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2017 Expansion Draft: The Coyotes Problem With The Expansion Draft

Now that the draft lottery is out of the way, it’s time to look towards the expansion draft.

Las Vegas NHL Franchise Reveals Team Name And Logo Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The Expansion Draft has been looming since June 22nd of last year. This year, on June 21st, we will see who will be going to Las Vegas to join the Golden Knights. There’s only one problem: the Coyotes barely have enough players to protect/expose in their system. In the link above, it will take you to, who has taken over since General Fanager was hired by Vegas.

The Coyotes could protect eight skaters versus three defenseman and seven forwards. Why? Because the Coyotes only have, at the moment, seven skaters who are available to be exposed. That’s right, at the moment the Coyotes only have three forwards (Jamie McGinn, Tobias Rieder, Brad Richardson) and five defensemen (Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Alex Goligoski {NMC}, Connor Murphy, Luke Schenn, and Kevin Connauton). The Coyotes are going to have to make some moves and signings before the draft starts June 17th.

The Rules: The team must have two forwards and one defenseman and one goaltender to expose in the draft. Players who played their rookie year in 2015-16 or 2016-17 are exempt from the draft, protecting most team’s top prospects.

The Most Logical Option

Sign the UFA’s and RFA’s who qualify before June 17th so they have enough people to expose in the draft. They must expose two forwards and one defenseman.

The flaw in this plan is extending someone who you would hope be picked up in the expansion draft and they aren’t, leaving them on your roster for the next season unless you can move them via trade.

With the number of UFA/RFA players this year, the Coyotes could add some major pieces. Especially if someone with a larger contract is taken in the expansion draft, giving them more cap space.

We won’t know who is safe or exposed until the draft starts in June, but we can start to guess as players are signed or extended. The next month and a half could get interesting, very quickly.