Latest Penguins Buzz

Insider Only Looming Expansion Draft impacting decisions to sign extensions now or wait

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Latest Expansion Draft Talk

With the official rules now in place, the Penguins’ brass have just begun in the last week to 10 days examining the expansion draft much closer.

The Penguins learned in mid-November by the NHL the following players have to be automatically protected:
Sidney Crosby
Evgeni Malkin
Marc-Andre Fleury
Phil Kessel
Kris Letang

Based off the structure of their roster, when the time for the expansion draft comes, the Penguins seem to certain to take the Seven forwards, three defensemen and one goaltender option than the Eight skaters (forwards/defensemen) and one goaltender option.

Projecting who the Penguins will protect is kind of pointless in December because the Penguins could still shake up this roster a bit between now and the trade deadline and obviously have the goaltender situation to sort out between now and June.

However, my sense of the situation that if the draft were today, this is the 10 skaters the Penguins would protect and in order of how they’re valued.

Forwards
Sidney Crosby
Evgeni Malkin
Phil Kessel
Patric Hornqvist
Conor Sheary
Bryan Rust
Carl Hagelin

Defensemen:
Kris Letang
Olli Maatta
Brian Dumoulin

Goaltender
Matt Murray

The personnel on the blueline might be the Penguins weakness, but the team believes there’s a strong chance they could lose a quality defender. Under this scenario, Ian Cole, Justin Schultz (RFA), Trevor Daley (UFA), Derrick Pouliot would all be exposed.

The looming expansion draft is also impacting extension talks for players who might or might not be protected as agents have concerns for clients signing extensions now, not getting protected and getting selected in the expansion draft.

That’s been a topic of discussion between Penguins d Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"

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About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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