The National Hockey League has stayed true at thirty teams since the year 2000, in which the Blue Jackets and Wild were added. This year, a team in Las Vegas named the Vegas Golden Knights will be crowned as the 31st team. Countless struggles are associated with new professional sports teams trying to gain footing, including selecting new players. The 2017 NHL Expansion draft will take place on June 21, 2017, allowing the Vegas Golden Knights to build a (somewhat) competitive roster.
The Golden Knights are required to choose at least fourteen forwards, three goaltenders and nine defensemen. The upcoming NHL team is also required to choose four additional players. Next, the Vegas Golden Knights must sign at least 20 of these 30 selections to contract for the 2017-2018 season. Also, the salary of this combined minimum-of-20 player group must be between $43.8 million and $73 million.
Existing NHL teams are able to protect certain players. Players with less than three years of experience are protected and unable to be picked up by the Vegas Golden Knights. Existing teams can pick either seven forwards, three defensemen, and one goalie, or one goalie plus eight other skaters of any position.
To allow the Vegas Golden Knights ample players to choose from, existing teams must extend at least two forwards and a defenseman who played at least 40 games last year. Fortunately for existing teams, players with no-trade clauses are not able to be picked up by the new Las Vegas NHL team.
The Golden Knights will be provided with a bank of unprotected players, of which they will choose any players not on the list. This bank will be given to the Golden Knights on June 18, only to submit a group of 30 players to select on June 21.
The Vegas Golden Knights are also allowed to sign free agents, just like any other NHL team. Signing a free agent is equivalent to selecting one of the 30 players from other teams.
Fans will find out who the Vegas Golden Knights will select for the upcoming 2017-2018 season during the 2017 NHL Awards show, airing on NBC at 8 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.