With the Seattle Kraken expansion draft just three days away (not counting today, Sunday, July 18), 30 NHL teams, excluding the Vegas Golden Knights, were required to submit their protected players lists for the draft last night. This morning, the lists were revealed. There were some surprises for other teams, but the Boston Bruins‘ list came as expected.
The 30 teams that are participating in the upcoming draft had two options to choose from when protecting players: 1) seven forwards, three defensemen, and a goalie. 2) eight total skaters if they felt the need to protect more than three defensemen and a goalie. The B’s went with the first option.
Players with any type of no-movement clauses (NMC) in their contracts have to be protected, unless the player agreed to waive the clause. However, players with no-trade clauses do not have to be protected as being selected in the expansion draft doesn’t count as a trade.
There are also rules when it comes to leaving players exposed:
First, at least one defenseman who is under contract for the 2021-22 season and has played at least 40 NHL games in the 2020-21 season or has played at least 70 NHL games over the previous two seasons has to be exposed.
Second, at least two forwards who are under contract for the 2021-22 season and have played at least 40 games in the 2020-21 season or have played at least 70 games over the previous two seasons have to be exposed.
Third, at least one goalie who is under contract for the 2021-22 season or will be a restricted free agent (RFA) after the 2020-21 season has to be exposed. If the goalie is a RFA, they must have received their qualifying offer before the protected list was submitted.
Players exempt from the draft include first- and second-year professionals, unsigned draft selections, and players with potential career-ending injuries who have missed more than the last 60 consecutive games (or have been confirmed to have career-threatening injuries).
Additionally, pending unrestricted free agents (UFA) do not have to be protected by their most recent team. However, Seattle does have today, July 18, to Wednesday, July 21, to sign unprotected UFAs. If they do sign an UFA during this period, it counts as the selection for that team. Example: If the Kraken signed Taylor Hall between today and Wednesday, it would count as Seattle’s pick for the Black and Gold.