Which NHL players will be protected in next summer’s expansion draft? Here’s a full list of the 66 players.
The NHL will be seeing its first expansion draft in over 15 years next summer when the Vegas Golden Knights get to fill out their roster. However, certain players are exempt from the draft because they have clauses in their contract. Because the league has traditionally been quiet about contract clauses, people have been guessing which players have them, but never been quite sure.
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Today, Sportsnet got a notice from the league detailing the 66 players who must be protected in next year’s expansion draft. There are a few surprises on this list, but generally, this is approximately who people expected. Teams can choose to protect seven forwards, three defenseman, and a goaltender or eight total skaters and a goalie. There are also guidelines regarding how many forwards and defenseman who have played a certain number of games to ensure Vegas gets a fair chance to get NHL caliber players.
How will this affect each team’s strategy? It might change who they protect and who they expose. For example, the Canucks have three forwards they must protect, so this makes the eight skater option very unlikely. The Minnesota Wild are in a very similar scenario.
Of course, players can willingly choose to waive their no movement clauses as well. Don’t be surprised if Marc-Andre Fleury does.