The upcoming Seattle Kraken Expansion draft just got a little bit easier to manuver for the Chicago Blackhawks. According to a report from The Athletic’s Scott Powers, it appears that Alex Nylander will be exempt from needing to be protected in the draft.
News on Alex Nylander’s expansion draft status https://t.co/EDQj3DPiDW
— Scott Powers (@ByScottPowers) June 23, 2021
Per Powers’ sources, Nylander is being considered a second-year pro, since he missed all of last season due to a knee injury. Nylander signed his entry-level contract in 2016 with the Buffalo Sabres, but his deal slid for the first two years, allowing him to be considered a second-year pro due to missing all of 2020-21 and thus not being required to be protected.
The Blackhawks are likely to use the 7-3-1 protection plan, and from The Atheltic’s Mark Lazerus, the speculation that the players left unprotected by the Chicago would include players of note like Ryan Carpenter, David Kämpf, Adam Gaudette, and Vinnie Hinostroza. With the newly open spot, I would guess the decision to use it would come down to either Gaudette or Kämpf. For my money, I would use the new spot on Gaudette.
The Seattle Expansion Draft is set for July 21st, and teams must submit their protected player lists by July 17 by 4;00 p.m. CT.