Detroit Red Wings: 3 potential expansion draft picks

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /

The Seattle Kraken will get to choose one player from each of the 31 NHL teams at the end of the 2021 season. These three Detroit Red Wings players may find a new home by the end of the year.

When the Vegas Golden Knights participated in the 2017 expansion draft, they chose Tomas Nosek from the Detroit Red Wings. Nearly four years have passed since the last expansion draft, and with the Seattle Kraken on the horizon, it’s important for the Red Wings to start thinking about which players may be taken from the roster.

If you aren’t familiar with the expansion draft rules, don’t worry — they’re very easy to learn. When a new team enters the NHL, they must choose one eligible player from every team in order to ice a competitive roster.

Teams are allowed to protect seven forwards, four defensemen, and one goalie on their list — prospects and rookies are ineligible. It levels the playing field and allows new teams to remain competitive like Vegas did as they entered their first season.

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With that in mind, who would Seattle take from Detroit? While the team still has a ways to go before they’re competitive, the Kraken will have a few options to consider as they look ahead. These three Red Wings players may find a new home with the Kraken before the start of the 2022 season.

1. Vladislav Namestnikov

Gone as soon as he arrived, Vladislav Namestnikov is first on our list. The journeyman center has played for half a dozen teams in his career and will likely raise that number if he’s chosen by Seattle in the draft. The skilled center could easily slot on the Kraken’s second line — something he will likely do in his time with the Red Wings.

He’s a solid 45-55 point player that can move up and down the lineup as needed. With just a year left on his contract by the end of the 2022 season, he could also serve as an excellent trade deadline asset. This seems like a no-brainer for the Kraken.

Likelihood of being chosen: High

2. Troy Stecher

Another recent acquisition by Steve Yzerman could see his way out as soon as he arrives. If he isn’t protected by the Red Wings, Troy Stecher has the potential to be one of the defensemen Seattle chooses in the draft.

Stecher is a young depth defenseman with the potential to grow into a stronger role. If the Red Wings don’t see what they want out of him, he may have the chance to prove himself with the Kraken.

While Stecher won’t leap off the page statistically, his role as a responsible defenseman is coveted by dozens of teams. Like Namestnikov, he has just a year left on his contract, making him another great deadline deal — that is unless the Red Wings decide to protect him.

Likelihood of being chosen: Medium

3. Danny DeKeyser

It feels like just yesterday when Danny DeKeyser signed his six-year contract extension with the Red Wings. Now we’re approaching its end — and possibly the end of DeKeyser with the Red Wings.

He’s been one of the team’s best defenseman during the rebuilding era, but if Yzerman decides he wants to hit the refresh button, DeKeyser might be shipped to Seattle before we know it. Of course, that all depends on where Yzerman sees the team going in the next few years.

DeKeyser has a modified no-trade clause on his contract, which means he can choose up to 10 teams he’d not like to be traded to. If he were to waive the clause, it would open him up to the expansion draft.

In all likelihood, DeKeyser will finish up his contract with the Detroit Red Wings — though it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Yzerman throw another surprise to the fans.

Likelihood of being chosen: Low

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Who do you think will be chosen in the expansion draft? Let us know in the comments!