The General Managers sat down this week and came up with some basic rules for a potential expansion draft. The final rules still need to be negotiated with the NHLPA, so things are not yet fully determined. One remaining question is whether No Trade and No Movement contracts must be protected (a player could waive his NTC/NMC to allow him to be exposed).
Teams will be able to protect 7 forwards, 3 defensemen and a goalie; or 8 skaters (any position) and a goalie. And they have to expose salaries equivalent to 25% minimum of cap hit.
Exemptions for the expansion draft are not the same group as waiver exemptions. The groups exempt are unsigned draftees from the last two years (so even college kids drafted over two years ago would be exposed), and first and second year “pro” players.
Let’s start with those players exempt from the expansion draft:
- Unsigned draftees from 2015 (G Mike Robinson, D Karlis Cukste, L Rudolfs Balcers, D Adam Parsells, C Marcus Vela, G John Kupsky) and 2016 (TBD)
- First and second year “pro” players (IOW, rookies in 2015-16 and 2016-17); unclear if this includes players with European “pro” experience.
- 2015-16 rookies (including AHL): Rumpel; Bergman, Cundari, McNally, Pinkston, Ryan; Arseneau, Aviani, Crane, Donskoi, Doremus, Emmanuelson, Gallant, Goldobin, Jevpalovs (assuming any RFAs are re-signed)
- Projected 2016-17 rookies: Fitzgerald, Roy; Chartier, Helewka, Labanc, J Martin, Meier, Schoenborn (plus any further signees)
Now the Sharks have historically (see 2000 expansion draft when Lombardi made trades to protect exposed goalie) made a “Future Considerations” trade to expansion draft teams to protect 1-2 more players that have to be exposed (usually from among players exempt from the draft).
Protected list, my guess:
Defense: Vlasic (NTC), Burns, Martin
Forwards: Pavelski (NTC), Thornton (NMC), Marleau (NMC), Couture (NTC), Ward (NTC), Hertl; and perhaps Karlsson.
(Note – players with expiring contracts could be acquired as UFAs, if not re-signed)