The Buffalo Sabres are about to embark on a very busy next week. General Manager Kevyn Adams will have plenty of huge decisions to make in regards to the roster, as will all the NHL general managers.

The NHL Expansion Draft will take place this Wednesday, July 21st at 8 pm.

The Seattle Kraken will become the 32nd team in the NHL and will make their player selections on Wednesday night.

All teams had to submit their “protected player list” to the NHL by 5 pm on Saturday, including which players would be left “exposed.”

The Sabres players that will be left exposed to the Seattle Kraken expansion draft include, defenseman Will Borgen, defenseman Colin Miller, forward Kyle Okposo, forward Zemgus Girgensons, forward Cody Eakin and forward Jeff Skinner.

Although Skinner is exposed, he waived his no-movement clause so the Sabres could protect another player. The chances of Seattle picking Skinner are extremely low, since he has six year remaining on his contract and $9 million per season.

That means the Sabres decided to protect defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen over Will Borgen. The thought there according to NHL insiders is that the Sabres can still trade Ristolainen for assets in return on Thursday or Friday. Seattle could pick Borgen, although Adams could work out a trade with the Kraken to keep Borgen and make them take someone else.

The NHL now has a trade freeze until Thursday morning; this means teams cannot trade a player until that time.

There are still good odds that Jack Eichel, Sam Reinhart and Rasmus Ristolainen are traded off the roster by the first round of the NHL Entry Draft this Friday night.

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Theoretically, the Sabres could lose as many as four or five players by next weekend (Eichel, Ristolainen, Reinhart, etc.), not counting any players that would be returning in a potential trade.

A few weeks ago TSN’s Darren Dreger said that it’s highly likely Eichel would be traded and now Sabres fans wait for that day and what the return would be.

The Sabres need to make drastic changes to the roster after last season and seasons prior. With players like Eichel and Ristolainen forecasted to leave, it appears a fresh rebuild will begin in Buffalo. We’ll see who Seattle picks off the Sabres roster this Wednesday and don’t forget, Buffalo has the number one overall pick in the NHL Draft this Friday.

Buckle up, Sabres fans.

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