NHL Expansion Draft: Minnesota Wild available and protected list

The official draft rules state the Golden Knights must select at least 14 forwards, nine defensemen and three goaltenders, have to reach at least 60 percent of last year's $73 million salary cap ($43.8 million) and need to take at least 20 players under contract for next season.

The Vegas Golden Knights expansion draft will be Wednesday, and many high-profile National Hockey League players are up for grabs.

The Golden Knights' selection - one from each National Hockey League club - will be revealed at the 2017 National Hockey League awards and expansion draft on Wednesday night at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Let's take a look at the five best players available for the Golden Knights. They protected forwards Paul Stastny, Alexander Steen, Vladimir Tarasenko, Jaden Schwartz, Patrik Berglund, Vladimir Sobotka and Ryan Reaves, along with defensemen Alex Pietrangelo, Jay Bouwmeester and Joel Edmundson plus goalie Jake Allen.

No doubt the moment those lists were formally presented McPhee's phone lit up with calls from other GMs looking to spin the expansion draft into something of value for them.

Boedker, who signed a four-year, $16 million contract with the Sharks in free agency last summer, underperformed in his first season with the team, serving as a healthy scratch on January 5 and in Games 3 and 4 of the squad's Stanley Cup playoff series against the Edmonton Oilers.

So, in theory, McPhee could select Minnesota defenseman Matt Dumba and then flip him to say Tampa or Dallas in exchange for different assets.

"We are still talking to clubs and we are open to doing deals with clubs if they want to protect their rosters" McPhee said.

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Sunday's violence came about a week after the U.S. State Department warned of possible attacks on Western diplomatic missions and other locations in Bamako that Westerners frequent. But now that the lists are set, McPhee said he's more willing than ever to talk deal with his team-building counterparts.

"We're really pleased with what's available and this, as I've said, has worked out very well for the Vegas Golden Knights", McPhee said.

The Chicago Blackhawks beat writers and bloggers have been basically telling us for a week now who was and wasn't going to be on the protected list, and when it was finally announced at 10:30am (1/2 hour later than the announced time on Saturday) there were no surprises for Hawks fans. The San Jose Sharks got second- and fourth-round picks for Mirco Mueller and a fifth-rounder, a safeguard against losing a 22-year-old defenseman for nothing. I have shutdown guys in Methot and Johnson and potential power-play d-men in Alzner and Scandella, who checked in with an 11-goal season three years ago.

Neal wasn't the only high-profile player left exposed by the Predators, who are coming off their first Stanley Cup Final appearance.

Remember when the Flames traded a 3rd round pick to land Stone's services for a few months? He's a right-handed shot and played some with Victor Hedman last season. They will begin playing next season and will be the 15th team in the Western Conference and eighth in the Pacific Division.

Other notable forwards left unprotected were Los Angeless Dustin Brown, Montreals Tomas Plekanec and Pittsburghs Chris Kunitz.

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