Now that the Vegas Golden Knights have a name, it’s time to start looking ahead to the expansion draft. Recently, the NHL sent a memo to each team outlining which players must be protected from the expansion draft due to no-move clauses. The list of 66 players was reviewed by the NHL and NHLPA to determine which contracts fall under the no-move criteria to be exempt from the draft.
It is worth noting that the NHL has stated that any first or second-year professional will be exempt from the draft, meaning the Blues – as well as other teams – won’t have to waste selections on their upcoming talent.
From the list of 66, the St. Louis Blues have zero players who will be exempt from the draft due to their contract. In other words, there aren’t any players the Blues will have to protect because of their contract. The Blues are only one of four teams – the others being the Sharks, Flames and Capitals – who have complete control over which players they protect.
With all of the freedom to protect whichever players they want, now fans can start guessing who the Blues should protect before the draft. There are some obvious picks – Vladimir Tarasenko isn’t going anywhere – but it remains to be seen who else will be protected.