Rumour Report: Trade frenzy expected before expansion draft deadline

June 17th isn't usually a significant date on the NHL calendar, but this year it might be the biggest of all.

That's the day teams are required to declare their protected players for the Vegas expansion draft. Everyone else who's eligible will be exposed in the draft for the Golden Knights to select on June 21st.

Once everyone sees which players are due to be exposed, expect teams to make trades to avoid losing a player to Vegas for nothing.

Each team to must protect:
  • Seven forwards, 3 defencemen, and 1 goaltender, or 
  • One goaltender and 8 skaters

The selection rules for Vegas are as follows:
  • They must make 30 selections
  • One, and only one player shall be selected from each team
  • At least 14 forwards, 9 dmen, and three netminders must be taken 
  • At least 20 selections must be signed through 2017-18
The most obvious area where teams will feel pressure to make a trade is in net. With the inability to protect both starter and backup, several teams are already looking to make a deal. The Penguins are carrying two starters in Matt Murray and Marc-Andre Fleury, and it's expected the latter will be on the move before the Vegas draft.

It's also quite likely teams with a surplus of quality defensemen - the Wild, Hurricanes and Ducks for example - will feel the need to trade some of that depth. Names such as Marco Scandella, Matt Dumba and Sami Vatanen have surfaced in rumours.

It's hard to say exactly how many big names will move before the expansion draft deadline, but the rumours are likely to heat up shortly after the Cup is handed out in early June.

June 17th. Circle it on your calendar.

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