Isles’ list sign of deal with Ve­gas

New York Post - - SPORTS - By BRETT CYRGALIS bcyr­galis@ny­

With the Is­landers stock­pil­ing young tal­ent for a decade, they now have run into a mod­er­ate prob­lem — and it could end up cost­ing them a high draft pick.

Ev­ery NHL team had their lists of pro­tected play­ers for the ex­pan­sion draft re­leased Satur­day, and the nine play­ers the Is­landers in­cluded left them with a few key play­ers still ex­posed. As Ve­gas Golden Knights gen­eral man­ager Ge­orge McPhee pre­pares to take one player off ev­ery ros­ter, his Is­landers coun­ter­part, Garth Snow, was put in a tough spot, and it seems that he might have a trade in place.

Be­cause Brock Nel­son, Ryan Strome and Calvin de Haan are all ex­posed, it would seem that Snow has some­thing ar­ranged with McPhee to keep those three play­ers from be­ing drafted. One report from TSN said the deal is for a first-round pick.

No deal will of­fi­cially go down un­til Wed­nes­day, when the draft is set to take place. But it seems the mar­ket for what will keep McPhee away from nu­mer­ous young play­ers sits at a pretty high bar.

Snow did de­cide to pro­tect five de­fense­men — the most of any team — with Johnny Boy­chuk, Travis Ha­monic, Nick Leddy, Adam Pelech and Ryan Pu­lock. De Haan is more im­por­tant than either Pelech or Pu­lock, so his ex­po­sure makes it clear there is some­thing in place to keep him from be­ing drafted.

The pro­tected for­wards are John Tavares, An­ders Lee and An­drew Ladd, while the lone goalie pro­tected is Thomas Greiss. That leaves the for­mer No. 1 net­min­der, Jaroslav Halak, ex­posed, but his $4.5 mil­lion salary-cap hit for next sea­son makes him an un­likely pick for Ve­gas.

The Rangers pro­tected list was as ex­pected, with the most no­table play­ers ex­posed be­ing Michael Grab­ner, Jesper Fast, Os­car Lind­berg and Antti Raanta. Any one of the four could be taken by McPhee. Their pro­tected play­ers are for­wards Rick Nash, Derek Stepan, Kevin Hayes, Chris Krei­der, J.T. Miller, Mats Zuc­carello and Mika Zibane­jad; de­fense­men Ryan McDon­agh, Marc

Staal, and Nick Holden; and goalie Hen­rik Lundqvist.

The Blueshirts played it pretty sim­ple go­ing into this draft, not over­re­act­ing and trad­ing some­one just to make sure they didn’t lose him — most no­tably Raanta, who had proven this past sea­son to be a pos­si­ble No. 1 op­tion on another team. Lind­berg might be the most likely to be cho­sen be­cause of his of­fen­sive up­side, but he also might be the eas­i­est to re­place for the Rangers, who need the penalty killing of Fast and Grab­ner next sea­son.

The Devils pro­tected four de­fense­men: Andy Greene, John Moore,

Mirco Mueller (who the Devils just traded for Satur­day in a deal with the Sharks) and Damon Sev­er­son. They also pro­tected for­wards Tay­lor Hall, Adam Hen­rique, Kyle Palmieri, and Travis Za­jac, along with fran­chise net­min­der Cory Sch­nei­der.

The NHL an­nounced the salary-cap limit for next sea­son will be $75 mil­lion, up from this past sea­son’s $73 mil­lion. The low point is $55.4 mil­lion and the ad­justed mid­point is $65.2 mil­lion.

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