Islanders: Top 5 Players Who Could Be Taken By Seattle

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LAS VEGAS, NV – JUNE 21: Majority owner Bill Foley and general manager George McPhee of the Vegas Golden Knights annouce their picks during the 2017 NHL Awards and Expansion Draft at T-Mobile Arena on June 21, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

With the 2021 season over for the New York Islanders, it’s time to look forward. The next big thing for this team is the expansion draft coming up on July 21. Each team, with the exception of Vegas, will have to participate in the draft as the Seattle Kracken are added to the league.

Last time, back in 2017, Garth Snow traded Jake Bischoff, Mikhail Grabovski, a 2017 1st, and a 2019 2nd in order for the Vegas Golden Knight to select JF Berube. This go around, I’m not sure the Islanders have the luxury of trading draft capital.

They just gave up a first in order to acquire Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac. They need to hold on to some capital and use it either via the NHL Entry Level Draft or to attach to a player to move cap space.

So I guess what we have to start with is who would be protected. Each team can protect seven forwards, three defensemen, and a goalie, or eight skaters and one goalie. This would be my protected list for expansion:

Forwards: Anders Lee, Mathew Barzal, Brock Nelson, JG Pageau, Josh Bailey, Anthony Beauvillier, Casey Cizikas

Defense: Ryan Pulock, Adam Pelech, Scott Mayfield

Goalie: Semyon Varlamov

KEY EXEMPT: Oliver Wahlstrom, Anatoly Golyshev, Noah Dobson, Samuel Bolduc, Robin Salo, Bode Wilde, Ilya Sorokin

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