Expansion Draft: Arizona Coyotes Protection List
Jul 7- 7 min read

The Arizona Coyotes are just a few weeks away from finalizing their protection list. The future outlook of this roster is bleak, former GM John Chayka left the cupboard bare when it comes to draft picks. Here are the rules for the Expansion Draft taking place on July 21st:

  • Each team can protect up to seven forwards, three defensemen, and one goaltender, or nine players regardless of position.
  • All players with no-movement clauses must be protected unless they’ve agreed to waive.
  • Any player with two or fewer years of NHL/AHL experience is exempt.
  • Teams must expose players who meet certain criteria. There must be at least one defensemen and two forwards who are under contract for 2021-22 and played at least 40 NHL games in 2020-21 or 70 NHL games total since the start of 2019-20. Teams must also expose a goaltender who is either under contract for the 2021-22 season or about to enter restricted free agency.

Arizona Coyotes

Forwards

Phil Kessel – The two time Stanley Cup champion has a no-move clause in his contract so no need to discuss much further then that.

Clayton Keller – It’s time for Keller to live up the $7.15 million contract but this organization needs as much young talent as possible. He’s still just 22 years-old so plenty of time to grow for the kid.

Christian Dvorak – A sneaky good two way forward in this league, He would make for an excellent second line center on playoff contender. Look for him to take a step forward in offensive production in 2021.

Nick Schmaltz – I do enjoy watching the speedy forward play but I’m not sure I enjoy him enough at $5.85 million for the next 5 years. He is the type of player that is servicable for a middling team but you need more offensive output from him considering he doesn’t contribute much in his own zone.

Lawson Crouse – A heavy bottom six winger that can fill out any bottom six in the league. I don’t see a lot of upside in his offensive game but he holds his own in the defensive zone. Can’t think they’d have much reason to expose him at his cap hit.

Conor Garland – The speedy winger had a coming out party of sorts this season, matching his career high point total in just 49 games.

Michael Bunting – I think it is anyone’s best guess as to who the last forward spot will go to. It could be Bunting, Christian Fischer or Tyler Pitlick. Bunting exploded in 21 games for 10 goals and 13 points, earning himself an invite to the World Championships. He is a UFA so there is a chance the team opts to wait until after the Expansion Draft to re-sign him.

Defensemen

Jacob Chychrun – A massive season for the 2016 1st round pick, 41 points was a career high and well surpassed his previous totals.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson – No move clause for the Swedish defenseman, he will have his say in where he wants to play in 2021.

Kyle Capobianco – The Coyotes need to have a player available that met the games played criteria, that is Ilya Lyubushkin, this would open this spot for the former third round pick Capobianco.

Goalies

Darcy Kuemper – Even at 31 years-old he has cemented himself as the organizations most valuable asset. His contract is up after the 2021 season, keeping him in Arizona will be vital.

Who’s available to Seattle

Forwards – Christian Fischer, Johan Larsson, Tyler Pitlick

Defensemen – Ilya Lyubushkin

Goalies – Adin Hill

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