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Year-long Expansion Draft polling shows significant change in protected list preferences

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Charles Barnard has been polling readers all year for his blog, From the Upper Deck, on who they'd protect in the draft. He looks here at how responses have changed.

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

I have to admit that I find the expansion draft fascinating. Maybe I am just a sucker for pain (losing players hurts), but playing GM and trying to figure out who should and shouldn't be protected in expansion drafts has always been something that has interested me.

It was because of this that I came up with a little experiment. I thought it would be interesting to conduct a poll at different points in time during the season asking the fans who they thought should be protected. By looking at the results of each poll you could see the changes on who people thought should and should not be protected.

I ran three of these polls on my stats blog, From the Upper Deck; one in February, one in May, and one in August. To see the changes in the results were really fascinating. In February, no one voted to protect Luke Mulholland and only 50% of voters voted to protect Joao Plata. By May almost 100% of the voters were protecting Plata and Mulholland had also made the protection list. In the August vote, Sebastian Jaime made the cut as one of the top 11 players to be protected.

Editor's note: Each bar of color represents the percentage of lists that include the given player. Mouse over or touch for a look at percentages.

Now it is time to run one last poll. The expansion draft is under a month away. The time is now to use all the information that we have to determine who we think RSL should protect in the draft.

Here are things in to keep in mind when taking this final poll. You can protect 11 players. RSL's Home Grown players will be automatically protected. It has been confirmed that even though Carlos Salcedo did go to the academy he did not sign as a Homegrown Player. Because of this, he will need to be protected.

Here is where you come in. Please go here and fill out who you think the 11 players who should be protected. Are you going to protect the young and up-and-coming players? Are you going to protect the aging core of the team? Or a mixture of the two?

Later this week the contributing staff of RSL Soapbox will reveal who we think should be protected. At the end of the week we will reveal the results of this poll.