With the Expansion Draft just around the corner, the Arizona Coyotes have a different situation on their hands than most teams.

The majority of key players being exempt raises the question: who are the Coyotes going to protect? Currently, they have three forwards and five defensemen who meet the exposure requirement.

Arizona barely has enough players to protect, which could lend them to protect eight skaters rather than taking the 7F/3D protection route. Instead of protecting eight skaters, signing the RFAs and UFAs who qualify before June 17 also makes sense.

According to most, Vegas’ likely choice would be defensemen Luke Schenn. This would open up a spot for another young defensemen to join the already very youthful defensive group.

Another possible Vegas pick is one of the goalies. Mike Smith, 35, is signed through 2019 and could be a good fit for Vegas if Arizona opts to protect Louis Domingue instead. This would open the door for Domingue as well as prospects, like Adin Hill. On the contrary, exposing Domingue could lead to him in a Golden Knights jersey.

Ultimately, all we can do until June 17 is play around on CapFriendly, but it will be interesting to see how the Coyotes go about this.

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