This past June, the National Hockey League announced that it had approved an expansion franchise to Las Vegas, NV. The franchise, which will begin play in 2017-18, and marks the first League expansion since 1997, when the NHL added four franchises – Nashville (1998-99), Atlanta (1999-00), Columbus and Minnesota (2000-01).
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 2016-17 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 do 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.