Who the Chicago Blackhawks will protect against Seattle Kraken

Chicago Blackhawks, Brent Seabrook, Patrick Kane (Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports)
Chicago Blackhawks, Brent Seabrook, Patrick Kane (Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports) /
3 of 5
Alex Nylander, Chicago Blackhawks
Alex Nylander, Chicago Blackhawks Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports /

Seven Forwards, Three Defensemen and a Goalie:

Forwards: Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Alex DeBrincat, Dylan Strome, David Kampf, Alexander Nylander, and Matthew Highmore

Defensemen: Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, and Nikita Zadorov

Goalie:  : )

This is a pretty well-rounded list, in my opinion. The Chicago Blackhawks have their top four forwards locked up in Toews, Kane DeBrincat, and Strome. They also have three forwards who still have a lot to offer this team and are young. While a forward like Lucas Wallmark might be a better name for this list, the defense has some exciting names.

With just three defensemen and two of Chicago’s no movement clauses located on the blue line, the Blackhawks are limited. Chicago has to protect Keith and Seabrook, and after that, there is a lot available.

I am guessing that the Blackhawks are going to want to protect Zadorov. Chicago didn’t trade away Brandon Saad just for change alone; Stan Bowman saw something in Zadorov. If he has a good year, who knows, maybe he can help be a big part of the blue line. This also means that players like Calvin de Haan and Connor Murphy are exposed, which is a big reason why I like the eight skater version of this list for the Blackhawks.

Whoever separates themselves in net this coming season will get protected over the other two when it comes to the goalie position. It is also important to note that Lankinen has not played an NHL game yet, so Chicago will not have to worry about protecting him. On the other hand, Delia has played games in two separate seasons and presumably will be playing in his third this season. Subban has played in a few different seasons as well, making them eligible during this expansion.