Inside Scoop: 2021 NHL Expansion Draft

by 24USATVJuly 21, 2021, 7 p.m. 23
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The Penguins will be losing one player from the organization in tonight's 2021 NHL Expansion Draft, which will begin at 8 PM Eastern time on ESPN2 and Sportsnet.

The Seattle Kraken, who will enter the league next season as the NHL's 32nd franchise, is set to reveal their initial roster for their inaugural campaign. They must select one player from each current team, excluding the Vegas Golden Knights, for a total of 30 - at least 14 forwards, nine defensemen and three goalies. The full list of rules can be found here.

The Penguins elected to protect seven forwards, three defenseman and one goaltender:

That means the following players in the Penguins organization are available for selection:

Angello, Aston-Reese, Gaudreau, Jankowski, Lafferty, Rodrigues, Sceviour, Tanev, Zucker, Ceci, Czuczman, Friedman, Pettersson, Riikola, Ruhwedel, DeSmith and Lagace all played in at least one game with Pittsburgh last season.

Defenseman Yannick Weber, who appeared in two games for the Penguins after signing a one-year deal on Jan. 27, was originally on the list of available players before announcing his retirement on Tuesday.

It's worth noting that first- and second-year professionals, and all unsigned draft choices, are exempt from selection and not counted toward protection limits.

Defenseman John Marino, who just finished his second full NHL season, is in this group. So are the rookies on entry-level contracts who spent time in Pittsburgh last year - Pierre-Olivier Joseph, Drew O'Connor and Radim Zohorna - and top prospects like Sam Poulin and Nathan Legare.

This is the NHL's second expansion draft in the last five years. In 2017, Jim Rutherford and the Penguins sent a second-round pick to Vegas to ensure they would select goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.

Ron Hextall, who was general manager of the Philadelphia Flyers at the time, opted to protect seven forwards, three defensemen and one goalie. The Golden Knights ended up taking veteran Pierre-Edouard Bellemare.

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