2021 Seattle Expansion Draft: San Jose Sharks primer

This is going to be a busy month of July for the Sharks.

With the Expansion Draft for the Seattle Kraken coming up on July 21, the San Jose Sharks will have some decisions to make. The list of protected players must be submitted by July 17, and will be announced on July 18.

The Sharks can choose to either protect seven forwards, three defenders and a goaltender or eight total players, regardless of position, and a goaltender. These are the same rules as the 2017 Expansion Draft when the Vegas Golden Knights joined the NHL.

In 2017 the Golden Knight selected defenseman David Schlemko from the Sharks. The next day, the Golden Knights traded him to the Montreal Canadiens for a 2019 fifth-round pick.

Expansion Draft Rules

In addition to the number of players that a team can protect, there are other rules and requirements about players and who has to be exposed.

There are certain requirements that a player must meet to be exposed by a club. For forwards and defenders, players need to be under contract for the 2021-22 season and have played 27 or more games last season, or at least 54 games over the past two seasons. Goaltenders need to be under contract in 2021-22 or a restricted free agent with an expiring contract at the end of 2020-21. Each team needs to have two forwards, a defender and a goaltender exposed who meet the criteria.

Some of the other rules of the Expansion Draft to remember are:

  • Players with a No Movement Clause must be protected by their respective teams. If a player chooses to waive the clause, they can be exposed. Players with No Trade Clauses or Modified No Trade Clauses can be exposed.
  • All players who have two or less professional seasons and unsigned draft picks are exempted from the Expansion Draft.
  • If a player has missed 60 or more games in the previous season, they do not meet the criteria for the Expansion Draft and are exempt. These are mostly players who have spent a majority of the previous season on Long Term Injured Reserve./

Looking at the Sharks

The Sharks currently have two players that will have to be protected because of their No Movement Clauses: Erik Karlsson and Marc-Edouard Vlasic. Every other player who meets the criteria is eligible to be exposed. There will likely be other players who don’t meet the criteria that will be a part of the protected list, similar to how Chris Tierney and Ryan Carpenter were protected in 2017.

According to CapFriendly, the Sharks have six forwards, two defenders and two goaltenders who meet the exposure criteria. The players are:

  • Forwards: Logan Couture, Evander Kane, Timo Meier, Tomas Hertl, Kevin Labanc, Matt Nieto
  • Defense: Brent Burns, Radim Simek
  • Goaltenders: Martin Jones, Josef Korenar /

It is likely that the Sharks will go with seven forwards, three defenders and a goaltender, as they do not have enough defenseman to make protecting eight players make sense, meaning one of either Burns or Simek will be exposed.

Some of the players who will likely be protected will be Couture, Hertl, Meier, Karlsson, Vlasic and Ryan Donato. They will not need to protect some of their younger up-and-coming players like Mario Ferraro, or Alexander Barabanov, as they are exempt from the Expansion Draft. Which goaltender the Sharks will protect out of Jones and Korenar is a bit of a toss up, unless there is another side deal being made.

Some of the players who the Sharks might leave exposed are players like Burns and Kane, as a way to get rid of larger contracts while they are working on retooling the team. But with other trade rumors on players like Labanc, Simek and Dylan Gambrell, the Sharks are likely working in multiple ways to reset the team and get back into the postseason.

The CapFriendly Seattle Expansion Draft Simulator can be found here.