The Detroit Red Wings left forward Vladislav Namestnikov unprotected.
Vladislav Namestnikov is clearly one of Steve Yzerman’s favorites. Yzerman drafted the Russian forward 27th overall in the first round of the 2011 NHL Entry Level Draft from the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League.
Later, Yzerman used Namestnikov as a trade chip while in the midst of a career year, to acquire veteran defenseman Ryan McDonagh and forward J.T. Miller from the New York Rangers.
Namestnikov has struggled to replicate that same production he once showed in 2017-18, scoring 22 goals totaling 48 points in 81 contests between Tampa Bay and the Rangers.
Soon after accepting the GM role of the Detroit Red Wings, Yzerman decided to go back to the Namestnikov well one more time, signing the now 28-year old center to a two-year deal worth a mere $4 million.
The hope was Namestnikov would become a reliable third-line center with a ceiling of maybe excelling anchoring the middle of the second line. Unfortunately, the Russian center struggled to produce in his first season with the Red Wings and was left unprotected leading up to the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft.
In 53 games last season for the Red Wings, Namestnikov recorded 17 points which included eight goals but only produced a Corsi For Percentage of just 44.5% while averaging just over 16 minutes of ice-time per game.
Namestnikov may be a forward Seattle considers selecting, although I do feel that there are better options.