Continuing on with the protected list for the SB Nation Expansion Draft, we now turn our focus onto the defensemen. To recap, here are the rules that we are governed by:
Rules on Protected List
- Players who have played 49 or less games are also exempt.
We have already elected to protect one goaltender, so it means that there are five defensemen that need to be selected. To start, the following players will be protected, Mike Weber, Alex Biega, TJ Brennan, and Drew Schiestel.
Following the jump, my choice for the five defensemen to protect.
This is a no-brainer. Calder Trophy winner, extremely young defenseman with plenty of upside. A player to build a defensive core around and a player the Sabres should have for years to come.
Even though Morrisonn hasn't suited up for the Sabres, he has shown enough in the league to be worthy of a protection. Morrisonn's shot blocking ability and defensive ability will show that he could be an elite defenseman on this team.
What we said about Morrisonn applies to Leopold as well. While he has yet to see the ice as a Sabre, his abilities have shown that we should use another protection on him.
Andrej Sekera has shown enough to me that he should still be apart of the Sabres. The fact that he is young makes me more inclined to keep up the Sekera experiment rather than see him walk to another team.
Much like what I said with Andrej Sekera, it applies to Chris Butler. In terms of protecting players, I would rather keep young defensemen that have upside over an aging veteran.
That rounds out my five protected defensemen. It leaves Craig Rivet and Steve Montador unprotected which I feel are quality players that could be replaced. As with the forwards though, its ultimately your choice who we as a site protect. The poll is below, choose your five defensemen to protect and defend your choices in the comments.