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Abel to Yzerman

Talking Expansion Draft

Yesterday, Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press wrote about what Detroit players could be made available for the Seattle expansion draft.

In the mix

Evgeny Svechnikov, Givani Smith, Dmytro Timashov, Christoffer Ehn, Adam Erne, Taro Hirose: This is a big year for Svechnikov, a 2015 first-round draft pick who has yet to show if he fits into the rebuild. He’s no longer waiver exempt, so he’ll be on the roster when 2020-21 starts — but can he earn a spot in the lineup? Smith adds a physical dimension, but is there more to his game? Timashov, Ehn, Erne and Hirose are all restricted free agents, and are likely to be re-upped. Timashov was picked off waivers in February; he only played five games, but he looks like he has potential. Erne is another physical presence, and he also was brought in by Yzerman. There’s not much offensive dimension to Ehn, but he has proven he’s a solid, reliable grinder-type. Hirose is interesting — he’s clearly a very intelligent player, so if he can gain enough strength to hold his own in the NHL, he could leapfrog to the protected listed.

In the mix

Dennis Cholowski, Gustav Lindstrom, Madison Bowey: Lindstrom has shown himself to be a smart, steady defender. Cholowski, a first-round pick from 2016, hasn’t developed as expected – he hasn’t even dominated at the AHL level (he had three goals and 10 assists in 30 games with Grand Rapids this season and his minus-15 was worst among team defensemen). Still, Cholowski has offensive gifts and he’s a good skater. Bowey (an RFA this summer) likewise has an offensive skill set, but he’s another one whose growth hasn’t been to the level expected (Yzerman was willing to lose him for nothing in December, when he placed Bowey on waivers). This will be an interesting battle to watch.


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Paul's avatar

Ansar Khan did the same this morning.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 07/25/20 at 07:42 AM ET

d ca's avatar

This was covered by The Hockey Writers in January. See here.. Also congrats to them on getting Seattle name right back in January. One exception is that they protected Andreas Athanasiou since this was prior to his trade, but they did correctly note,

“there‚Äôs a strong chance Athanasiou is dealt prior to the expansion draft.”

They also noted, Bernier was simply used as a placeholder.

Their list:

Forwards: Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha, Tyler Bertuzzi, Andreas Athanasiou, Michael Rasmussen, Robby Fabbri, Evgeny Svechnikov.
Defensemen: Filip Hronek, Dennis Cholowski, Gustav Lindstrom.
Goalie: Jonathan Bernier.

I really can’t fault the Wings for having a choice of two among:  Evgeny Svechnikov, Givani Smith or Dmytro Timashov, or Taro Hirose. Nor will I argue about the selections of the last two spots.

However, protecting Danny DeKeyser like Helene states would be a huge mistake. Next summer, he will be 31 yrs old with 1 year left on his contract for 5M and a partial (10-team) NTC. In the last 3 years he hasn’t been able to stay healthy. He is coming off back surgery, which has been known to end and certainly cut short careers—unlike his previous injuries like taking a Stamkos slap shot off his wrist that cost him a month and a half. That reason alone is enough to expose him.

There is absolutely no reason to trade a pick or prospect to take on Abbie or Nielsen’s contracts. Making a trade of Svechnikov or Cholowski, if they don’t fit the plans by the trade deadline, would make sense if a pick or prospect that similarly needed a change of scenery came back.

Under that scenario it would be possible not to lose a player like Givani Smith, but would come at the cost of having yet more 1st round picks not turn out—-a noticeable trend under the KH regime and one he won’t have to take the heat for.

One thing is for certain, there should be some talented prospects available at the 2021 trade deadline.

Posted by d ca on 07/26/20 at 09:04 PM ET


I would agree on not protecting Dekeyser.  But I am hoping that they will be protecting a dman that isn’t currently on the roster.  There are some interesting Dmen in the UFA pool that in the right age range.

Posted by murph1jj on 07/30/20 at 11:36 AM ET

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Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com