Earlier this morning the NHL released the protection lists for all 30 teams. As I said last night, the Avalanche will go the option of 7 forwards, 3 defensemen and 1 goaltender route instead of the 8 skaters, 1 goalie route.
The 7 forwards the Avs are protecting: Nathan MacKinnon, Matt Duchene, Gabriel Landeskog, Sven Andrighetto, Matt Nieto, Blake Comeau and Rocco Grimaldi.
There are no real surprises here. The only mild surprising name protected is Rocco Grimaldi who only played 4 games with the Avs this past season. The rest of the players protected were expected.
The 3 defensemen protected were obvious for over a year now. The Avs have protected Erik Johnson, Tyson Barrie and Nikita Zadorov. And the goalie, as reported by BSNDenver in April, the Avs have chosen to protect Semyon Varlamov.
So to sum up, the Avs have protected MacKinnon, Duchene, Landeskog, Andrighetto, Nieto, Comeau, Grimaldi, Johnson, Barrie, Zadorov and Varlamov.
The notable names the Avs have left unprotected include forwards Mikhail Grigorenko, Joe Colborne and Carl Soderberg, defenseman Mark Barberio and goaltender Calvin Pickard.