Bruins: Breaking down and analyzing Boston’s protected list

Mar 27, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins center Trent Frederic (11) looks to pass as Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen (55) looks on during the first period at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 27, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins center Trent Frederic (11) looks to pass as Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen (55) looks on during the first period at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports /
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Boston Bruins defenseman Jeremy Lauzon
Jun 5, 2021; Uniondale, New York, USA; Boston Bruins defenseman Jeremy Lauzon (55) shoots the puck against the New York Islanders during the third period in game four of the second round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports /

Goalie protected by the Bruins:

As each of the 30 teams had to do, the B’s had to protect one goaltender. The netminder the Black and Gold protected was prospect Dan Vladar.

Reason for protection:

Vladar is really the only option to protect. Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak are UFAs, so they don’t have to be protected. Rookie Jeremy Swayman is exempt from exposure as he was a first-year pro. This leaves just Vladar, Callum Booth, and Kyle Keyser as options to protect.

Goalies left exposed by the Bruins.

With Vladar protected, Rask and Halak UFAs, and Swayman exempt, the B’s only have Booth and Keyser left to expose.

Reason for exposure:

Booth and Keyser:
Both Booth and Keyser are depth goalies. They may be backup NHL goaltenders one day, but right now they’re not better than AHL starters. With Vladar being one of the top B’s goalie prospects along with Swayman, Booth and Keyser aren’t going to be protected over him.

Who the Kraken will select from the Bruins.

To me, and several others, there are three options from the B’s that the Kraken may go with. These three options are defensemen Jeremy Lauzon and Connor Clifton, and left wing Nick Ritchie.

Overall, I think the Kraken are more likely to go with one of the defensemen over Ritchie. Ritchie is a decent net-front presence that can give you 10 to 20 goals in a season, but doesn’t give you much of anything else if he isn’t scoring.

Between Lauzon and Clifton, it’s a toss up. Lauzon has the higher floor but pretty low ceiling as he already has top-pair experience as he started the season playing with McAvoy. But as a physical, stay-at-home defenseman, he doesn’t bring you much offense.

Clifton, on the other hand, is also physical but has a higher ceiling as he’s a pretty good skater and could bring you some offense if he can develop.

With that, I think the Kraken will go with Lauzon, who proved he can play on any pairing and can also kill penalties. He’s more consistent and a safer pick than Clifton.

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Either one of these young defensemen being taken will be a significant loss to the B’s as they’ll have to bring in someone to replace them. But, only time will tell which one is the bigger loss.