The 5 p.m. deadline for teams to have their protected lists came and went Saturday, and news of which players were exposed has come to light. Here is the complete list of Minnesota Wild players that will be protected in the Seattle Kraken expansion draft;
Forwards: Joel Eriksson Ek, Kevin Fiala, Marcus Foligno, Jordan Greenway, Ryan Hartman, Nico Sturm and Mats Zuccarello
Defensemen: Jonas Brodin, Matt Dumba and Jared Spurgeon
Goalie: Cam Talbot
There are a few surprises, notably that the Wild aren’t protecting defensemen Carson Soucy and goaltender Kaapo Kähkönen, the 24-year old rookie netminder and former AHL Goaltender of the Year. Kähkönen is considered by many to be the starter of the future but had a middling start to his NHL career after posting a .902 Sv%, 2.88 GAA and 16 wins in 23 starts. While Cam Talbot was no doubt one of the surprises of the season for the Wild, he is also 34, with only two seasons left on his contract worth $3.6 million.
Carson Soucy may not be a marquee name for the Wild but was a consistent contributor down the depth chart. In 50 games, Soucy tallied one goal and 16 assists, averaging 15:17 of ice time. Playing primarily on the third pairing, Soucy held the second-highest GAR (Goals Above Replacement) value on the team for defencemen in Evolving-Hockey.com’s model, next to Ryan Suter. The 26-year old defenseman has two years remaining on his deal worth $2.75 million.
Here is a shortlist of unprotected players, with pending free-agents and similar players omitted;
Forwards: Nick Bjugstad, Victor Rask, Joseph Cramarossa, Gabriel Dumont, Luke Johnson and Kyle Rau
Defensemen: Carson Soucy, Ian Cole, Brad Hunt, Matt Bartkowski, Ian McCoshen, Dakota Mermis and Louie Belpedio
Among those left unprotected or waived their NMC around the league, there are some significant names like St. Louis Blues sniper Vladimir Tarasenko, the Montreal Canadiens Carey Price, Shea Weber and Jonathan Drouin, Ryan Johansen (NSH), Matt Duchene (NSH), Mark Giordano (CGY), Jeff Skinner (BUF), James van Riemsdyk and Jakub Voracek (PHI), Alex Killorn and Ondrej Palat (TBL), Erik Johnson (COL) and Ben Bishop (DAL).
The list of players that will compose the inaugural edition of the Seattle Kraken will be announced live on July 21 on ESPN, which will also be the first NHL broadcast on the network since 2000.