The Capitals’ Protection List For The 2021 NHL Expansion Draft

Photo: WKRG

The Washington Capitals and the other 29 teams eligible to lose a player to the Seattle Kraken submitted their protection list for the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft by Saturday’s 5 PM deadline to do so and the lists were revealed by the NHL on Sunday morning. Each team had the option of protecting seven forwards, three defensemen, and one goalie or eight skaters (any combination of forwards and defensemen) and one goalie.

Here is the list that the Capitals, who went with the first option, reportedly submited by Saturday’s deadline:


  • C Nicklas Backstrom (no-movement clause)
  • LW Anthony Mantha
  • RW T.J. Oshie
  • RW Tom Wilson
  • C Evgeny Kuznetsov
  • C Lars Eller
  • RW Daniel Sprong


  • RHD John Carlson
  • LHD Dmitry Orlov
  • RHD Trevor Van Riemsdyk


  • Ilya Samsonov

Backstrom, 33, was the only player that the team had to protect from the Kraken due to his no-movement clause.

Starting at 3 PM ET on Saturday, a roster freeze came into effect unless teams are trading with the Kraken. The freeze will lift at 1 PM ET on Thursday.

The Kraken will be able to choose from forwards Nic Dowd, Carl Hagelin, Garnet Hathaway or Conor Sheary, defensemen Brenden Dillon, Nick Jensen, Michal Kempny or Justin Schultz and goaltenders Pheonix Copley and Vitek Vanecek.

Screenshot: CapFriendly

The most likely players to get picked included Jensen, Sheary, Schultz, Dillon, and Vanecek.

The Kraken can select just one player from each team but any teams could trade them more to prevent them to take a player one wishes to keep. Though, the price of protecting more players in the expansion draft is “exorbitant,” according to The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun. Every player on an entry-level contract is exempt from being taken, though teams could trade them to the Kraken as incentives to protect more players if they wish.

Starting at 10 AM ET on Sunday, when the NHL will make the protection lists public, the Kraken will have a window to negotiate with and sign any (un)restricted free agents who are unprotected from their 2020-21 team. Though, if they do, that will count as their pick from that player’s 2020-21 club. The Kraken could sign them on July 28, when free agency opens, making it unlikely that they will use any of their expansion picks on unrestricted free agents.

In our latest mock draft, we projected the Kraken selecting Jensen from the Capitals.

The Kraken must submit their expansion selections by 10 AM ET on Wednesday. The picks will be announced to the public on ESPN2 starting at 8 PM ET later that day.

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A Look Back At The Capitals’ 2017 Expansion Draft Protection List

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By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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7 Responses to The Capitals’ Protection List For The 2021 NHL Expansion Draft

  1. Anonymous says:

    Would hate to lose Sheary, Jensen or Vanecek. Fingers crossed.

  2. hockeydruid says:

    I do not like protecting both of the overgrown childern….Kuzy and Sammy, as I think that they feed off of each other negatively. For me Kuzy needed to go and I was hoping for a trade but giving him to Seattle would also have been acceptable.

  3. Mark Eiben says:

    It would be great to lose a bigger salary like Schultz or Dillon of course, but, in leiu of any deal Bmac could make with the Kraken, I would imagine the Caps have some trade(s) in place depending on whom the Kraken select. For instance, plan A in place if a big salary is taken and then plan B if a small salary is taken. I’m sure they are prepared regardless.

  4. Anonymous says:


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