Today at 5 PM EST, all 30 NHL teams were to hand in their protection lists to the NHL. The NHL will make all the protection lists public on Sunday June 18 at 10 AM EST.
Although we’ll find out who the Avalanche will protect tomorrow morning, we do know however which route the Avs will go regarding their protection list. The Avs will go the 7 forwards, 3 defensemen, and 1 goalie route.
This was confirmed when the clock hit 5 PM EST earlier this evening. If the Avs were to go the 8 skaters, 1 goalie route, that would mean the Avs would protect defenseman Mark Barberio. And if the Avs were to protect Barberio (thus going the 8-1 route) the Avs would have to re-sign one of Cody Goloubef, Patrick Wiercioch or Fedor Tyutin as Expansion Draft rules state that each team has to expose 1 d-man who is under contract for next season AND has played in either 40 games this past season OR 70 games combined in the prior two seasons. Barberio is the only d-man who fulfills that requirement and since the Avs didn’t re-sign any of the three names mentioned above, Barberio will have to be left unprotected.
However, the Avs could still hypothetically trade a pick or a prospect to the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for not picking Barberio in the Expansion Draft. But that’s very unlikely since the Avs don’t have a ton of assets at their disposal and losing Barberio isn’t going to make or break the Avs. He is, however, a player the Avs don’t want to lose if they had their choice,
It’s already been confirmed by Adrian Dater of BSNDenver that the goalie the Avs will protect is Semyon Varlamov. The 3 d-men the Avs will protect is a no-brainer. They will protect Erik Johnson, Tyson Barrie and Nikita Zadorov.
The 7 forwards the Avs will protect is a bit cloudy at the moment. They will protect Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog, Matt Duchene, Sven Andrighetto and Matt Nieto. That will leave two more forwards that the Avs can protect. Among the remaining candidates are Mikhail Grigorenko, Blake Comeau, Carl Soderberg, Joe Colborne and Rocco Grimaldi. I don’t have a guess on the direction the Avs will go here but if it was my decision I would protect Mikhail Grigorenko and Blake Comeau.
Tomorrow at 10 AM EST we will find out the Avs‘ protection list (as well as every other team in the NHL).
Wednesday June 21 we will find out who the Avs will lose to Vegas.
At 3 PM EST today began a trade freeze. The trade freeze ends on Thursday morning on June 22. In this time frame, the only trades that the 30 NHL teams can make are with the Vegas Golden Knights.
On Friday June 23, the 1st round of the 2017 Entry Draft begins where the Avs draft 4th overall. Rounds 2-7 are scheduled for Saturday June 24. Busy week.