The forwards are already a little-crowded thanks to the likes of Andrew Ladd and Valtteri Filppula both having full no-move/trade clauses this season. While Filppula’s expires at the end of the season Ladd’s carries until the end of 2020. Long enough to be a problem for the Seattle expansion.
Which means that at least one slot is being chewed up to protect a player that the Islanders certainly wouldn’t mind Seattle taking off their hands.
That leaves Mathew Barzal, Anders Lee, and Josh Bailey as the three other players to make up five forwards that would be protected on this roster. That leaves some notable names up for grabs.
Names like Anthony Beauvillier, Brock Nelson, and Jordan Eberle. You have to imagine the Isles will keep RFA Beauvillier and with the way he’s playing Brock Nelson isn’t going anywhere either. With Filppula’s trade protection gone by the time of the draft one of Beauvillier or Nelson likely gets protected.
But third-year pros like Josh Ho-Sang who’s played 43 NHL games to date and another 124 AHL games. What happens to him in all of this?
With the draft three years away we won’t have to worry about some of the Isles top prospects like Oliver Wahlstrom, Noah Dobson, or Bode Wilde. They won’t have the experience to require protection in the draft.
Kieffer Bellows on the other hand will.