The National Hockey League has announced that it has approved an expansion franchise to the city of Seattle. The franchise marks the first League expansion since 2017-18, when the NHL added the Vegas Golden Knights. Vegas was the first expansion team since 1997, when four franchises – Nashville (1998-99), Atlanta (1999-00), Columbus and Minnesota (2000-01) were added to the league.
Teams will be permitted to protect a certain amount of their players, meaning that they would not be exposed as available players in the Expansion Draft. Teams will be permitted to protect a group of players that fall under one of the following two options:
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Players with a “No Movement” clause that is currently in effect, and continues to be in effect at the time of the Expansion Draft, must be protected by their respective team, unless such players choose to waive their NMC, at which point the team is free to expose them.
All players who have accrued two or less professional seasons at the end of the 2020-21 season, as well as all unsigned draft choices appearing on the teams reserve list, will be exempt from the upcoming expansion draft.
Teams must expose a minimum number of players that meet the following criteria for selection in the upcoming Expansion Draft:
Players with potential career-ending injuries who have missed the previous 60+ consecutive games due to an injury, do not meet the criteria set forth by the league in respect to the minimum exposure requirements for players, and in certain cases these players may even be deemed as exempt from the Expansion Draft selection process.