Making Vegas’ team competitive quickly – How expansion draft will work

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So, it’s true: the NHL is adding a 31st franchise in Las Vegas starting in the 2017-18 season. The NHL aims to make that team competitive more quickly than any expansion team before it.

How will that expansion team come together and how will it affect the standing 30 NHL franchises? Here are some quick standout notes and figures.

(If you just want to see the full list, scroll to the bottom of this post.)

  • As expected, teams can protect one goalie and 10 skaters (seven forwards, three defensemen) or one goalie and eight skaters.

The league has already reacted to the one goalie issue, as Anaheim Ducks GM Bob Murray noted when trading Frederik Andersen.

  • Teams are basically out of luck when it comes to no-movement clauses. They need to protect players who have them.
  • There are protections in place so that recently drafted players can’t be poached. See the full details at the bottom of the post.
  • The Vegas franchise must select one (and no more than one) player from each of the league’s 30 standing teams. It must end up with at least 14 forwards, nine defensemen and three goalies. There are provisions to avoid “shenanigans” and loopholes.

  • Teams submit their protected lists on June 17, 2017 while the Vegas team will select its players by June 20.
  • Vegas will be involved in the 2017 NHL Draft Lottery. They’ll have the same lottery odds as the third-to-last team from the 2016-17 season. They can select as high as No. 1 and as low as No. 6 in the 2017 NHL Draft.

One interesting tidbit that wasn’t mentioned:

Consider those the high points. Want every detail? Here are the full rules for the expansion draft, via the NHL:

The following rules were approved for the 2017 Expansion Draft:

Protected Lists
* Clubs will have two options for players they wish to protect in the Expansion Draft:

a) Seven forwards, three defensemen and one goaltender

b) Eight skaters (forwards/defensemen) and one goaltender

* All players who have currently effective and continuing “No Movement” clauses at the time of the Expansion Draft (and who to decline to waive such clauses) must be protected (and will be counted toward their club’s applicable protection limits).

* All first- and second-year professionals, as well as all unsigned draft choices, will be exempt from selection (and will not be counted toward their club’s applicable protection limits).

Player Exposure Requirements
* All Clubs must meet the following minimum requirements regarding players exposed for selection in the Expansion Draft:

i) One defenseman who is a) under contract in 2017-18 and b) played in 40 or more NHL games the prior season OR played in 70 or more NHL games in the prior two seasons.

ii) Two forwards who are a) under contract in 2017-18 and b) played in 40 or more NHL games the prior season OR played in 70 or more NHL games in the prior two seasons.

iii) One goaltender who is under contract in 2017-18 or will be a restricted free agent at the expiration of his current contract immediately prior to 2017-18. If the club elects to make a restricted free agent goaltender available in order to meet this requirement, that goaltender must have received his qualifying offer prior to the submission of the club’s protected list.

* Players with potential career-ending injuries who have missed more than the previous 60 consecutive games (or who otherwise have been confirmed to have a career-threatening injury) may not be used to satisfy a club’s player exposure requirements, unless approval is received from the NHL. Such players also may be deemed exempt from selection by the League.

Regulations Relating to Expansion Franchise
* The Las Vegas franchise must select one player from each presently existing club for a total of 30 players (not including additional players who may be acquired as the result of violations of the Expansion Draft rules).

* The Las Vegas franchise must select the following number of players at each position: 14 forwards, nine defensemen and three goaltenders.

* The Las Vegas franchise must select a minimum of 20 players who are under contract for the 2017-18 season.

* The Las Vegas franchise must select players with an aggregate Expansion Draft value that is between 60-100% of the prior season’s upper limit for the salary cap.

* The Las Vegas franchise may not buy out any of the players selected in the Expansion Draft earlier than the summer following its first season.

The 30 NHL clubs must submit their Protected Lists by 5:00 p.m. ET on Saturday, June 17, 2017. The Las Vegas franchise must submit its Expansion Draft selections by 5:00 p.m. ET on June 20. The announcement of their selections will be made on June 21.

2017 NHL Draft Lottery

The Las Vegas franchise will be given the same odds in the 2017 NHL Draft Lottery as the team finishing with the third-fewest points during the 2016-17 regular season.

The Las Vegas franchise’s First Round selection in the 2017 NHL Draft will be determined in accordance with the 2017 NHL Draft Lottery and, as a result, the Las Vegas franchise will be guaranteed no lower than the sixth overall selection.

The Las Vegas franchise then will select third in each subsequent round of the 2017 NHL Draft (subject to trades and other potential player transactions).