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Inevitable Expansion Draft Trade Starting to Feel Not-So-Inevitable for New Jersey

June 16th, 2017 at 2:25 PM
Aggregated By Sports Media 101

Do things, Ray.

Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Over the past 6-or-so months, ever since it became painfully clear that the Devils were not a playoff-caliber team in 2016-17, people have been trying to figure out which routes the Devils had to pull themselves out of the NHL’s basement. The entry draft, as is pretty much always the case in the NHL, was going to be one of the main ways for the team to focus on improving, but this off-season provided a unique opportunity in the form of the expansion draft as well. Yes, the arrival of the Golden Knights, the NHL’s newest franchise out in the Las Vegas desert, provided a chance to more rapidly improve with less of the waiting and uncertainty tied up in the entry draft. Devils fans have been targeting it as a way for the team to improve in a hurry for months now, and the allure of a pre-expansion draft trade is easy to see.

The rules of the expansion draft (see CapFriendly’s great expansion draft tool) mean that there is added incentive for some teams to move established players on their roster for fear of losing them for nothing. This incentive works from two angles. First is the limit on the number of players each team is able to protect. As many of you know and as Gerard and the staff discussed in this post yesterday regarding the Devils, teams can protect 7 forwards, 3 defensemen, and 1 goalie or 8 skaters (including any combination of D and F they want) and 1 goalie. So if a team has 4 or more quality defensemen, they either have to expose at least 3 more forwards, or risk losing one of those defensemen for no return. Additionally, teams are required to expose at least 2 forwards and 1 defenseman …

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Tags: Aaron Ekblad, Dalton Prout, Devils, Ducks, Hampus Lindholm, Jason Demers, Keith Yandle, Kyle Quincey, Predators

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