On defense, Jaccob Slavin, Brett Pesce and Dougie Hamilton are the most likely to be protected based off their current roles with the team. With Faulk not under contract in 2020-2021, Haydn Fleury and Roland McKeown are the two notable players that end up being available to Seattle.
Drafted seventh overall in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, Haydn Fleury has yet to lock down a full time roster spot with the Hurricanes. After playing 67 games in the NHL in the 2017-2018 season, Hayden was limited to only 20 games in 2018-2019, spending most of the season bouncing back and forth with the Charlotte Checkers in the AHL.
Roland McKeown was originally drafted in by the LA Kings in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. Acquired by the Hurricanes, along with a first round pick in exchange for Andrej Sekera, February 2015, McKeown hasn’t looked out of place at the NHL level, although only appearing in ten NHL games thus far.
It is a toss up between the two young defenseman, but Seattle is more likely to opt for the player with slightly higher upside in Haydn Fleury. Losing Fleury would be a loss on the Hurricanes back end if he takes the next step forward in his development, especially if Justin Faulk is traded or leaves as a free agent in the 2020 offseason.