There is plenty of time until the next expansion draft, which is expected to occur at some point after the 2020-21 season (whenever finishes), but teams are paying attention to it and how to avoid a major loss. The San Jose Sharks were well prepared three years ago when the team didn’t give Vegas many options with the Golden Knights eventually selecting defenseman David Schlemko, who them later flipped to Montreal for a 2019 fifth-round pick.
However, this time around, general manager Doug Wilson may have some much tougher decisions to make. The team only has two players that will have no-movement clauses before the expansion draft in Erik Karlsson and, unfortunately, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, who at 33 years old, has six more years at $7MM per year. With cap room challenging in the future, Wilson may have to make a drastic move, and according to The Athletic’s Kevin Kurz (subscription required), the team may opt to expose veteran defenseman Brent Burns to the Seattle franchise.
While Burns’ numbers took a bit of a hit last season and he will be 36 years old when the expansion draft comes about, he still remains a solid top-four defenseman and is a candidate to age well considering his workout history. His salary still carries five more years at $8MM AAV, but he could be a valuable veteran piece for an expansion team and could help out the Sharks as well.
- After having drafted centers in the first round of the past three drafts, (Gabriel Vilardi, Rasmus Kupari and Alex Turcotte) the Los Angeles Kings are lined up to likely select a fourth center in four years with the No. 2 overall pick, which is expected to be either OHL’s Quinton Byfield or German center Tim Stutzle. Regardless, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman in his most recent 31 Thoughts column, writes that won’t stop general manager Rob Blake from taking a fourth center. “No,” Blake said. “You mention those three, we’ll take four centres like that.”
- Former Coyotes’ reporter Craig Morgan reports that the Arizona Coyotes are expecting to have their entire roster in town by Monday. Several teams are already trying to get their entire rosters in town with plenty of time to get comfortable before training camp starts for the upcoming 24-team tournament and Arizona will be one of the first.
- The Calgary Flames are also working on getting their team together as quickly as possible. TSN reported that Flames’ general manager Brad Treliving said that the team already has 18 players in Calgary, although several are still undergoing quarantine. However, the GM also said that he expects the rest of the team to be in Calgary by early next week.