Who Will Blackhawks Protect in NHL Expansion Draft?

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Rules of that nature will make it easier for the team to collect a cache of draft picks before they ever play a single game. So there are definitely some great goalies available. Dan Girardi was bought out and chose not to go on waivers, and the Rangers want to add a young, top-pair blueliner, preferably a righty.

Several players listed - namely Barkov, Huberdeau, Trocheck, Ekblad, Petrovic, Yandle and Reimer - come as no surprise; but some fans were shocked to see forwards Jonathan Marchessault, who led team with 30 goals in 2016-17 season, or Reilly Smith, 37 points in this past season, left unprotected.

McPhee said the Golden Knights will truly be built by way of the entry draft, not the expansion draft, so that might indicate a plan to pick a team that might struggle from puck drop in October compared to what he could've picked if the return is strong enough. Most importantly, each team could only protect one goalie.

The Golden Knights draft is a three-day process, starting Sunday.

"We really like what we're looking at right now", McPhee said.

So for the next few days, McPhee will not only be identifying the best talent available, he'll also be burning up the phone lines trying to turn teams' desperation into an even bigger gain for him.

Fleury was left unprotected by the Pittsburgh Penguins after he agreed to waive the no-movement clause in his contract. The Golden Knights must select the following number of players at each position: 14 forwards, nine defensemen and three goaltenders and must select a minimum of 20 players who are under contract for the 2017-18 season.

While scooping up a potential star in Drouin, the Canadiens will likely lose a better asset to Vegas - perhaps Paul Byron or Charles Hudon - in addition to Sergachev and a conditional second rounder in 2018. As for defensemen, Minnesota exposed both Matt Dumba and Marco Scandella, while Buffalo's Zach Bogosian and Dallas' Dan Hamhuis are also available. In one mock draft from the Washington Post last June 21, it was revealed that the Knights is likely to pick veterans in the league with in Marc-Andre Fleury and James Neal at the top of the list.

They are the only team that has the ability to sign an unprotected unrestricted or restricted free agent until 7:59 a.m. Wednesday.

Duchene is coming off his eighth season with Colorado.

The Vegas Golden Knights will select one player from each team. "It certainly relived a lot of the pressure thinking I had to get him moved so we wouldn't get in a jam here for our list". Teams could only protect 10 skaters at most, and some elected to protect eight (with four defenseman).

(Forward Robby Fabbri and defenseman Colton Parayko are exempt).

Two forwards will be exposed in this scenario, with Kruger and his $3 million cap hit joining Jordin Tootoo in that category.

Thursday June, 22 Expansion Draft Signing Moratorium and Trade/Waiver Freeze are lifted (8 a.m. ET).

The release of the teams' protected lists kicks off a busy two-week stretch for the National Hockey League.

The obvious choices for Las Vegas are either Grabner, Fast, Raanta or Lindberg.

Then comes the start of free agency, which opens on July 1.