Expansion Drafting: AHL Possibilities
Naturally GMs will be allowed to protect their best assets from being chosen in the expansion draft but many core players throughout the league will still be exposed to selection by the new franchises. Before we take a look at the Predators options bear in mind that while prospects aren’t eligible to be taken in the expansion draft, players that have played two years of pro hockey on their entry-level contract before the 2017 draft will be eligible for selection and that includes AHL players as well. For comparison’s sake let’s look at two of the Predators top prospects.
Kevin Fiala, Nashville’s 1st round choice in 2014, will be fair game for any expansion franchises that may want him unless he is protected by the Predators from selection simply because 2017 will be the third year of his entry-level contract and he’s played at the AHL level for at least 3 years by then.
Then you have Juuse Saros, Nashville’s 4th round pick in 2013 and top goaltending prospect, who even though he was from the draft class a year prior to Kevin Fiala, is safe from selection since he is currently playing in his first year in the AHL and will only have played two seasons at the pro level by the 2017 draft.
That being said Fiala might go unclaimed if only one franchise will be selecting in the initial expansion draft since teams are more likely to select one of Nashville’s blueliners to build their own defense around than an unproven if promising prospect who doesn’t have a proven track record at the NHL level.
Depending on who plays on the Predators as opposed to Milwaukee next season it could make choices on prospects very hard for the Predators.
Next: Let's Look at Option A