This guide to NHL Expansion is a summary of the rules reported by the NHL as well as interpretations that are the result of consulting and clarifying details with sources. The rules shown below were written by analyst Mike Colligan of colliganhockey.com in conjunction with the General Fanager staff.
According to the NHL the following rules were approved for the 2017 Expansion Draft:
Clubs will have two options for players they wish to protect in the Expansion Draft:
Seven forwards, three defensemen and one goaltender
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:
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.
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.
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.
Note: 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. With a 2016-17 salary cap of $73M, this means the Expansion Draft selections must amount to a aggregate salary cap value of at least $43.8M.
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 Protection List by 5:00 P.M. ET on Saturday, June 17, 2017. The Las Vegas team must submit their Expansion Draft Selections by 5:00 P.M. ET on June 20 and the announcement of their selections will be released on made on June 21.