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Off-Season Begins in Earnest for NHL, Coyotes

Expansion Draft, Entry Draft and Development Camp all coming up in second half of June

by Dave Vest @davest4yotes / Arizona Coyotes

GLENDALE -- Now that the Stanley Cup Final is over, the off-season is about to get extremely busy for the Coyotes.

First up will be the NHL Expansion Draft, which is being staged to help the expansion Vegas Golden Knights craft a roster for their inaugural season in 2017-18.

As part of the expansion draft process, the Coyotes, and the other 29 existing NHL teams, must simultaneously submit a list of protected players to the NHL's Central Registry on Saturday, June 17, at 2 p.m. Arizona time.

The Knights, whom the League is expecting to become an instant rival of the Coyotes, will reveal the players they have selected from the other 30 NHL teams on Wednesday, June 21, as part of the 2017 NHL Awards show at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Fans can watch on NBCSN starting at 5 p.m. Arizona time. Actor Joe Manganiello will host the Awards Show and Kathryn Tappen will emcee the expansion draft for NBCSN.

Per League rules, teams can protect seven forwards, three defensemen and one goalie or any nine players regardless of position. Any player with two or fewer years of NHL/AHL experience is exempt from the expansion draft and players with no-movement clauses must be protected unless they agree to waive it. 

"It's a unique event and it's a big event," Coyotes General Manager John Chayka said of the expansion draft. "We're in a position where we can take on players and still protect them. We have extra protection slots, we have a lot of players that are exempt (because of lack of NHL experience) so that allows us that. I view it as an opportunity to see if there's a way to redistribute assets to try and take advantage of that opportunity. But at the same time we're not going to be hindered by expansion either; a lot of teams are going to lose a really good player. It's where we're at as a life cycle as a team and it's a fortunate part of where we're at."

Two days after the expansion draft, the League will quickly shift its attention to its annual entry draft at the United Center in Chicago. 

The Coyotes currently own seven picks in this year's draft, including two in the first round (7th and 23rd) for a third consecutive year. 

The first round of the NHL Entry Draft is set for Friday, June 23 at 4 p.m. Arizona time on NBCSN. Rounds 2-7 will take place on Saturday, June 24 starting at 7 a.m. Arizona time. Fans can watch on NHL Network.  

Once the draft is over, Coyotes executives and the team's new draft picks will hustle to Arizona for the start of the club's annual development camp on Monday, June 26. Per usual, the camp will last five days and conclude with an intra-squad game on Friday, June 30 at 6 p.m. 

Besides the new picks, past picks Dylan Strome, Clayton Keller, Nick Merkley and Christian Fischer are scheduled to participate in the development camp.

The on-ice sessions are set for 2 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. on June 26, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on June 27, and 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on June 29. All on-ice sessions, including the game, will take place at AZ Ice Peoria.

Finally, the NHL's free agency period will open for business on Saturday, July 1 at 9 a.m. Arizona time.

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