ST. LOUIS - The NHL will hold its first expansion draft in 17 years later this month, and that means one St. Louis Blues player will soon belong to the Vegas Golden Knights.
Of course, that thought brings up a plethora of questions: Which players can be selected? Who can't be selected? How many players can the Blues protect? When will the expansion draft be held? Can I watch on TV?
If any of those questions (or others) have crossed your mind, keep reading.
When is the NHL Expansion Draft?
All 30 NHL teams must submit their list of protected players to the League by 4 p.m. CT on June 17. After that, the Vegas Golden Knights will select one player from each team (30 players total) and those selections will be revealed during the NHL Awards on June 21 at 7 p.m. CT on NBC Sports Network.
Who can be protected?
All first and second-year professional players and unsigned draft picks are not eligible for the expansion draft and won't need to be protected.
Teams can choose to protect seven forwards, three defensemen and one goalie OR any eight skaters (forwards and defensemen) and one goalie. Blues GM Doug Armstrong said in May that the Blues would choose the first option to protect seven forwards, three defensemen and one goalie.
Players with no-movement clauses must be protected (unless they agree to waive it) and will count towards the team's protected list. The Blues do not have any players with no movement clauses.
Who can't be protected?
After the team's protected lists are made, every team must meet minimum requirements of exposing at least two forwards and one defenseman who are under contract for 2017-18 and played in 40 or more NHL games the previous season OR played in 70 or more NHL games in the previous two seasons. In addition, all teams must expose at least one goaltender under contract for the 2017-18 season.
Players with potential career-ending injuries who have missed the last 60 games or more cannot be exposed without approval for the League.
Who will the Golden Knights pick?
Vegas GM George McPhee will select 30 NHL players (one from each team) and must pick 14 forwards, nine defensemen and three goaltenders. The salaries of the players selected must combine to be between 60 and 100 percent of the salary cap's upper limit.
When will we find out who the Blues protected?
The protected lists for all 30 teams is expected to be released on Sunday, June 18.