Los Angeles Kings: Three players who could be lost to an expansion draft

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With Seattle set to have an NHL expansion team in 2021, we look at three Los Angeles Kings who could be lost

In December 2018, Seattle was granted an expansion team that will take effect during the 2021-2022 season. And similar to when the Las Vegas Golden Knights entered the league, the Los Angeles Kings’ roster will be susceptible to parting with a player.

Per the league’s rules, Seattle will be allowed to take 30 players, one from each team but excluding the Knights. Their initial roster will consist of 14 forwards, nine defenseman, and three goalies.

Conversely, the Kings will be allowed to protect seven forwards, three defensemen, and one goalie. The caveat in this rule is that first and second-year players are not eligible for selection and therefore do not need to be protected.

But the league has set stringent rules that the players eligible to be drafted by Seattle must be under contract for the 2021-2022 season and have played at least 40 NHL games. In 2017, the Golden Knights selected defenseman Brayden McNabb from the Kings, who was coming off a season in which he tallied two goals and two assists in 49 games.

The Kings were three years removed from winning their second Stanley Cup in three seasons, so there weren’t any surprises in the players they elected to protect. But when Seattle is set to draft their inaugural class for the franchise, things could look drastically different than they did when the Golden Knights entered the league. Let’s look at three players who the Kings may not protect, and therefore, will be available for Seattle to draft.