The Winnipeg Jets protect...
On Sunday the National Hockey League revealed all 31 teams protected list as the Seattle expansion draft quickly approaches.
It’s been a day we’ve been waiting for to finally find out if it would be Dylan DeMelo or Logan Stanley left unprotected.
We got our answer…
That leaves unprotected:
Players such as Mathieu Perreault and Paul Stastny who are pending UFAs do not have to be protected. Seattle does get a short window where they can have conversations with pending UFAs and should they sign one, would count as their one expansion pick from Winnipeg.
I think for Seattle this comes down to either taking DeMelo or Appleton, with the Jets hoping to work out a side deal to the leave two unprotected. But unless the rumored price of a first and third round pick to keep hands off certain players comes down, it’s hard to see Winnipeg and Seattle finding common ground.
DeMelo would be a huge loss for the Jets, a team that already has to make repairs on their blueline. Keeping DeMelo in Winnipeg should be the top priority.
The Kraken have a very solid group of defensemen to pick from, something that could keep the 6-foot DeMelo in Winnipeg.
The choice to keep Stanley over DeMelo could be one that haunts the Jets for years to come, or, make the Jets look like complete geniuses if Stanley can turn into a solid top-four option for them.
Stanley was good, very good at times last season and gives much reason to be excited about what’s to come. But, the Jets drafted Stanley in the first round five years ago. Was last season the beginning of a bright NHL career for Stanley? Or, was it just a flash in the pan?
The available lists of forwards for the Kraken to select from features some marquee names. While Appleton may not bring to the table what a Jordan Eberle, Jakub Voracek, Ondrej Palat or Vladimir Tarasenko do, he’s still a perfect middle-six option coming off a career year.
At 25-years old, and with a low cap hit of $900,000, Appleton is undoubtedly worth a long look from Seattle.