First, the team's two Generation Adidas players, Roger Espinoza and Chance Myers will be protected automatically. Barring a shocking graduation for either Espinoza or Myers both will not need to be among the 11 protected players.
So let's start looking at the rest of the roster. Starting with the internationals, the Wizards have to protect 3 of Zoltan Hercegfalvi, Santiago Hirsig, Claudio Lopez, and Kevin Souter. To me the choice of which 3 is fairly easy, Hercegfalvi, Hirsig, and Lopez are the 3. Souter's lack of playing time this year makes him the easy one to leave out.
So 8 of the remaining 20 players will be protected. Jimmy Conrad seems certain to be protected, as does his central defense partner, Matt Besler. Besler appears to have jumped ahead of Aaron Hohlbein for the starting spot in the center of defense with Conrad. Michael Harrington, Davy Arnaud, and Jack Jewsbury also seem certain to be protected. That puts us up to 8 protected players.
Unlike last year, when Seattle had already signed Kasey Keller, Philadephia has no players at all. Without that keeper, Kevin Hartman has to be considered a favorite to be protected. While he's on the back side of his career, he's been too important to the Wizards to be left off the protected list. I think the Wizards other rookie, Graham Zusi played himself onto the protected list late in the season. His youth and salary would make him a prime candidate for selectionn, so I would protect Zusi.
That leaves 1 spot left, and there are two candidates for that spot, forwards Josh Wolff and Kei Kamara. While Wolff is coming off a career year, he is starting to get a little older, he'll be 33 by the time the 2010 season starts, not to mention that he's the teams third highest player. Kamara is younger, but is out of contract and is likely to want a salary around Wolff's I would guess. For me I'd protect Kamara over Wolff, his age and salary makes Wolff less appealing to Philadelphia.
So here are my 11 protected players, the remaining exposed players, and those exempt from being draft.
|Davy Arnaud||Adam Cristman||Roger Espinoza|
|Matt Besler||Herculez Gomez||Chance Myers|
|Jimmy Conrad||Aaron Hohlbein|
|Michael Harrington||Michael Kraus|
|Kevin Hartman||Eric Kronberg|
|Zoltan Hercegfalvi||Jonathan Leathers|
|Santiago Hirsig||Matt Marquess|
|Jack Jewsbury||Rauwshan McKenzie|
|Kei Kamara||Kurt Morsink|
|Claudio Lopez||Boris Pardo|
|Graham Zusi||Kevin Souter|
So who's likely to be selected? I think the most likely from this list is Herculez Gomez. Gomez's salary is fairly low for his experience ($54,408) and seemed to be on the outs with Peter Vermes after he took over as coach. If Gomez is exposed I think he's definitely a favorite to be selected, if anyone is taken from KC.