National Hockey League expansion draft: Tracking the top unprotected players

If Fleury lands in Vegas, he would be the instant face of the team and the first starting goaltender in Golden Knights history.

Vegas Golden Knights general manager George McPhee (left).

Next week, a 30-player roster will be unveiled. Well, the Knights' strategy heading into this portion of the expansion draft should be to choose the best available player from each of their divisional opponents.

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

How many players will Vegas draft?

"This expansion draft, it's complicated things a little bit, I think everyone is gradually working through and ultimately we all know we're going to lose one player and you accept that", Yzerman said.

What guidelines must Vegas follow?

He has still not determined (or is not willing to publicly reveal) whether the Sharks will protect eight skaters and one goalie - allowing them to protect four defensemen - or seven forwards, three defensemen and one goalie.

Seven players were recognized on the National Hockey League's (NHL) Central Scouting's 2017 Final Rankings.

Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman said on Friday that the Leafs intentions have not gotten out, but that they are likely going to try to make a big move that will improve their chances over the next two years, while Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and William Nylander are on their entry-level contracts.

“If we dont do anything else between now and Saturday afternoon, in trading Jonathan he wouldve required protection, ” Lightning GM Steve Yzerman said Thursday.

Deadline for the Expansion Club to submit SPCs for any pending UFA/RFAs who are selected by the Expansion Club and signed to a new contract (10 a.m. ET).

Marc-Andre Fleury waived his no-movement clause back in February for the expansion draft. Signing pending restricted free agent Marko Dano on Tuesday makes it likely he and Shawn Matthias are the forwards who are left unprotected under the 7-3-1 option.

Whether it's because of valuable exempt players or made decisions, the Blues don't have to worry.

What will the Hawks' protection list look like?

Defenseman Klas Dahlbeck, who was signed to a one-year, $850,000 contract after the season, could be the D-man exposed.

Injured players: Players with potential career-ending injuries that have missed more than the previous 60 consecutive games, including Arizona's Dave Bolland, Detroit's Johan Franzen, Pittsburgh's Pascal Dupuis and Toronto's Nathan Horton, among others.

Every NHL team has submitted their list of protected players that the Golden Knights will not be able to select from.

"The league controlled the timetable", majority owner Bill Foley told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "All teams have been in communication with each other".

Jeff Carter, center: Led the Kings with 32 goals and 66 points last season. Goalie Jeff Glass is under contract for next season and fulfills the requirement for exposed goaltenders. There are no minimum games played restrictions for goaltenders. If he is dealt, the Knights would presumably pick between Calvert or Karlsson.

Speaking of trades, it might take some time for rumors to turn into confirmations, at least when it comes to teams paying a ransom for the Golden Knights to take specific players. While these deals need to be above-board and all terms filed with the league, they don't need to be made public.

  • Julie Sanders