Seattle Expansion Draft Series: Article 8 - Columbus and Dallas

Welcome back to our Seattle Expansion Draft Series. If you haven’t read the first article that lays out the rules of the expansion draft, that would be a good starting point, as I’ll only give the very basic rules in each of these follow up articles. If you are interested in Detroit, that was the second article and the seventh article.

I’m going to take a look at either one or two other NHL teams each week. My goal is to get some input from people who cover the team because let’s face it, I don’t have the knowledge of each NHL team to be able to give you the best idea of what to expect. Keep in mind that there’s a lot that could happen between now and July, when the lists are finalized. So let’s dive into Columbus and Dallas!

Columbus Blue Jackets

Taking some time away from being one of the best beat writers in the league to help me out with Columbus is Alison Lukan. She consistently puts out some of the most interesting and comprehensive hockey writing, and is a must follow on twitter.


According to Lukan, “as long as this is the roster, Joonas Korpisalo is the goaltender they will protect, zero questions asked.” The one scenario that could have changed is if they traded him, since they have another good goaltender in Elvis Merzlikins, who is exempt. (I talked to Alison before the trade deadline, so that obviously didn’t happen.)


The defensive side of it is pretty easy, since Seth Jones and Zach Werenski are locks. According to Lukan, Vladislav Gavrikov is going to be the third defenseman protected. “He’s earned a solid spot in the top four, and he’s young, and they like him,” Lukan said.

Lukan thinks the most attractive candidate from this defensive corps for Seattle to select is Dean Kukan if they “are going to go with a more progressive defense like you are seeing some of the teams in the league move to.”


Just like with a lot of teams, the first 4 or 5 players are pretty obvious. For Columbus, these include Cam Atkinson, Oliver Bjorkstrand, Gustav Nyquist, Patrik Laine, Max Domi, and Boone Jenner. While Laine’s long-term future in Columbus is not certain, to put it mildly, and Domi has been a healthy scratch in consecutive games recently, they are going to be protected.

UPDATE July 7:  When we were discussing Columbus, Jack Roslovic accidentally got ignored and wasn’t included in the original article. That’s been fixed.

Lukan thinks this would leave out both Kevin Stenlund and Eric Robinson, with Stenlund having the upper hand if a spot becomes available because he can play center. He’s also a year younger and a little cheaper.

Seattle may look at Robinson, who Lukan describes as a “big, fast player, who can’t always find his finish,” but the Kraken may feel they can work with that.

Current Predicted Protections

Joonas Korpisalo

Seth Jones
Zach Werenski
Vladislav Gavrikov

Cam Atkinson
Jack Roslovic
Gustav Nyquist
Max Domi
Patrik Laine
Boone Jenner
Oliver Bjorkstrand

Notable Unprotected Players

Dean Kukan
Eric Robinson

Dallas Stars

Helping me out with Dallas is Pat Iversen. You may have heard him lately as a guest on Fer Sure. He has a podcast about the Dallas Stars called Plus One With Pat.


Ben Bishop has a no movement clause. Jake Oettinger is exempt, and Iversen sees no reason that Bishop would waive his NMC, so this one is easy.


Miro Heiskanen is obviously going to be protected. After that, the Stars are going to protect their current top pair of John Klingberg and Esa Lindell. Iversen says that Lindell can be a divisive player for the Stars. “His analytics don’t look very good, but it’s hard to debate that he is a top-four defenseman on most teams,” he said.

Iversen says that he thinks Seattle may try to sign Jamie Oleksiak, who will be a UFA after this season. Seattle can either sign him before the expansion draft if he is left unprotected or they could select him and try to sign him before the entire league gets a crack at him a week later.


Dallas has three forwards with NMCs whom the team would protect even without them: Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn, and Alexander Radulov.

Iversen said Roope Hintz and Denis Gurianov are “absolute locks” to be protected, but “after that it gets difficult.”

Radek Faksa signed an extension last October, so Iversen thinks he’s the next name on the protected list.

Lastly, he says the Stars “really like Jason Dickinson, and they are going to keep him around.” So that makes seven!

Current Predicted Protections

Ben Bishop (NMC)

Esa Lindell
John Klingberg
Miro Heiskanen

Tyler Seguin (NMC)
Jamie Benn (NMC)
Alexander Radulov (NMC)
Radek Faksa
Roope Hintz
Denis Gurianov
Jason Dickinson

Notable Unprotected Players

Anton Khudobin
Jamie Oleksiak

Previous Articles

Article 1: The Rules
Article 2: Detroit (First Time)
Article 3: Anaheim and Arizona
Article 4: Boston and Buffalo
Article 5: Calgary and Carolina
Article 6 - Chicago and Colorado
Article 7 - Detroit (Second Time)
Quick Rules Update