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Rules for 2017 Expansion Draft

by Staff Writer / Calgary Flames

With the NHL awarding a franchise to Las Vegas at the Board of Governors Meeting on Wednesday, an expansion draft will take place after next season.

Las Vegas will be the eighth team in the Pacific Division and the 15th team in the Western Conference. The NHL has 16 teams in the Eastern Conference.

The following rules were approved for the 2017 Expansion Draft:

Protected Lists

* Clubs will have two options for players they wish to protect in the Expansion Draft:

a) Seven forwards, three defencemen and one goaltender

b) Eight skaters (forwards/defencemen) and one goaltender

* All players who have currently effective and continuing "No Movement" clauses at the time of the Expansion Draft (and who to decline to waive such clauses) must be protected (and will be counted toward their club's applicable protection limits).

* All first- and second-year professionals, as well as all unsigned draft choices, will be exempt from selection (and will not be counted toward their club's applicable protection limits).

Player Exposure Requirements

* All Clubs must meet the following minimum requirements regarding players exposed for selection in the Expansion Draft:

i) One defenceman who is a) under contract in 2017-18 and b) played in 40 or more NHL games the prior season OR played in 70 or more NHL games in the prior two seasons.

ii) Two forwards who are a) under contract in 2017-18 and b) played in 40 or more NHL games the prior season OR played in 70 or more NHL games in the prior two seasons.

iii) One goaltender 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. If the club elects to make a restricted free agent goaltender available in order to meet this requirement, that goaltender must have received his qualifying offer prior to the submission of the club's protected list.

* Players with potential career-ending injuries who have missed more than the previous 60 consecutive games (or who otherwise have been confirmed to have a career-threatening injury) may not be used to satisfy a club's player exposure requirements, unless approval is received from the NHL. Such players also may be deemed exempt from selection by the League.

Regulations Relating to Expansion Franchise

* The Las Vegas franchise must select one player from each presently existing club for a total of 30 players (not including additional players who may be acquired as the result of violations of the Expansion Draft rules).

* The Las Vegas franchise must select the following number of players at each position: 14 forwards, nine defencemen and three goaltenders.

* The Las Vegas franchise must select a minimum of 20 players who are under contract for the 2017-18 season.

* The Las Vegas franchise must select players with an aggregate Expansion Draft value that is between 60-100% of the prior season's upper limit for the salary cap.

* The Las Vegas franchise may not buy out any of the players selected in the Expansion Draft earlier than the summer following its first season.

The 30 NHL Clubs must submit their Protection List by 5:00 P.M. ET on Saturday, June 17, 2017. The Las Vegas team must submit their Expansion Draft Selections by 5:00 P.M. ET on June 20 and the announcement of their selections will be released on made on June 21.

2017 NHL Draft Lottery

The Las Vegas franchise will be given the same odds in the 2017 NHL Draft Lottery as the team finishing with the third-fewest points during the 2016-17 regular season.

The Las Vegas franchise's First Round selection in the 2017 NHL Draft will be determined in accordance with the 2017 NHL Draft Lottery and, as a result, the Las Vegas franchise will be guaranteed no lower than the sixth overall selection.

The Las Vegas franchise then will select third in each subsequent round of the 2017 NHL Draft (subject to trades and other potential player transactions).

Alignment

The Las Vegas franchise will begin play in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference in 2017-18. There will be no other changes to the NHL's alignment.

2017-18 Schedule Matrix

Each club will continue to play an 82-game schedule, with 41 home games and 41 road games.

The schedule matrix, which ensures that all teams play in all arenas at least once each season, will be adjusted to the following in 2017-18:

Eastern Conference (Atlantic and Metropolitan Divisions - 8 Teams)

Within Conference (Division): 28 games

* 7 Teams: 2 Home / 2 Away

* 7 x 4 = 28 games

Within Conference (Non-Division): 24 games

* 4 Teams: 2 Home / 1 Away

* 4 Teams: 1 Home / 2 Away

* 4 x 3 = 12 games

* 4 x 3 = 12 games

Non-Conference: 30 games

* 15 Home / 15 Away

* 2 x 15 = 30

Western Conference (Central Division - 7 Teams)

Within Conference (Division): 26 games

* 4 Teams: 2 Home / 2 Away

* 1 Team: 3 Home / 2 Away

* 1 Team: 2 Home / 3 Away

* 4 x 4 = 16

* 1 x 5 = 5

* 1 x 5 = 5

Within Conference (Non-Division): 24 games

* 4 Teams: 2 Home / 1 Away

* 4 Teams: 1 Home / 2 Away

* 4 x 3 = 12 games

* 4 x 3 = 12 games

Non-Conference: 32 games

* 16 Home / 16 Away

* 2 x 16 = 32 games

Western Conference (Pacific Division - 8 Teams)

Within Conference (Division): 29 games

* 6 Teams: 2 Home / 2 Away

* 1 Team: 3 Home / 2 Away

* 6 x 4 = 24 games

* 1 x 5 = 5 games

Within Conference (Non-Division): 21 games

* 4 Teams: 2 Home / 1 Away

* 3 Teams: 1 Home / 2 Away

* 4 x 3 = 12 games

* 3 x 3 = 9 games

Non-Conference: 32 games

* 16 Home / 16 Away

* 2 x 16 = 32 games

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