2017 NHL Expansion Draft: Rangers Official Protection List Announced

The NHL have released the full protection list for all teams Sunday at 10:30 after a small delay. The New York Rangers have predictably elected to go the route of protecting seven forwards, three defenseman, and one goaltender. And while the most of the eleven players they would protect has been common knowledge for some time now, today’s announcement made it official:

Four of the most likely players to be selected were covered in a four-part series by Joe. Here’s the bit about Oscar Lindberg, here’s Jesper Fast’s, here’s Antti Raanta’s, and finally here is Michael Grabner’s.

Aside from the occasional ludicrous call to expose Derek Stepan, everyone in Rangerstown knew that Jeff Gorton wouldn’t throw away an asset of Stepan’s value for nothing.

That’s not to say that Stepan is safe, however. While the roster freeze with every team except the Golden Knights is still in effect, there is nothing stopping teams from chatting and laying the foundation for deals to be struck once the freeze is lifted. With the rumors about the Arizona Coyotes’ interest in Stepan swirling, Gorton and John Chayka could use the next few days to iron out any details regarding a potential deal.

(Smith is an Unrestricted Free Agent, not a Restricted Free Agent)

Thoughts on this?