The NHL Expansion Draft is this week and each team had to submit a list of players they want to protect this past weekend. Last week, I did an article about who I think the Buffalo Sabres will protect. As you can see in the tweet below, it was somewhat close to what I said. In this article, I’m going to give you my thoughts about the Buffalo Sabres protected list.
We have protected the following players from the 2021 Expansion Draft:
— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) July 18, 2021
The Obvious Choices
Let’s start out with the obvious choices. Starting off with the forwards, captain Jack Eichel, Sam Reinhart and Victor Olofsson are the three guys that were automatic. Despite the speculation surrounding Eichel and Reinhart, they were still no brainers for the Sabres to protect. A couple more players who weren’t really shockers were Anders Bjork, Casey Mittelstadt and Tage Thompson. Bjork came over from Boston in the Taylor Hall trade while Tage and Casey were some bright spots for the Sabres at the end of the last season. Transitioning to the defense, Rasmus Dahlin was another automatic and I’m sure the same can be said for Henri Jokiharju. Lastly, I think we all expected goaltender Linus Ullmark to be protected as well.
There were a couple of surprises for me. I thought Buffalo would’ve protected defenseman Will Borgen instead of Rasmus Ristolainen but I was wrong. It was a head scratcher for me because Ristolainen is a free agent and I don’t expect him to be back next season. As for Borgen, I think he has potential. However, it’s possible the Sabres have a trade in place for Risto. We won’t know until something happens but another surprise for me was Jeff Skinner. If a player has a no movement clause in his contract, then they are automatically protected unless they agree to waive it. Before the weekend, the Sabres asked Jeff to waive his no movement clause and he agreed to do it, allowing Buffalo to protect forward Rasmus Asplund.
With that being said, the Seattle Kraken will have 20 players to select from the Sabres roster. Some of the names include Skinner, Kyle Okposo, Jake McCabe, Borgen, Carter Hutton and more. Keep in mind, Buffalo is only going to lose one player unless they make a trade with Seattle. It’ll be interesting to see who they choose because they do have some options when it comes to selecting someone on Buffalo’s roster.
Final Thoughts on the Buffalo Sabres Protected List
Seattle will be building up their roster this Wednesday so make sure to tune if you can to see who they will select from each roster. I’ll be interested to see who they select from the Sabres. If you were to ask me, I think they take defenseman Colin Miller but it looks like we’ll find out later this week.
(Featured image credit to AP News).
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