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Las Vegas’s Choice: 2017 NHL Expansion Draft Rules

Posted by: Mike Davis

As people who bet on NHL at BetNow sportsbook must know by now, the city of Las Vegas is getting their very own professional hockey team starting with the 2017-18 season. But what’s a team without players? And where do you find hockey players? Craigslist? They certainly don’t grow on trees, unless you consider the NHL a tree and each of the existing 30 teams a branch from which you get to pick and choose – though not entirely at your leisure. You can’t just waltz in and say “give me Sidney Crosby;” or “I’m taking Logan Couture with me, and that recliner too. I’ve always wanted one. Does this one vibrate? No? Oh well, I guess you can keep it.”

As a matter of fact, the league’s teams will be able to protect either seven forwards, three defensemen, and one goalkeeper or eight skaters – forwards and/or defensemen – and one goalie. All players who are currently under effective and continuing No Movement clauses at the time of the Expansion Draft – and who decline to waive such clauses – must be protected and will be counted toward their team’s applicable protection limits. All rookies and second-year players, as well as all unsigned draft picks, will be exempted from selection but in this case they will not be counted toward their team’s applicable protection limits. Everybody getting it so far? Good.

This is all kind of a gamble, like when you bet on NHL, isn’t it? But there’s more. All teams must expose players that meet the following conditions: one (1) defenseman who is under contract in 2017-18 and has played in 40 or more NHL games the previous season or 70 or more games in the previous two seasons; two (2) forwards who are under contract in 2017-18 and have played in 40 or more NHL games the previous season or 70 or more games in the previous two seasons; and one (1) net-minder who is under contract in 2017-18 or will be a restricted free agent at the expiration of his current contract immediately prior to 2017-18.

As for the Las Vegas Untitleds, they get to pick one player from each existing team – but only one, and he has to be an active (and living) player, so no summoning the starting line of the 1976 Philadelphia Flyers. The new team must select 14 forwards, 9 defensemen, and three goalkeepers – and at least 20 of the bunch must be under contract for the 2017-18 season. Additionally, they must pick players with an aggregate Expansion Draft value between 60-100% of the previous season’s upper limit for the salary cap, and may not buy out any player selected in the Expansion Draft earlier than the summer after its first season. That, in a nutshell, is how it works, my dearly beloved who bet on NHL at BetNow Sportsbook.

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