After a 30-minute dramatic delay, the NHL has released the official list of each team’s protected players for the Vegas expansion draft. By the time the official list was released, most of the team lists had already been leaked by various members of the media, but to no one’s surprise, the team managed by Fort Knox Francis was not one of them.
Going into the expansion draft, the Carolina Hurricanes held a couple of advantages: a flexible roster without difficult no-movement clauses or other constraints, and a core of young players who were exempt from draft consideration.
And without further ado, here’s the complete list of protected and available players across all 30 teams.
For the Canes, there are no surprises.
Hurricanes Expansion Draft Protected Players
- Forwards - Phil Di Giuseppe, Elias Lindholm, Brock McGinn, Victor Rask, Jordan Staal, Jeff Skinner, Teuvo Teravainen
- Defensemen - Trevor Carrick, Justin Faulk, Ryan Murphy
- Goaltender - Scott Darling
As a reminder, the following players from the current active roster are exempt because they are classified as first- or second-year pros (a complete list of exempt players can be found on CapFriendly):
- Forwards - Sebatian Aho, Derek Ryan (UFA)
- Defensemen - Noah Hanifin, Brett Pesce, Jaccob Slavin
Leaving exposed from the current active roster (full list of available players is in the NHL release):
- Forwards - Jay McClement (UFA), Joakim Nordstrom*, Lee Stempniak*
- Defensemen - Klas Dahlbeck*, Matt Tennyson (UFA)
- Goaltenders - Eddie Lack*, Cam Ward*
* Meet the league’s mandatory minimum contract term and games played exposure requirements for at least two forwards, one defenseman, and one goaltender
So what happens next?
- As of 3 pm ET Saturday (6/17) there is a trade and waiver freeze in effect for the 30 existing NHL teams. Also, they will not be allowed to sign or re-sign any players during the freeze.
- As of 10 am today (6/18), Vegas can begin making trades with teams and can begin negotiating with pending RFAs and UFAs left unprotected by their clubs. If the Golden Knights sign one of these players in this window, it will count as their selection off that team’s roster for the expansion draft.
- By 5 pm ET on Tuesday (6/20), Vegas must file its expansion draft selections with the league office. Their selections will be announced at the NHL Awards Ceremony on Wednesday (6/21) at 8 pm ET. Vegas must follow these rules as they make their selections.
- The trade and roster freeze will be lifted Thursday (6/22) at 8 am ET.
As a reminder, Vegas must select an unprotected player from each team, and each team can only lose one player due to the expansion draft (barring any additional trades). The compensation for doing so is a $17m cut of the $500m Vegas expansion fee. And the Golden Knights are doing their best to be as accommodating as possible, issuing the following press release last evening:
VEGAS (June 17, 2017) - The Vegas Golden Knights have issued the following update regarding the Expansion Draft process:
"The Golden Knights organization is very pleased with how the expansion draft process has gone so far, through the NHL trade freeze which took effect Saturday, June 17 at 12 noon PT. Now, General Manager George McPhee and his staff will continue to have discussions with the other 30 NHL clubs. Vegas has indicated that they will give all 30 clubs every opportunity to keep their rosters intact if they'd like. This means that before the Golden Knights claim a player off a team's unprotected list, McPhee and his staff are willing to negotiate deals so the other clubs do not lose a player they would otherwise like to keep."
SB Nation NHL has developed a fancy expansion draft tool that you can use to mock draft a Vegas roster. Be sure to check it out, and let us know who’s on your roster.