Wennberg is on the Blue Jackets' protected list for the upcoming expansion draft, Aaron Portzline of The Columbus Dispatch reports.

The 2013 first-round pick began to blossom last season, scoring a career-high 13 goals and 59 points while providing slick two-way play at center in a top-six role. Wennberg won't head to Las Vegas in the expansion draft, but Columbus will need to pony up some cash for him as the 22-year-old is a restricted free agent this summer -- making a trade that sends cap-clogging winger David Clarkson (back) to the Golden Knights crucial for the Jackets.

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