If at all history tells us G.M.'S usually don't move a player until his last year of his contract. G.M.'s want to see how a player performs on top of getting a clearer picture of who they want to protect in the expansion draft.
The measuring stick will be year over year, which in Evanders case is Dec 3 2016 - Dec 3 2017. At that time we can add up the points totals and Kane projects to be a 50 - 60 goal scorer with 25 helpers. Trading Kane at this point would be stupid unless you got an offer that blows you away. Any 1st rd pick that comes back should be in the 2018 or 2019 draft as this years stock lacks the talent of previous drafts.
This last year of his contract also gives G.M.T.M. time to negotiate. It's then that the picture becomes clearer on whether or not he can be resigned. Hopefully he can be resigned. I think if year over year he hits those projected numbers his next contract should be in the 6 - 8 million a year, a great contract for a 50 - 60 goal scorer.
So we can protect seven forward, 3 D and a goaltender or eight total players can be protected, that's a lil less than 1/3 of your roster protcted leaving up to 15 players unprotected. My list of Sabres to be protected is:
When it comes time for Las Vegas to pick from the sabres I'd offer up a 2nd rd pick to them not to take Foligno & Girgensons, providing they haven;t already been traded.Players to pick from or trade before the expansion draft - Delaurier, Larrson, Gionta, Georges, Girensons, Ennis, Kulikov, Franson, Bogosian, Moulson.
Ideally Moulson would be my Las Vegas pick but that's unrealistic, I think L.V. picks either Girgensons or Foligno (providing that they haven't been traded) which is why Buffalo sends a 2nd rd pick for them to pass over one of the two. I want both on the 2017-18 roster.
Minimum is 20 players on the roster so G.M.T.M. can trade 3 players for prospects and picks on or before the deadline giving L.V. less to pick from and G.M.T.M more assets, this makes sense.
As far as the Oilers go it wasn't a couple small tweaks that makde them a better team, it's a couple words that make the Oilers contenders - Connor Mc David. Without McDavid Edmonton would be wallowing at the bottom of the league standings.