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NHL releases Vegas expansion draft protection list

June 18, 2017 2:53 PM
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NHL releases Vegas expansion draft protection list

Vegas Golden Knights have 72-hour window to sign unprotected pending UFAs, RFAs

The NHL's 31st team has received the list of protected players – those who won't be exposed to the expansion draft – on the rosters of the other 30 NHL franchises and Vegas has until 5 p.m. ET on Tuesday to inform the league of its player selections.

The NHL will announce the expansion draft results the following evening during its awards ceremony at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, starting at 8 p.m. ET.

The Golden Knights now also have a 72-hour window to sign unprotected pending unrestricted and restricted free agents, ahead of the July 1 deadline all other teams adhere to.

Vegas must choose one player — no more, no less — from each of the other 30 teams. However, if Vegas signs a pending UFA or RFA from one team, that player would count as the Golden Knights' draft selection from that same team.

A reminder: All players with less than three years of professional experience are automatically exempt. That means young stars like Edmonton's Connor McDavid and Toronto's Auston Matthews don't need to be protected to remain with their teams.

Also, Vegas cannot buy out the contracts of any of their chosen players before next summer, following a full season.


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