The Avalanche afford to lose Toews in expansion draft

Avs can afford to lose a valuable assed in expansion draft

NHL is nearing the next addition into the league and therefore the expansion draft is puzzling the minds of the general managers who are trying to minimize the losses. In the last expansion draft held due to Vegas Golden Nights entering the league, Avs were in a good spot, but for the wrong reasons; There were not many players worth protecting. Then the Avalanche lost goalie Calvin Pickard. He was a decent backup, but easily replacable via free agency. Now the Avs are in a difficult spot for the right reasons; The team has tremedous depth and therefore are due to losing a valuable asset. The best option may be to take a deep breath, accept the losses and not make hasty moves. With tremendous depth, the upside is to afford to lose a valuable peace.

Likely candidates for the Avs to lose?

There are two choices for protecting the players. Seven forwards, three defensemen and one goalie or eight skaters and a goalie. Both systems are solid possibilities for the Avs. To make things a bit more difficult is Erik johnson’s limited no trade clause. He could be asked for his accepted trade list or he could wave his LNTC as he is not a likely candidate for Seattle to pick due to his declining play and excessive salary, but The Avalanche might still want to keep his services as Johnson provides veteran leadership for the young team ans especially for the young d-core.

Whatever the Avs choise is, a solid player will pack his stuff and move to Seattle. Depending on the method of protection the player will likely be one of the following; Toews – overall the best player on this list, Burakovsky – streaky sniper, Graves – capable defenseman with some offensive upside, Donskoi – a versatile winger capable of fillling multiple roles, Compher – defensive minded versatile forward, or Jost – now a bottom 6 forward with a ton of untapped potential.

From these possibilities I will have a possibly controversial take: Toews is expendable in this draft. By the emergence of Byram and continued good performance by Girard the top 4 D is already occupied at the start of next season. I still think that it was worth to trade for Toews as he is a good piece in the current lineup to help the youth grow.

Way too early projected D lines at the start of next season:

Girard – Makar

Byram – Johnson

Graves – Timmins

Two player that might switch places are Girard – Byram and Johnson – Timmins, depending on how the young defensemen develop.

To such a deep defense it really is the best to lose a talented defenseman. Not a thing I expected to think about a few years ago.

Thank you for reading.

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