The looming NHL Expansion draft (aka: clearing some confusion I caused)

Las Vegas Golden Knights (NHL)

In my last piece on the Rangers need to keep Michael Grabner, I made a few mistakes centered around my belief that Brady Skjei required protection. That led me to think the Rangers would go the 8 skaters and 1 goalie route instead of the 7F, 3D, 1G option.

The Rangers are forced to protect Lundqvist, Nash, Staal, and Girardi due to their No Move Clauses. If you had to protect Skjei, you would be forced into the 8/1 option because you would not leave McDonagh unprotected. That’s my mistake and I apologize.

p.s. Stepan (who would be protected regardless) isn’t forced to be because his No Move kicks in after expansion.

Rangers Expansion Low Down

The Rangers will go the 7/3/1 route. Once you remove the forced protections of the players mentioned above, that leaves 6 forwards, 1 defenseman to protect, and Antti Raanta exposed.

Which Rangers are likely to be protected and exposed?

Kevin Hayes, Chris Kreider, Derek Stepan, J.T. Miller, Mika Zibanejad, and Mats Zuccarello are the obvious choices. The Rangers’ outstanding rookies, Pavel Buchnevich and Jimmy Vesey are auto protected. That means Oscar Lindberg, Michael Grabner, Jesper Fast, and Brandon Pirri would all be exposed.

On the blue-line, as mentioned above the Rangers are forced to protect Girardi and Staal. The automatic 3rd defenseman is Ryan McDonagh with Skjei auto protected as a 2nd year pro. That means Kevin Klein, Nick Holden, and Adam Clendening are available.

Expansion Loophole?

Blogger, Kevin Delury pointed out this nugget in a recent blog post:

For instance, the Golden Knights may acquire a draft pick, prospect or future considerations from another NHL team in exchange for their agreement to not select a particular exposed player in June’s expansion draft. – via NBC

So it is possible that the Rangers, if they so wanted to keep a player could make a trade with Vegas.

Ranking which Ranger is most likely to be lost to expansion:
  1. Antti Raanta
  2. Michael Grabner
  3. Jesper Fast
  4. Nick Holden
  5. Oscar Lindberg
  6. Kevin Klein
  7. Brandon Pirri
  8. Adam Clendening
Golden Rules for Vegas

This is straight from NHL.COM, click this link for full article.

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 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 defensemen 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.


Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore

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