The Washington Capitals appear to have finalized their list for the expansion draft after landing depth center Tyler Graovac from the Minnesota Wild.
GM Brian MacLellan announced in late May that the team would protect 7 forwards, 3 defensemen, and 1 goaltender. With the acquisition of Graovac, the Capitals can now protect Lars Eller and appear to be set for next week’s draft.
Let’s take a look at the Capitals’ likely list.
Note: Players that are red and in italics are eligible to be selected in the expansion draft. If a player is denoted to be a (RFA), that means the player is a restricted free agent and is under team control. If a player is denoted as a (UFA), that means the player is an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
Evgeny Kuznetsov (RFA)
Andre Burakovsky (RFA)
Brett Connolly (RFA)
TJ Oshie (UFA)
Justin Williams (UFA)
Daniel Winnik (UFA)
Dmitry Orlov (RFA)
Nate Schmidt (RFA)
Kevin Shattenkirk (UFA)
Karl Alzner (UFA)
Philipp Grubauer (RFA)
From the Vegas Golden Knights’ perspective, the most valuable players available on the Caps’ list would be Nate Schmidt (RFA), Philipp Grubauer (RFA), Brett Connolly (RFA), Jay Beagle, and Brooks Orpik.
The Golden Knights could also select one of the Caps’ available UFAs but, in accordance with the expansion draft rules, the franchise must select a minimum of 20 players who are under contract for the 2017-18 season.
UFAs are treated like any other player on a roster meaning they can be protected as part of the nine or 11 protected players or exposed by their current (for the next 10 days) club. They do not however fulfill the 40/70 rule. This rule requires teams to leave at least one defenseman and two forwards unprotected who have played 40 games the prior season or 70 the past two years.
UFAs 2016-17 contracts do NOT count toward the 60% salary cap requirement Las Vegas must meet in selecting their 30 players in the Expansion Draft. But… If a UFA is selected, and signed by Las Vegas during the draft, their contract will go towards the 60% requirement.
* Clubs will have two options for players they wish to protect in the Expansion Draft:
a) Seven forwards, three defensemen and one goaltender
b) Eight skaters (forwards/defensemen) and one goaltender
* All players who have currently effective and continuing “No Movement” clauses at the time of the Expansion Draft (and who to decline to waive such clauses) must be protected (and will be counted toward their club’s applicable protection limits).
* All first- and second-year professionals, as well as all unsigned draft choices, will be exempt from selection (and will not be counted toward their club’s applicable protection limits).
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.
The 30 NHL Clubs must submit their Protection List by 5:00 P.M. ET on Saturday, June 17, 2017. The Las Vegas team must submit their Expansion Draft Selections by 5:00 P.M. ET on June 20 and the announcement of their selections will be released on made on June 21.
Headline photo: Cara Bahniuk
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