The Islanders are likely to go the 7-3-1 protect route for the expansion draft. Based on the current roster that means:
There isn’t much question who the New York Islanders will protect from their forward core. We can all agree on most of the names on this list. Perhaps Jordan Eberle is left exposed but it’s just as likely that Lou keeps the veteran winger.
Either way, there isn’t much debate or drama with the forwards or even with the goalie, they’ll protect. But there’s some drama when it comes to protecting defensemen because the Isles only have two here.
You might be thinking: “why not Scott Mayfield?” Well, based on exposure requirements the Islanders need to expose a defenseman with at least 27 NHL games in 20-21 or 54 NHL games between 19-20 and 20-21 and they have to be signed through the 21-22 season.
The Islanders only have two defensemen that meet that requirement after Nick Leddy was traded to the Detroit Red Wings. And that’s Ryan Pulock and Scott Mayfield.
It’s hard to believe that Lou Lamoriello will have traded Nick Leddy just to expose either Pulock or Mayfield and have one of them selected for free by Seattle.
Maybe he’s already signed a defenseman that meets the exposure requirements (like Andy Greene) and he can protect Pulock, Pelech, and Mayfield. Or perhaps he’s made a trade with the Kraken.