SB Nation Expansion Draft: Protected Defensemen

Its time to choose the defensemen to protect for the SB Nation Expansion Draft.

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

- Teams can protect either "1 goalie, 5 defensemen and 9 forwards" OR "2 goalies, 3 defensemen and 7 forwards." 

- If you go the two goalie route, at least one goalie left unprotected must have played in at least 10 games last season OR 25 games in the last two seasons combined. One game = at least 31 minutes. 

- Each team must leave unprotected at least one defenseman who appeared in 40 games last season OR 70 games in the last two seasons combined. 

- Each team must leave unprotected at least two forwards who appeared in 40 games last season OR 70 games in the last two seasons combined. 

- Rookies who have yet to play in the NHL, like Tyler Seguin and Taylor Hall, for example, are automatically exempt. 

- 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.

Tyler Myers


Tyler Myers

#57 / Defenseman / Buffalo Sabres

6-8

222

Feb 01, 1990


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. 

Shaone Morrisonn 


Shaone Morrisonn

#0 / Defenseman / Buffalo Sabres

6-4

217

Dec 23, 1982


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. 

Jordan Leopold


Jordan Leopold

#0 / Defenseman / Buffalo Sabres

6-1

200

Aug 03, 1980


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


Andrej Sekera

#44 / Defenseman / Buffalo Sabres

6-0

197

Jun 08, 1986


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. 

Chris Butler


Chris Butler

#34 / Defenseman / Buffalo Sabres

6-1

203

Oct 27, 1986


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.

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