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Important Dates As We Approach Expansion Draft, NHL Draft

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Mark your calendars!

NHL: NHL Draft Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

This June promises to be a quite busy one in the NHL. Made busier than most offseasons thanks to the expansion draft that will provide the Vegas Golden Knights the foundation for their team.

Each team in the league will lose a player, and to add some spice to our June, the league has agreed to actually release the list of protected players for each team in the three-day window that the Golden Knights will spend making their expansion draft picks. That three days is a recent change, as before they were only going to get 48 hours. Instead, the league agreed a little bit ago to give them 72 hours, which only makes sense when you’re possibly fielding offers from teams to not draft players in exchange for roster players or future draft picks.

So while general managers around the league blow up phones and try to wheel and deal, we fans get those three days to play with expansion drafts of our own and see who the Dallas Stars could potentially be losing to the new desert hockey team. Of course, we’ll provide analysis of who is exposed to the expansion draft and the potential impact on the roster of who is the most likely to be picked, but we’ve got a few weeks before then. (The summer is the worst, amirite?)

Until then, here’s some key dates to keep in mind. We’ll have content centered around draft profiles and free agent targets in the coming weeks, and of course check back often for our expansion draft analysis as we take this June ride together.

June 1st - drafted players that are unsigned whose window is expiring become UFAs

June 3rd to 14th - Stanley Cup playoff games intermingled with glimpses of our hockey-less doldrums

June 15th (or 48 hours after the Cup is awarded) - first NHL buyout window opens / deadline for club-elected salary arbitration

June 17th - NHL teams submit expansion draft protections to the league office

June 18th @ 9 AM CST - expansion draft protection lists made public

June 18th to 21st - Las Vegas expansion draft picks / UFAs can be signed / unprotected RFAs can be signed

June 21st - the Golden Knights roster is released to public / NHL Awards ceremony

June 23rd & June 24th - NHL draft!

June 25th to 30th - UFA negotiation window (contracts cannot be signed prior to July 1st but terms can be agreed upon)

June 25th - deadline to qualify RFAs

June 26th to June 30th - RFAs can negotiate with other teams but cannot sign a contract or offer sheet prior to July 1st (basically this is a non-event, because how often do offer sheets happen? Answer: not many)

June 30th - salary cap floor and ceiling set / first NHL buyout period ends

July 1st - free agency opens / Canada Day