So Cochrane,Murray and Kabambi will probably end up unprotected.
We probably will see back Murray and Cochrane.
I believe the Titan already tendered their protection list to Sherbrooke and have an agreement in place where they will not touch Murray or Cochrane.
Maybe Kabambi or Godin would head up there.
1) I'd call Audette your 2nd line center. Yes, he's probably going to have the most skill of your forwards, but he will also be a smallish 16 year-old. If your coach knows what he's doing, he'll beef up another line to allow Audette to avoid checking lines his first year.
2) Turnbull is probably a 2nd liner for you as well. Him playing 3rd line for Bathurst last year shouldn't be an indictment. He is only 18, and had 15 points last year on a team known for running their top lines as often as they can. He isn't ideal, but you never how he'll perform when given the chance.
3) Your OA forwards had better be on your top 2 lines. This is your chance to get some cheap yet decent players. This also ties back to Audette. If you could have a Villemaire and a Cuzner (examples, not definite names), you'd have a top line good enough to take pressure off Audette and provide meaningful offense, yet also being able to be shuffled around if Audette adapts better than expected.
4) You have too few draft picks on your team. If you look at what you are getting, a 16 year old might make more sense to your team than the crap you'll be getting from some teams. The value is in extras and 20s (because they can only keep 3 20s and some teams have massive surpluses like Moncton with Ds).
5) In terms of Euros, your top Euro will be a top 6/top 4 guy out of necessity. If your staff does their homework, you should get a decent player. Your 2nd Euro should be slotted in as a 4th line/3rd pairing guy to start with, with the possibility that he surprises. Most Euros struggle to adapt, but opportunities will be available. A 2nd round Euro pick is a lot harder to get a top guy with.
IMO, your lineup will look something like:
Euro - OA - OA
EXP - Audette - Turnbull
EXP - DP - DP
DP - EXP - Euro
EXP, EXP, DP
OA - EXP
EXP - OA
DP - DP
Most of your depth will be drafted via expansion draft but after the top couple of guys, draft picks will make more sense to play than a lot of your depth.
In terms of output, I'd say that having more than 1 point per game player is unlikely in year 1, but the idea is to build up. Use the top line to insulate the young'uns, but when things get out of hand score-wise, start giving the kids as many shifts as you can (even if it is out of hand the wrong way).
The biggest things you need from this year are:
1) to end the year with your own 1st rounder - obvious but needs to be said. There is no player that is worth it to you.
2) A tangible plan going forward on where the offense, defense and goaltending are going. Audette is likely your offensive catalyst after year one, but you don't want to force him to lead you right away. You need to know where your offense will come from year over year. This doesn't mean that you need to always return point per game players, but you do need to return some guys who have shown that they can play an offensive game.
By the same token, you need to have defensemen who have shown that they can play some minutes if need be. Expect the big minutes to go to vets, but your kids have to be thrown into bad situations occasionally (like defending a 5 on 3 because your vets are in the box). Most of the D that will be available in the expansion draft will excel at one end of the ice and be mediocre at the other. This is great for starting out (and depth), but to build a good D, you will have to find somebody who can play both ends.
Your goalie is gonna get shelled. It is also the position where OA should mean Gervais-Chouinard (Rimouski), assuming he's available. I don't see any other overage goalies that are good and won't be protected. Also expect to pick up someone else in the expansion draft. There are a handful of teams that will have to leave a goalie unprotected. Sherbrooke should still draft a goalie because the second guy you get in the expansion draft will be a stopgap at best.
1) the lineup is pieced together by memory. We had a fair amount of player movement including Murphy becoming a last minute replacement for Starenky after the coach chased him away for not wanting to be strictly a fighter (he became a top 4 D for a contender)
2) Our 2nd line was a terrible idea and only contributed about 15 points after Christmas (TOTAL). We only won 2 games after Christmas and none on home ice.
3) With Starenky, that is a pretty damn good D. Without him, it was a trainwreck at times. Caron was awesome, but Grant was usually our 2nd best D (and the coach had no faith in him).
4) Churchill was a stud in net, but if we could have had a goalie going forward it would have been better. We left year one losing both goalies (Whitlock wasn't good enough to be an OA), 3 D (Caron was 20, and the next 3 from year one were basically competing for 1 spot), and 8 of the forwards listed (3 OAs, Leask and Moore weren't good enough to be OAs, and Bartos/Melanson/Marchand refused to come back