NHL expansion draft 2017: Schedule, rules, and more

Get ready for a wild week in hockey.

The Vegas Golden Knights will have the foundation of their first NHL roster by June 21 at the completion of the expansion draft. Before then, the league will have a wild few days as teams set their protection lists and fans anxiously await the announcements of who’s going to Vegas.

With the Stanley Cup Final already over, it’s now time to focus on what should be one of the most interesting weeks of the hockey year. This is the first expansion draft for the NHL since 2000, when the league welcomed the Columbus Blue Jackets and Minnesota Wild into the fold.

Few events in sports can be as fun given the rarity and oddness of the whole thing. With the NHL adding a new team in Las Vegas of all places, the re-allocation of players to populate that franchise adds another dimension to what should be an entertaining offseason.

The NHL GMs are going to have their hands full over the next few weeks, and fans are going to have a lot of information to digest. With the stage almost set to go, here’s a look at the schedule and rules for how the expansion draft will go down. Most of this information is courtesy of Cap Friendly.


June 12, 5 p.m. ET — Deadline for teams to request players waive no-movement clauses to be made available in expansion draft

June 17, 5 p.m. ET — Deadline for submission of protection lists by the 30 teams

June 18, 10 a.m. ET — Protection lists released to the public

June 18-21 — Vegas can negotiate with and sign UFAs and unprotected RFAs

June 21, 10 a.m. ET — Vegas submits expansion draft player selections

June 21, 8 p.m. ET — NHL Awards Show, including announcement of Vegas picks


There are rules for both how the 30 current teams can organize their protection lists and how Vegas can build its roster.

Protection list rules

  • Each team can protect up to seven forwards, three defensemen, and one goaltender, or nine players regardless of position.
  • All players with no-movement clauses must be protected unless they’ve agreed to waive.
  • Any player with two or fewer years of NHL/AHL experience is exempt.
  • Teams must expose players who meet certain criteria. There must be at least one defensemen and two forwards who are under contract for 2017-18 and played at least 40 NHL games in 2016-17 or 70 NHL games total since the start of 2015-16. Teams must also expose a goaltender who is either under contract for the 2017-18 season or about to enter restricted free agency./

Golden Knights selection rules

  • Vegas must select one player from each franchise.
  • The final roster must include at least 14 forwards, nine defensemen, and three goaltenders.
  • At least 20 of the 30 players selected have to be under contract for the 2017-18 season.
  • The total cap hit of players selected must be between $43.8 million and $73 million./