2021 NHL Expansion Draft Primer

Photo: NHL.com

With teams having to submit their protection lists for the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft in just nine days, NoVa Caps provides a guide for all fans about the event.

Protection Lists

  • Teams can choose between protecting
    • seven forwards, three defensemen, one goalie
    • eight skaters (forwards + defensemen), one goalie
  • The Seattle Kraken must take only one player from each team besides the Vegas Golden Knights (who are exempt)
    • however, teams can trade them more to prevent them from losing other players they wish to keep
  • Due on Saturday, July 17 at 5 PM ET
  • Will be made public on Sunday, July 18 at 10 AM ET

Exemptions From Being Selected

  • all players on entry-level contracts
    • however, teams can trade players on entry-level contracts to Kraken as incentives to protect extra player(s) they would like to protect
  • A player must have played at least two full professional seasons by the end of 2020-21 (at least nine games in a season) to be eligible for selection
  • 18 players are exempt due to career-ending injuries
    • Players with potential career-ending injuries who have missed the previous 60+ consecutive games due to an injury, do not meet the criteria set forth by the league in respect to the minimum exposure requirements for players, and in certain cases these players may even be deemed as exempt from the Expansion Draft selection process

No-Movement Clauses

  • each player that contains a NMC in his contract must be protected unless giving their club permission to expose them
  • The deadline for asking players to waive their NMC prior to the expansion draft is on Tuesday
  • Players with No-Trade Clauses in their contracts do not have to be protected

Roster Freeze

  • Teams may not trade unless they are with the Kraken beginning at 3 PM ET on Saturday, July 17
  • no players can sign contracts with any other team besides the Kraken starting at this time
  • lifted at 1 PM ET on Thursday, July 22

Free Agency

  • The Kraken will have the opportunity to talk to unprotected pending (un)restricted free agents starting at 10 AM ET on Sunday, July 18
  • They may sign free agents as soon as they reach a contract agreement with them
  • If the Kraken sign any free agents, they count as their pick from the player’s 2020-21 team

Roster Submission

  • The Kraken will have to turn in their 2021 Expansion Draft selections, trades, and free-agent signings by 10 AM ET on Wednesday, July 21
  • Their picks will be announced to the public starting at 8 PM ET that night

Expansion Draft Selection Requirements

  • Kraken must take at least
    • 14 forwards
    • nine defensemen
    • three goalies
    • 20 players under contract for 2021-22

Salary Cap

  • The Kraken must
    • spend at least $48.9 million, the salary cap floor for 2021-22
    • stay compliant with the $81.5 million salary cap ceiling

Exposure Requirements

  • Each team must expose at least
    • two forwards and one defenseman who have played at least 27 games in 2020-21 or 54 from 2019-21, under contract for next season
    • a goalie who is under contract for 2021-22 or who can become a restricted free agent on July 27

Broadcast Information

  • will be broadcasted on Wednesday, July 21, at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN2 in the U.S. and Sportsnet and SN NOW in Canada
  • Hosted by ESPN’s Chris Fowler
    • joined by former NHL forward Dominic Moore
  • Kevin Weekes, who has provided commentary and analysis for NHL Network and Hockey Night in Canada, will be reporting from various iconic Seattle locations

NoVa Caps 2021 Expansion Draft Coverage

Ranking The Capitals’ Expansion Draft Scenarios From Best To Worst

Mock Expansion Draft 4.0: The Picture Is Getting Clearer In Seattle

The Capitals’ Outlook For The 2021 NHL Expansion Draft

Why Alex Ovechkin Might Not Sign A New Contract Extension With The Capitals Until After The Seattle Kraken Expansion Draft

Mock Expansion Draft 3.0: Who Is Seattle Kraken Bound?

2020 Mock Expansion Draft For The Seattle Kraken

Who Will The Capitals Protect From Seattle In 2021 NHL Expansion Draft?

A Look Back At The Capitals’ 2017 Expansion Draft Protection List

Our First Mock Draft For The Seattle Expansion Franchise In 2021

Building From Within: A Look At How the Capitals Can Ensure A Deep Prospect Pool Ahead of the Seattle Expansion Draft

What the Vegas Expansion Draft Tells Us About What to Expect in the Seattle Expansion Draft in 2021

2017 NHL Expansion Draft – Assessment of the Picks and Trades

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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