The Expansion Draft: A Look at Detroit Red Wings Defensemen

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The 2021 Expansion Draft will take place July 21. The Seattle Kraken will select one player from the current Detroit Red Wings roster. Detroit will most likely protect seven forwards, three defensemen, and one goaltender.

Here is a look at the defensemen.

Detroit Players who are Exempt

Detroit will have six defensemen currently exempt from having to be protected in the expansion draft.  Moritz Seider, Jared McIsaac, Albert Johansson and Donovan Sebrango have yet to play for the Red Wings  and therefore do not have to be protected.  Recently signed defensemen Seth Barton and Eemil Viro also meet this criteria.

Probable Protected Defensemen

General Manager Steve Yzerman has only two decisions to make when he protects the defensemen.  There are currently five defensemen who meet the NHL’s criteria for the draft.

Here are the three defensemen Yzerman will likely protect from Seattle:

Likely Defensemen to be Left Unprotected

The Red Wings will have to leave two defensemen unprotected in this expansion draft.

The biggest decision Yzerman will have to make is leaving Danny DeKeyser unprotected.  If Seattle doesn’t take one of Detroit’s forwards, it is likely that they will take DeKeyser.  The reason Yzerman will likely leave DeKeyser unprotected relates to his expiring contract.  DeKeyser only has one year left before he becomes an unrestricted free agent (UFA), according to, at a cap hit of $5.0 million.  If DeKeyser is selected, it will open up a large amount of cap space for Yzerman to sign a free agent this summer.

Detroit will also likely leave Gustav Lindstrom unprotected.  The right shot defenseman is behind Hronek, Seider and Stecher on the depth chart on the right side.  Losing Lindstrom is highly unlikely at this point in his young career.

Final Thoughts

The young stable of defense prospects allows Steve Yzerman to expose two defensemen that are not part of the long term solution on defense.  The Red Wings will also most likely add to the prospect list on defense in the upcoming Entry Draft in July.

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