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New York Islanders Seattle Expansion Mock Draft

LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 21: The newest members of the Vegas Golden Knights address the crowd during the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft Roundtable at T-Mobile Arena on June 21, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 21: The newest members of the Vegas Golden Knights address the crowd during the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft Roundtable at T-Mobile Arena on June 21, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
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NEW YORK, NY – MARCH 26: John Tavares #91 of the New York Islanders reacts in the third period against the Florida Panthers during their game at Barclays Center on March 26, 2018 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

Who They Protect | Michel Anderson

We decided to go with protecting seven forwards and three defensemen. It was the best option even though it leaves one particular defensive prospect exposed.

We also assumed that some free agents would leave and that John Tavares would remain on the team. So both Calvin de Haan and Thomas Hickey are out.

Forwards

John Tavares (NMC), Andrew Ladd (NMC), Anders Lee, Josh Bailey, Jordan Eberle, Anthony Beauvillier, Josh Ho-Sang

When John Tavares signs with the New York Islanders it’s not going to be anything less than an eight-year deal and a full no-move clause. So he and Andrew Ladd have to be protected because of their deals. Not like you’d leave Tavares unprotected anyways.

Anders Lee, Josh Bailey, Jordan Eberle and Anthony Beauvillier make up the Islanders top six that finished seventh in the NHL last season with 261 goals. That was the Islanders strength. You keep that together.

Now, keeping Josh Ho-Sang is going to be contentious. We realized that. Especially considering we didn’t protect Devon Toews. That’s going to upset some people, and that’s perfectly fine. Matt and I debated this point and came to the agreement we both want to keep Ho-Sang over Toews. More on that decision in a second.

Defense

Johnny Boychuk (NMC), Nick Leddy, Ryan Pulock

We have to keep Boychuk because of his no-move clause. And you absolutely keep Nick Leddy, even with that -42 season last year. After his fantastic 2017-18 season you also keep Ryan Pulock.

But if we wanted to keep Devon Toews we could only keep four forwards. One is, of course, John Tavares and the other has to be Andrew Ladd. That likely leaves Jordan Eberle and Anthony Beauvillier unprotected. We didn’t want to leave two 60 point players exposed like the Florida Panthers did in 2017.

In the debate of Josh Ho-Sang vs. Devon Toews, we felt that Ho-Sang was a known commodity. We knew and liked what we could get from Ho-Sang. Devon Toews has yet to play at the NHL. His talent is apparent, but for the cost of keeping him protect we just couldn’t do it.

Goalie

Thomas Greiss

We had to protect a goalie. We picked Greiss. He’s the only goalie with any quality on the roster, and the only one that could potentially reasonably be a starter.

We reserve the right to change this the second Lou Lamoriello acquires an actual starting goalie though.

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