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Expansion Draft

NHL Expansion Draft FAQ

With Golden Knights on clock, here's what you need to know about how Vegas will construct first roster

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / Senior Writer

The Vegas Golden Knights are on the clock.

Vegas, along with the other 30 teams, received the list of players protected from selection in the NHL Expansion Draft at 10:30 a.m. ET Sunday.

Now what happens? Well, a lot in the next 72 hours. Here's a rundown of what you need to know:


How long does Vegas have to make its selections?

Vegas has until 10 a.m. ET on Wednesday to submit its expansion draft selections.

Video: NHL Tonight initial reaction to Expansion Draft lists


When will Vegas' selections be revealed?

Vegas' selections will be announced officially during the NHL Awards and NHL Expansion Draft presented by T-Mobile at T-Mobile Arena on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN).

The Golden Knights will then have the No. 6 pick of the 2017 NHL Draft presented by adidas, which begins at United Center on Friday and continues with rounds two through seven Saturday.


Are there parameters the Golden Knights must follow?


The Golden Knights must choose 30 players, one from each team. They must take a minimum of 14 forwards, nine defensemen and three goalies from the lists of unprotected players.

At least 20 of the players Vegas will select must already be under contract for the 2017-18 season.

Vegas must select players whose salary cap charges add up to at least $43.8 million, or 60 percent of the $73 million salary cap that was in place for the 2016-17 season.

Video: Johnston gives his input on the Expansion Draft lists


Is it a straight selection process or are there other ways Vegas can get its 30 players?

The Golden Knights' method of getting their initial players can vary. 

They can select a player left unprotected by his current team, including a player scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent. If they pick a pending UFA, they could sign him before July 1 or let him become a free agent.

The Golden Knights also have the option to sign any unprotected unrestricted free agent or restricted free agent during the expansion draft window. 

They are the only team that has the ability to sign an unprotected UFA or RFA from another team between 10:01 a.m. ET on Sunday and 9:59 a.m. ET on Wednesday. 

Vegas is forbidden from signing free agents included on the protection lists.

Video: Tanguay on potential Vegas Golden Knights lineup


If the Golden Knights sign a free agent from Team X, can they still select another unprotected player from Team X?


If the Golden Knights sign an unprotected free agent, that player is deemed to be the equivalent of their selection from the team that left him exposed. Vegas will not be allowed to select another player from that team in the expansion draft.

This is to ensure the other 30 existing NHL teams will not lose more than one player to Vegas within the expansion draft window unless it is through a trade.

If Vegas signs a restricted free agent during this window, the current club will not be entitled to any compensation from the Golden Knights.

Video: The top-five players who could head to Vegas


What about business as usual for the other 30 teams?

It won't be for a few days.

A trade and waiver wire freeze went into effect for every team but Vegas at 3 p.m. ET Saturday. It will stay in effect until 8 a.m. ET on Thursday. 

The other 30 teams are allowed to make trades only with Vegas during this window.

The Golden Knights must submit their expansion draft selections and any standard player contracts they signed by 10 a.m. ET on Wednesday. Once the window closes, Vegas will not be permitted to sign a free agent, except for a player it acquired, until noon ET on July 1.

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