The list of players who will be protected for the expansion draft to the Vegas Golden Knights has officially been released to the public. Chicago Blackhawks will protect seven forwards, three defensemen and one goalie. The forwards that the Blackhawks will protect are Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, Artem Anisimov, Ryan Hartman, Rickard Panik and Tomas Jurco. Defensemen Duncan Keith, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Brent Seabrook were also protected from the expansion draft. Goalie Corey Crawford was also protected. All first- and second-year players were exempt from the expansion draft. That’s why for example the Blackhawks didn’t have to protect the likes of Artemi Panarin or Nick Schmaltz.
Chicago Blackhawks exposed for the expansion draft are forwards Marcus Kruger and Jordin Tootoo, defensemen Michal Rozsival and Trevor van Riemsdyk and goalie Jeff Glass. Vegas Golden Knights have to pick one player from every team and the Blackhawks had to protect any players with no-movement clauses in their contracts, and those players are accounted for eight of the 11 players the Hawks protected. Knights can also negotiate contracts with the Blackhawks unprotected unrestricted and restricted free agents beginning on Sunday. Among those Blackhawks that are currently unsigned are forwards Andrew Desjardins and Dennis Rasmussen and defensemen Brian Campbell, Erik Gustafsson, Ville Pokka and Johnny Oduya. If the Golden Knights did sign one of those players, it would count as their draft pick for the Blackhawks.
Full list of players left unprotected by the Blackhawks:
Kyle Baun (F), Andrew Desjardins (F), Marcus Kruger (F), Pierre-Credric Labrie (F),
Michael Latta (F), Brandon Mashinter (F), Dennis Rasmussen (F), Jordin Tootoo (F), Brian Campbell (D), Dillon Fournier (D), Shawn Lalonde (D), Johnny Oduya (D), Michal Rozsival (D), Ville Pokka (D), Viktor Svedberg (D), Trevor van Riemsdyk (D), Mac Carruth (G), Jeff Glass (G)