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Analysis On NHL’s New Expansion Team: Vegas Golden Knights

Within two weeks the National Hockey League will debut their 31st franchise team, the Vegas Golden Knights, to the world. This expansion team is the first new team since 2000. This Expansion Draft will begin June 18th and each selection-one pick from each of the current teams-will be announced at the NHL Awards on the 21st.

The Golden knights will be given the complete list of protected players on June 18th at 10 a.m. Their 30-player selection must be submitted to the league 72 hours later; 10 a.m. on June 21st where they will be announced that night. However, these selections do have some limitations. Here is all you need to know about the 2017 Expansion Draft.


 Vegas Selection Rules

The Golden Knights must:

  • Choose at least 14 forwards, nine defensemen, and three goaltenders. There will be no restriction on position for the other four selections.
  • Have 20 of the 30 picks must be under an active contract for the 2017-18 season.
  • Have an overall salary that lands between 60 percent and 100 percent of last season’s salary cap. Thus putting them between $43.8 – $73 million.


Player Protection

Each club reserves the right to protect players from the Expansion Draft. They will have two options in doing so:

  1. Seven forwards, three defensemen, and one goaltender
  2. Eight skaters (forwards/defensemen) and one goaltender

Even these options have exceptions. One being that players with “No Movement” clauses must be protected under their club’s protection limits. Another exception to this option is that first and second year professionals, along with those unsigned, will be exempt from selection; these players are not counted to their club’s protection limits.


Player Exposure Requirements

Clubs must follow these requirements in regards for players exposed for selection:

  • One defensemen who must be under a contract in 2017-18 and have played in 40+ NHL games in the prior season or played in 70+ in the prior two seasons
  • Two forwards who must be under a contract in 2017-18 and have played in 40+ NHL games in the prior season or played in 70+ in the prior two seasons
  • One goaltender who must be under a contact in 2017-18 or will be a restricted free agent at the end of his contract immediately prior to the 2017-18 season. If a goaltender that is a RFA is available, that goaltender must have received his qualifying offer prior to the submission of the club’s protected list.
  • Players who have potential career-ending injuries and have missed more than the previous 60 consecutive games may not be used to satisfy a club’s player exposure requirements. These players may be deemed exempt and not part of the Expansion Draft.


NHL Draft Lottery

Vegas’ First Round selection was determined by the NHL Draft Lottery. Though they did not win the lottery, the Golden Knights will have the sixth selection of the draft. Subsequently, in the rounds to come, they will select third.

This is just the beginning of a very busy summer for the NHL. With the NHL Awards, the NHL Draft, the beginning of free agency, and the Expansion Draft, this summer is bound to be one for the books. I will keep you updated as we move into these coming weeks of exciting NHL action.



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