Are The Winnipeg Jets Ready For An Expansion Draft?

The Winnipeg Jets and their protected list –


NHL expansion to Las Vegas was unanimously approved at the June 22 BOG meetings and the expansion draft parameters listed below have been confirmed.

Based on the contracts the Winnipeg Jets are committed to right now and the potential parameters of a 2017 expansion draft, I thought we could look at how an expansion draft would impact the Jets roster right now.  It is believed that only one expansion team is in play at this time so each existing NHL club can only lose one player maximum in a potential expansion draft.

The NHL’s BOG meetings are scheduled for June 22 in Las Vegas where it’s expected that a vote will be held on the city’s expansion bid.  Expansion to Las Vegas would need a two-thirds majority for approval.

Tentative expansion guidelines:

1.  Protected lists:  Each existing NHL team will have the option to protect seven forwards, three defencemen, and one goalie (11 players) or eight skaters and one goaltender (nine players). The second option allows for teams to protect four defencemen but forces them to expose three more forwards in order to do so.

2.  NMC:  Players holding no-movement clauses count against the protection limit if the NMC extends through the 2017-18 season, teams will be permitted to ask players to waive their no-movement clauses for inclusion in the expansion draft.

3.  No flip-flops:  NHL teams will be doing a lot of roster managing and juggling in preparation for the anticipated June 2017 draft but players traded away during that period can’t be reacquired until after Jan. 1 the following season.

4.  Exempt players:   Players with two years of professional experience or less will be exempt from the expansion draft as defined by the collective bargaining agreement.  Players that played 10 games in the NHL at age 18 or 19 counts as a season as well as any AHL or NHL season for players older than that.

5.  40/70 rule:  A minimum of two forwards and one defenceman must be exposed who have played 40 games the previous season, or a total of 70 over the previous two seasons.

6.  Roster:  The new NHL team (Las Vegas) will be required to draft one player from every existing NHL team.  They will be required to draft a minimum of three goalies, nine defencemen and fourteen forwards.

7.  Salary Cap:  The expansion team must select players that have a total value of between 60% and 100% of the 2016-17 NHL salary cap.

8.  Buyouts:  The expansion team cannot buy out any player it picks in the expansion draft until the following off-season (2018).

9.  NHL Entry Draft:  The expansion team will be given the same draft lottery odds as the team that finishes third last in the league and cannot pick later than sixth in the 2017 NHL entry draft.  It will be possible for the expansion team to end up with the first overall selection if it wins the lottery.

As of June 14, the Winnipeg Jets have used up 30 out of their 50 available contracts with another 14 players being either UFAs or RFAs.

Winnipeg Jets forwards

 Armia    Peluso  
 Burmistrov    Perreault  protect 
 Copp  Petan  exempt
 Dano    Scheifele  protect
 Ehlers  exempt  Stafford  
 Halischuk    Tanev  exempt
 Little  protect  Thorburn  
 Lowry    Wheeler  protect


The Winnipeg Jets will have options at forward with four “for sure” protections. Players like Armia, Burmistrov, Copp, Lowry, Dano, and Stafford might figure into the final three selections based on their play in the 2016-17 season.  Players like Peluso and Thorburn should be long gone.


Mathieu Perreault could be a UFA but I would expect the Winnipeg Jets to offer him a contract extension and protect him.

The Jets will need two forwards that fall into the 40/70 category and it could be Armia, Burmistrov, Copp, Lowry, Dano, or Stafford.

Embed from Getty Images

Winnipeg Jets defencemen and goaltenders

 Byfuglien*  protect*  Stuart  
 Chiarot    Trouba  protect
 Enstrom*  protect*    
 Myers    Hutchinson  
 Postma    Pavelec  

* automatic protect because of a no-movement clause

The Winnipeg Jets will be required to protect Enstrom and Byfuglien because of their NMCs.  Stuart only has a “limited no-trade clause” so he can be left unprotected.  Tyler Myers currently has a NMC but it reverts to a limited NTC starting in 2016-17 so he will be at risk to be selected by Las Vegas in the expansion draft.

Ben Chiarot and maybe Paul Postma will fall into the 40/70 category.

Hutchinson and Pavelec (UFA) will be exposed.

Non-roster forwards

 Bloomqvist  exempt  Kosmachuk  
 Brassard    Lipon  
 Connor  exempt  Lodge  exempt
 Cormier    Lemieux  exempt
 De Leo  exempt  Olsen  

Non-roster defencemen and goaltenders

 Kichton    Morrissey  exempt
 Kostalek  exempt  Nogier  exempt
 Melchiori    Comrie  exempt
 MacWilliam    Hellebuyck  protect
Embed from Getty Images

Protecting goaltender Connor Hellebuyck is a no-brainer and Eric Comrie is exempt so the goaltending future is safe.

Based on the rumoured expansion parameters of 7 forwards, 3 defenceman, and 1 goaltender or 8 skaters and 1 goalie, the Winnipeg Jets are in decent shape with lots of time to figure out a game plan going forward.  

Editors Note:

This is all speculation and conjecture at this point.  I believe the exempt status I have assigned to the Jets players is accurate or darn close based on the parameters set forward in the expansion rumours.  The expansion information should be officially released on June 22 after the BOG meetings.    

Have fun selecting your roster.


If I have made an error or you have a different interpretation of the draft guidelines, please feel free to let me know in the comment section.


  1. Marco Almeida says

    Hold the phone, I was under the impression that Copp wouldn’t have to be protected. This changes everything for me! I sincerely want guys like Armia, Dano, Lowry, Copp… So now I am thinking protecting seven forwards and exposing Myers is the better alternative.






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