NHL Expansion Draft – Tampa Bay Lightning


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 27 NMC – Steven Stamkos $8,500,000 UFA – 2024 X
RW 32 NMC – Ryan Callahan $5,800,000 UFA – 2020 X
RW 23 Nikita Kucherov $4,766,667 RFA – 2019 X
C 27 Alex Killorn $4,450,000 UFA – 2023 X
LW 26 Ondrej Palat $3,333,333 RFA – 2017 X
C 26 Tyler Johnson $3,333,333 RFA – 2017 X
C 24 Vladislav Namestnikov $1,937,500 RFA – 2018 X
RW 30 Erik Condra $1,250,000 UFA – 2018 X
RW 26 J.T. Brown $1,250,000 UFA – 2018 X
C 23 Cedric Paquette $812,500 RFA – 2018 X
C 24 Greg McKegg $700,000 UFA – 2017 X
RW 24 Stefan Fournier $632,500 UFA – 2017 40GR
LW 22 Henri Ikonen $616,667 RFA – 2017 40GR
C 26 Byron Froese $575,000 UFA – 2017 8GR
LW 27 Cory Conacher $575,000 UFA – 2017 29GR
LW 26 Tye McGinn $575,000 RFA – 2017 40GR
C 24 Tanner Richard $575,000 RFA – 2017 37GR
LW 25 Mike Halmo $575,000 UFA – 2017 40GR
LW 24 Michael Bournival $575,000 RFA – 2017 21GR
RW 31 Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond $575,000 UFA – 2017 40GR
C 24 Yanni Gourde $575,000 UFA – 2017 20GR
C 26 Gabriel Dumont $575,000 UFA – 2017 1GR


POS Age Name Cap Hit Expiration 40/70
D 32 Jason Garrison $4,600,000 UFA – 2018 X
D 30 Anton Stralman $4,500,000 UFA – 2019 X
D 26 NMC – Victor Hedman $7,785,000 UFA – 2025 X
D 32 Braydon Coburn $3,700,000 UFA – 2019 X
D 26 Andrej Sustr $1,450,000 RFA – 2017 X
D 23 Slater Koekkoek $894,167 RFA – 2017 11GR
D 23 Dylan Blujus $742,500 RFA – 2017 40GR
D 23 Jonathan Racine $660,000 RFA – 2017 40GR
D 23 Jake Dotchin $616,667 RFA – 2017 5GR
D 26 Luke Witkowski $575,000 UFA – 2017 6GR
D 30 Matt Taormina $575,000 UFA – 2017 40GR


POS Age Name Cap Hit Expiration
G 22 Andrei Vasilevskiy $3,500,000 RFA – 2020
G 34 Peter Budaj $600,000 UFA – 2017
G 24 Kristers Gudlevskis $575,000 RFA – 2017
G 33 Mike McKenna $575,000 UFA – 2017

Exempt List

  • C Brett Howden
  • LW Adam Erne
  • C Mitchell Stephens
  • C Matthew Peca
  • RW Mathieu Joseph
  • LW Dannis Yan
  • C Anthony Cirelli
  • RW Brian Hart
  • RW Jonne Tammela
  • C Brayden Point
  • C Cameron Darcy
  • RW Joel Vermin
  • D Dominik Masin
  • D Matthew Spencer
  • D Erik Cernak
  • D Ben Thomas
  • D Daniel Walcott
  • D Libor Hajek
  • G Connor Ingram

Explanation of my Protection List

  • As anyone who has paid attention to the NHL for the past few seasons knows, Tampa Bay has a seemingly endless number of good, young forwards that are ready to play in the NHL.  I say that just to get to the point that I am protect seven of the team’s forwards and three of their defensemen.  Both Steven Stamkos and Ryan Callahan have NMCs so they must be protected although Stamkos would be protected either way.  I am also protecting Nikita Kucherov, Alex Killorn, Vladislav Namestnikov, J.T. Brown, and Cedric Paquette.  On defense, Victor Hedman also has a NMC and must be protected.  With the other two spots I am protecting Anton Stralman and Braydon Coburn since several of their core defensemen are RFAs after this season and shouldn’t need to be protected.  In net, I am protecting franchise future Andrei Vasilevskiy with my one spot.
  • With the forwards I protected I am leaving Erik Condra exposed as the only forward with term left on his deal.  That means that the Lightning will have to re-sign a forward to expose in order to meet exposure requirements.  I will also be leaving RFAs Ondrej Palat and Tyler Johnson exposed and banking on the idea that Vegas won’t want to take anyone not under contract for 2018.  At the goaltender position, the team will also have to re-sign a player in order to expose someone.  As of right now, Kristers Gudlevskis is the only goaltender with even RFA status so he will be available.
  • Tampa Bay has to be wishing that Ryan Callahan didn’t have a NMC on his contract at the Expansion Draft so that perhaps they could convince Vegas to take him.  He is expensive, an older player, and isn’t healthy much at this point in his career.  The Lightning most likely won’t lose much in terms of value in the Draft unless Vegas decides to take one of their RFAs (Palat, Johnson, Drouin, Koekkoek, and Sustr) but I don’t think that Vegas will be in the game of taking free agents and having to sign them to contracts.  Ideally, the Lightning will convince Vegas to take Jason Garrison who has just one year left on his contract but would free up enough money for Tampa to potentially re-sign both Palat and Johnson this offseason.  I feel confident that there is a strong chance that this is what will happen especially with how good of a GM Steve Yzerman.

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


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