The Flyers have released their protection list ahead of Wednesday’s Expansion Draft. And I’m going to be honest, I really only have good things to say.

The Flyers’ protected players are as follows:

Forwards: Nicolas Aube-Kubel, Sean Couturier, Claude Giroux, Kevin Hayes, Travis Konecny, and Scott Laughton

Defensemen: Ryan Ellis, Ivan Provorov, and Travis Sanheim

Goaltender: Carter Hart

This now means that the unprotected skaters are James van Riemsdyk, Jake Voracek, Justin Braun, Shayne Gostisbehere, and Robert Hagg.

Are there any big surprises here? Not really. There may have been a bit of initial shock seeing Aube-Kubel on the protected list, but it’s a move that does make sense.

A real importance for the Flyers this offseason, understandably, seems to be freeing up some cap space to have the flexibility to make some more moves, and this gives them the best chance of doing that.

The Seattle Kraken no longer have the opportunity of picking up Aube-Kubel because he’s cheap and has potential, but would have to pick up a player like van Riemsdyk, Voracek, or Gostisbehere who carry a higher cap hit. Granted, they could still go for Braun and add some good and lower cost depth, but this ensures that the Flyers have the greatest chance of seeing some money come off the books on Expansion Draft Day.

The Expansion Draft will take place on Wednesday July 21 at 8:00pm ET, and we’ll see how the Kraken decides to do this then.