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Ducks leave Sami Vatanen, Josh Manson available for NHL expansion draft

By in Press Enterprise on June 18, 2017

By Eric Stephens

There were no surprises for the Ducks when it came to the players they protected from the upcoming NHL expansion draft and those who were left exposed for the incoming Vegas Golden Knights to consider adding when it comes to building their roster.

Protected lists were revealed Sunday and the Ducks went with the option of keeping seven forwards, three defensemen and one goalie off limits. And that meant key two-way winger Jakob Silfverberg is off limits as well as Rickard Rakell, who led them with a career-high 33 goals last season.

Keeping more forwards also left more defensemen available and that means Sami Vatanen and Josh Manson were left exposed. Those two will cause consternation among the fan base, especially with Manson as a 25-year-old shutdown defender that’s cost efficient for now with upside.

Barring a major surprise, the Ducks don’t count on losing Vatanen or Manson. Ducks general manager Bob Murray is believed to have worked out a deal with the Golden Knights so that neither will be selected by them. Vegas will reveal its picks during the NHL’s awards show Wednesday night.

Only one player will be taken from each team. The Ducks couldn’t lock up all of their prized assets due to the two protection options available to them. While there was much speculation about Vatanen’s future, the Ducks did not move him before Saturday’s league-wide trade freeze.

Feeling that teams would view them as a team in a bind to keep their assets, the Ducks are believed to have worked out a deal that allowed them to hold onto Vatanen – if to keep long term or later trade for a roster-ready impact forward. Vatanen is signed for three more seasons at a $4.875 million salary cap hit.

To get Vegas GM George McPhee to take another player than the two […]    

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