Skip to main content
The Official Site of the Edmonton Oilers

BLOG: New Seattle NHL team to join Oilers division

Seattle will join the NHL in the 2021-22 season and play in the Pacific Division

by Marc Ciampa / EdmontonOilers.com

EDMONTON, AB - Seattle was named on Tuesday morning as the 32nd team in the NHL, slated to begin in the 2021-22 season. They will join the Oilers in the Pacific Division with the result being that the Arizona Coyotes will move to the Central Division. This gives the NHL four divisions with eight teams apiece. 

In terms of expansion draft rules, they will be exactly the same for the Seattle team as they were for the Vegas squad which entered the League last year. In fact, Vegas will be the one team exempt from the 2021 draft. 

As per the NHL, here are the expansion draft rules: 

  • The Seattle franchise must select one player from each presently existing club - all except Vegas - for a total of 30 players (not including additional players who may be acquired as the result of violations of the Expansion Draft rules).
    Other details regarding the Seattle expansion franchise - including a timeline for the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft, percentages for the 2021 NHL Draft Lottery and the 2021-22 schedule matrix - will be announced at a later date.
  • The Seattle franchise must select the following number of players at each position: 14 forwards, nine defensemen and three goaltenders.
  • The Seattle franchise must select a minimum of 20 players who are under contract for the 2021‑22 season.
  • The Seattle franchise must select players with an aggregate Expansion Draft value that is between 60-100 percent of the prior season's upper limit for the salary cap.
  • The Seattle franchise may not buy out any of the players selected in the Expansion Draft earlier than the summer following its first season.

Protected Lists

a) Seven forwards, three defensemen and one goaltender
 
b) Eight skaters (forwards/defensemen) and one goaltender

  • Clubs will have two options for players they wish to protect in the Expansion Draft:
  • All players who have currently 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 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 defenseman who is a) under contract in 2021-22 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 2021-22 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 2021-22 or will be a restricted free agent at the expiration of his current contract immediately prior to 2021-22. 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.

Other details regarding the Seattle expansion franchise - including a timeline for the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft, percentages for the 2021 NHL Draft Lottery and the 2021-22 schedule matrix - will be announced at a later date.

View More