NHL Expansion Draft – Florida Panthers

Expansion Draft Rules

All information from NHL.com

Protected Lists

  • Clubs can protect one of two options:
    • Seven forwards, three defensemen, and one goaltender
    • Eight skaters and one goaltender
  • All players with No-Movement clauses in their contract have to be protected unless they waive their clauses
  • All first- and second-year pro players will be exempt from selections and don’t have to be protected

Player Exposure Requirements

  • Clubs must meet minimum requirements for exposure in the Expansion Draft:
    • One defenseman who is under contract in 2017-18 and played in 40 or more games in 2016-17 or played in 70 or more games in two prior seasons.
    • Two forwards who meet the same requirements as above
    • 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.

Vegas Requirements

  • Must select one player from each existing club for a total of 30 players
  • Must select at least 14 forwards, 9 defensemen, and 3 goaltenders
  • Must have a minimum 20 players under contract for the 2017-18 season
  • Must reach the salary cap floor and cannot exceed the cap ceiling
  • May not buy out any players selected in the Expansion Draft before the first summer following their first full season

Protection List

  • NMC= No Movement Clause
  • NTC= No Trade Clause
  • Red = Who I would protect


POS Age Name Cap Hit Expiration 40/70
C 21 Aleksander Barkov $5,900,000 UFA – 2022 X
C 23 Vincent Trocheck $4,750,000 UFA – 2022 X
C 24 Nick Bjustad $4,100,000 UFA – 2021 X
LW 33 Jussi Jokinen $4,000,000 UFA – 2018 X
RW 45 Jaromir Jagr $4,000,000 UFA – 2017 X
RW 24 Reilly Smith $5,000,000 UFA – 2022 X
LW 23 Jonathan Huberdeau $5,900,000 UFA – 2023 X
C 35 Derek MacKenzie $1,375,000 UFA – 2019 X
LW 33 Thomas Vanek $1,300,000 UFA – 2017 X
C 27 Colton Sceviour $950,000 UFA – 2018 X
C 26 Jonathan Marchessault $750,000 UFA – 2018 X
C 22 Steven Hodges $685,000 RFA – 2017 40GR
C 24 Graham Black $650,000 RFA – 2017 40GR
LW 23 Tim Bozon $637,500 RFA – 2017 40GR
LW 39 Shawn Thornton $600,000 UFA – 2017 X
C 25 Brody Sutter $600,000 UFA – 2017 40GR
C 24 Michael Sgarbossa $600,000 RFA – 2017 2GR
RW 28 Paul Thompson $575,000 UFA – 2017 19GR


POS Age Name Cap Hit Expiration 40/70
D 30 NMC – Keith Yandle $6,350,000 UFA – 2023 X
D 28 Jason Demers $4,500,000 UFA – 2021 X
D 30 Jakub Kindl $2,040,000 UFA – 2017 X
D 25 Mark Pysyk $1,125,000 RFA – 2017 X
D 25 Alex Petrovic $1,050,000 RFA – 2017 X
D 21 Aaron Ekblad $7,500,000 UFA – 2025 X
D 23 MacKenzie Weegar $680,000 RFA – 2017 37GR
D 23 Reese Scarlett $600,000 RFA – 2017 40GR
D 27 Brent Regner $600,000 UFA – 2017 40GR


POS Age Name Cap Hit Expiration
G 37 Roberto Luongo $4,533,333 UFA – 2022
G 29 James Reimer $3,400,000 UFA – 2021
G 30 Reto Berra $1,450,000 UFA – 2017
G 24 Sam Brittain $750,000 UFA – 2017

Exempt List

  • C Jayce Hawryluk
  • C Jared McCann
  • C Kyle Rau
  • LW Dryden Hunt
  • LW Juho Lammikko
  • C Denis Malgin
  • C Chase Balisy
  • D Ian McCoshen
  • D Michael Matheson
  • D Michael Downing
  • D Linus Hultstrom
  • D Thomas Chemitsch
  • D Joshua Brown
  • G Adam Wilcox
  • G Samuel Montembeault
  • G Colin Stevens

Explanation of my Protection List

  • Florida has a lot of young forwards that they have locked down for the coming years but luckily have enough protection spots available to ensure that they will remain a Panther for the foreseeable future.  They have no forwards with NMCs and they will certainly go with the seven forwards/three defensemen plan.  Aleksander Barkov, Jonathan Huberdeau, Vincent Trocheck, Nick Bjustad, and Reilly Smith were all forwards who were going to be protected before this season and are members of the team’s future core.  That leaves two spots available to protect and will protect Jonathan Marchessault with one of those after the breakout season he is having. I would use the last protection spot on Colton Sceviour since he is the youngest remaining player with term left on his contract and is probably the most valuable to Florida.  On defense, Keith Yandle is the only Panther with a NMC so he will take one of the three spots available to defensemen.  They will also absolutely protect Aaron Ekblad, one of the leaders of the team, and I would protect Jason Demers, the only other defenseman with term left.  In net, there will have to be a decision made as to whether they protect Roberto Luongo and the five years he has left or James Reimer.  I feeel that they will protect Reimer and trust that Vegas wants nothing to do with an aging goaltender who is paid more than $4.5 million per season in Luongo.
  • The Panthers will expose at least two forwards with term on their contracts in the Expansion Draft.  With the forwards I protected, that means Jussi Jokinen and Derek MacKenzie are those forwards, plus four more RFAs will be available.  At the blueline, Florida will have to re-sign one of their defensemen in order to fulfill exposure requirements.  One of their young RFAs seem to be the most likely to have this happen.  Roberto Luongo will most likely be the goaltender left unprotected in the draft as will UFAs Reto Berra and Sam Brittain.
  • While Jussi Jokinen has proven to be a valuable contributor to the Panthers’ successes in recent seasons if he the most valuable player they could lose, Florida should be in good shape.  It seems like he may be the most attractive player for Vegas to take in the draft.  However, I think there is a chance that Vegas may take one of Florida’s young RFAs such as Mark Pysyk or Alex Petrovic and see if they can sign that player.  I don’t think there is any chance that Vegas will go after Luongo considering how expensive he is and how old he is.

*All cap and salary information come from CapFriendly.com*


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