Question 3. In the expansion, the team can protect 7 forwards. We already know Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, and most likely Mikael Backlund will for sure be protected. Who do you think will end up being the last four forwards? This isn’t who you want, it’s who you think will be protected. (keep in mind Matthew Tkachuk is exempt from the draft because he’s only a first year professional in his ELC).
I believe the Flames will protect Bennett, Michael Frolik, Micheal Ferland and Curtis Lazar. Bennett is still young and has plenty of upside, while Frolik and Ferland bring plenty of grit and 20-goal potential. Those two players also have team-friendly contracts, so the Flames should prioritize them over the likes of Troy Brouwer and Alex Chiasson.
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My protected forward list is as follows:
- Sean Monahan
- Johnny Gaudreau
- Mikael Backlund
- Michael Frolik
- Sam Bennett
- Michael Ferland
- Curtis Lazar
The first two are obvious, these are your franchise players. Backlund is one of the most underrated forwards in all of hockey with his stellar two way ability. Frolik is a great two way player who can chip in on the offensive front and score. Sam Bennett is a lock to be protected as he is a very talented forward who had a rough year in Calgary. Bennett as a third line center? That shows the depth of the Calgary Flames, I like it. Michael Ferland locked himself into that position because of his stellar second half of the season. Not to mention, Ferland is a big and physical presence, similar to Patrick Maroon.
You will need guys like that. Curtis Lazar is a player who unfortunately had his protected spot locked on Trade Deadline Day, as the Calgary Flames coughed up a second rounder for him. I don’t think he will pan out, but time will tell.
Wow guys, we all agree on something here! There’s no question about Monahan and Gaudreau. And with Backlund finally getting the recognition he deserves this year, there’s no question about him either. Him and Frolik together have been insane this past season. They compliment each other well in every aspect: Even strength, powerplay, on the penalty-kill. They’re a dynamic duo and along with Tkachuk, this trio is fun. Then we have Lazar who, like Dan said, is most likely going to be protected since the Flames gave up a pick for him. And I’d like to see Lazar stay anyways. Like Bennett, he’s has a ton of potential, but just hasn’t quite gotten there yet. He’s very young and has plenty of time to develop. The Calgary Flames should keep him and see how things turn out.