Connect with us

The Expansion Draft

The Las Vegas Golden Knights will start their franchise in the 2017-18 season.

So how does it all work?


The Golden Knights will have their own expansion draft on June 18-20, with selections announced on the 21st. They will be selecting one (and only one) player from each of the current 30 NHL teams. The official unveiling will be televised on June 21.


Las Vegas won’t be able to just choose superstars as teams are able to protect some of their players. Every NHL team must submit a list of protected players by June 17. Those lists must consist of either:

  • 7 forwards, 3 defenesmen and 1 goalie
  • 8 skaters (forward/defenseman) and 1 goalie

All first- and second-year professionals, as well as all unsigned draft choices, will be exempt from selection (and will not be counted toward their club’s applicable protection limits). For Buffalo, this include players like Jack Eichel, Sam Reinhart and Alexander Nylander, to name a few.

Teams must submit their official list of protected players by 5 p.m. EST on June 17.


The Golden Knights will also be involved in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft on June 23-24.

They will have the same odds of winning the lottery as the team that finishes with the third fewest points in the 2016–17 NHL season. Las Vegas will pick no lower than sixth overall in the first round, and will select third in each subsequent round of this draft.


Las Vegas will be added to the Pacific Division, meaning Buffalo will play them twice every season. The Golden Knights will play at KeyBank Center once, and the Sabres will make a trip to T-Mobile Arena. Keep in mind that the away game will likely be a late start time for fans on the East coast.


There are a couple of tools out there that can help you get an idea of which players will be available for Las Vegas to choose from. Use the links below to test out some scenarios.

Plan my team:

Protect players: