The Islanders’ list of nine protected players for Wednesday’s expansion draft included a surprising name and a few surprising omissions, but that only fueled chatter that general manager Garth Snow already has a deal in place with Vegas GM George McPhee to essentially protect a few more Islanders who were made available Sunday.

Brock Nelson, Ryan Strome and Calvin de Haan were left unprotected while young defensemen Adam Pelech and Ryan Pulock were among the eight Isles skaters on the protected list that was released Sunday morning. John Tavares, Andrew Ladd, Anders Lee, Nick Leddy, Johnny Boychuk, Travis Hamonic and Thomas Greiss were the others protected as the Isles were the only team in the league to protect five defensemen.