A look at possible players the San Jose Sharks could lose in next year’s NHL expansion draft, plus which Capitals could be targeted by Las Vegas GM George McPhee.
CSN BAY AREA: Kevin Kurz recently speculated over which players the San Jose Sharks could leave unprotected in next June’s NHL expansion draft. He thinks they’ll opt for one goaltender, three defensemen and seven forwards, as that provides protection for two additional players.
Forwards Joel Ward, Matt Nieto and/or Melker Karlsson could be left exposed, along with Paul Martin, Justin Braun, Brenden Dillon, David Schlemko, Dylan DeMelo or Mirco Mueller. Kurz suggests Braun could be their third protected d-man.
Forward “Joonas Donskoi will not have to be protected as a second-year pro, nor will top prospects Timo Meier or Nikolay Goldobin.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bear in mind Kurz isn’t saying for certain those players will be exposed to next year’s draft. Much will depend upon team and individual performances next season, as well as possible player movement via trades. I agree with Kurz’s assessment that Braun will likely be protected, as he and Marc-Edouard Vlasic form the Sharks’ best all-around defensive pairing. Kurz pointed out Ward previously played for Las Vegas GM George McPhee with the Capitals. McPhee could consider selecting the veteran winger as a short-term pickup.
CSN MID-ATLANTIC: J.J. Regan recently speculated over which members of the Washington Capitals could be targeted by Las Vegas general manager (and former Capitals GM) George McPhee in next year’s expansion draft. That could leave the Capitals facing a decision on whether to expose or protect defenseman Dmitry Orlov, who was drafted by McPhee in 2009. Right wing Tom Wilson (selected by McPhee in 2012) could also be an enticing target for the Vegas GM.
Considering McPhee had a close working relationship with his successor Brian MacLellan, Regan suggests Las Vegas could become a new trading partner for the Capitals.