Players and their respective teams have the flexibility to apply NMC or NTC protection to any year of the player’s contract, with one exception: A player is not eligible for a NMC or NTC in their contract until they are eligible for Group 3 Unrestricted Free Agency (7 accrued seasons or 27 years of age). That means a player can sign a contract that has a NMC or NTC take effect partway through the contract for the season that they would have otherwise become eligible for Group 3 Unrestricted Free Agency. Examples: Cam Talbot has a NMC in 2016-17 and 2017-18, and a Modified NTC in 2018-19. He would need to be protected by the Edmonton Oilers because he has a NMC that is “currently effective and continuing at the time of the Expansion Draft”. Tuukka Rask has a NMC through 2016-17, and a Modified NTC in 2017-18 and beyond. He would not have to be protected by the Boston Bruins.