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How the Winnipeg Jets might handle the Seattle Expansion Draft

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Can the Winnipeg Jets make it another expansion draft only losing Chris Thorburn?

NHL: Preseason-Edmonton Oilers at Winnipeg Jets James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports

With confirmation of the Seattle expansion, we may as well start the inevitable two year debate as to who the Winnipeg Jets will protect and who they will expose.

Let’s start with a refresh of the rules We have been told that the same rules for the Vegas expansion draft will be repeated for Seattle.

Teams have two options for players they wish to protect:

A- 7 forwards, 3 D, and 1 goalie

B- 8 skaters and 1 goalie

all players who hold a no movement clause and decline to waive it must be protected and will count toward the protection list.

All first and second year professionals as well as unsigned draft choices will be exempt.

On top of these rules there are a slew of rules where a minimum amount of players under contract and having played a minimum amount of games be exposed. Also, one goaltender either under contract or a RFA must be exposed.

Now let’s get to the fun part of who I’m predicting the Jets protect. A lot can change from now til then with trades and free agency but I will simply pick based on how we look today.

I suspect the Jets will go the 7 forwards, 3 D and 1 goalie route.

Forwards

1-Mark Scheifele

2-Blake Wheeler

3-Patrik Laine

4-Kyle Connor

5-Nikolaj Ehlers

6-Jack Roslovic

7-Bryan Little (NTC) He has a modified NTC and it is unclear what those terms are, but if they can

Defence

1-Jacob Trouba

2-Josh Morrissey

3-Dustin Byfuglien

Goalie

1-Connor Hellebuyck

Who does that leave exposed? Vesalainen would be auto protected based on the fact that since he was allowed to go back to Europe this season he will not have played his two professional seasons in North America and will not need to be protected. Other key names left unprotected would be Mathieu Perreault, Tyler Myers (if still with the Jets ), Sami Niku, Andrew Copp, and BrandonTanev.

I honestly feel the Jets will be fine and the worst thing to do is try and make a trade to protect a certain player. I would hate to lose Lowry but I’m also not willing to give up top prospects or a first round pick to protect him.

Let the debate begin.