surgery. There’s no guarantee that he’s ready for the start of the 2021-22 season or that he’s anywhere near as effective as he used to be, but Klefbom could certainly be worth the Kraken taking a gamble on.
We’ll see what happens on Wednesday.
Elsewhere around the league, we’re seeing plenty of interesting players exposed to Seattle. The Kraken will have a chance to add names such as @Jordan Eberle, @James van Riemsdyk, @Jakub Voracek, @Vladimir Tarasenko, @Carey Price, @Jonathan Drouin, and @Nino Niederreiter if they choose. All of the protected lists can be viewed here.