Back in September, yours truly wrote about the upcoming Seattle Kraken expansion draft and how it would affect the New York Islanders. With the trade of Devon Toews, things now look differently for the blue and orange.
When the New York Islanders traded Devon Toews back in the middle of October, it quietly had a big impact on the Isles regarding the upcoming Seattle Expansion Draft.
Lou Lamoriello is going to go with the seven forwards, three defensemen, and one goaltender protection list. The eight skaters protection route would mean Anders Lee would be exposed and that is not going to happen.
On defense, Lamoriello will protect Ryan Pulock, Adam Pelech, and Scott Mayfield now that Toews has been traded (Noah Dobson is exempt). The goaltender that will be protected will be Semyon Varlamov (Ilya Sorokin is exempt).
In terms of the forwards, Mathew Barzal, Brock Nelson, J.G Pageau, Anthony Beauvillier, and Lee will be protected. That leaves two open spots which as of today would likely be Josh Bailey and Jordan Eberle. However, Lamoriello could expose one of these veterans to reduce the cap, especially if Michael Dal Colle has a productive year.
Candidates to be Taken
The clubhouse leader for the Islander to be taken in the Seattle Expansion Draft, as of now is Nick Leddy. Yes, Leddy turns 30 in March and is only signed for one more season ($5.5 million cap hit) after the 2020-21 campaign. However, Leddy is a top-four blueliner who can give a team 20 minutes a night.
Seattle can take Leddy and flip him for draft picks or use him for their inaugural season and then trade him at the deadline for draft picks.
Another consideration is Dal Colle who doesn’t 25 until late June, believe it or not. There is a clear opportunity on the Isles third line right now on Pageau’s wings. It’s right in front of Dal Colle.
The former fifth overall pick could take the next step and become a solid third-line player for the Isles. If that were to happen, Lou would seriously consider protecting him and exposing Bailey or Eberle.
Some things to consider for the Isles and their upcoming protection list for the Seattle Expansion Draft.