The Philadelphia Flyers’ protected list for the Seattle Kraken Expansion Draft is in. There were reports that the Flyers would protect James van Riemsdyk after trading Nolan Patrick, but that wasn’t the case. Nicolas Aube-Kubel received the last spot instead.
The rest of the list is as we predicted on Saturday.
Here is the official release from the Flyers:
The following is the Philadelphia Flyers list of PROTECTED players submitted to the National Hockey League for the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft, according to President of Hockey Operations & General Manager Chuck Fletcher:
* All first & second-year professionals, and all unsigned draft choices, are exempt from selection.
The Seattle Kraken have 72 hours to simultaneously submit its Expansion Draft Selections to the NHL’s Central Registry and the NHLPA with 10 a.m. ET on Wednesday, July 21 being the deadline.
Official distribution and announcement of the expansion club’s selections will be broadcast on Wednesday, July 21, at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN2 – live from Seattle, home of the Seattle Kraken.
It’s not a total surprise that Aube-Kubel was protected, despite what was reported on Saturday. Protecting JVR would’ve limited the Kraken’s options to a high-salary player in Jakub Voracek or a low-risk option like Nicolas Aube-Kubel. However, the Kraken now have James van Riemsdyk and Voracek among players to choose from. This increases the chances of the Flyers losing one of them in the Expansion Draft.
We will find out on Wednesday who the Kraken select from the Flyers. James van Riemsdyk and Jakub Voracek have the highest likelihood of being selected, with Shayne Gostisbehere a bit behind them. Of course, Seattle could also go off the board like the Vegas Golden Knights did with Pierre-Edouard Bellemare.