2021 NHL Expansion Draft: What you need to know for this weekend

This is going to be a busy and significant weekend as we edge closer to the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft.

Although the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft doesn’t take place until Wednesday, this weekend will set the stage for what will unfold later in the week, and we could be in for a crazy couple of days as the offseason really hits its stride.

With all teams having until 5:00 P.M. today to submit their protected lists to the National Hockey League, and 3:00 P.M the cutoff point before the freeze on trades, waivers and signings, Saturday could feature a whole lot of movement.

We’ve already seen notable players like Keith Yandle get bought out by the Florida Panthers, while Dallas Stars goalie Ben Bishop and Buffalo Sabres forward Jeff Skinner have agreed to waive their no-move clauses, and there could be more to come over the next few hours.

So, with plenty of significant events on the horizon, allow us to catch you up on everything you need to know ahead of a couple of huge days in the NHL…

What you need to know this weekend ahead of the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft

We’ll break down the key events of the next two days and give you a clear picture of what could happen across the league…

seattle kraken

Seattle Kraken (Photo by Jim Bennett/Getty Images)

Saturday 17 June

3:00 P.M. ET: Trade / Player Signing Freeze – In just a few hours the entire league will not be allowed to take part in trades, player signings or waiver activity, a freeze which will be in place until Thursday.

However, there is one exception with the Seattle Kraken still allowed to engage in trades, including having discussions with other teams about trading assets in order to select or not select a player in the upcoming 2021 Expansion Draft.

Those trades are likely to happen if there are teams who want to protect more players than they are able to.

5:00 P.M. ET: Deadline for teams to submit Expansion Draft Protection Lists – This is the big one. This is the deadline for all teams – apart from the Vegas Golden Knights who are exempt from the process – to submit the list of players they wish to protect in the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft, thus putting the Kraken in prime position to start building their team.

The NHL won’t make those lists public until Sunday, but they will be distributed to all teams in the league and Seattle will be able to get to work immediately, while they will also be able to start interviewing pending RFA’s and UFA’s who are not on the Protected Lists.

It is important to remember, however, that if the Kraken were to sign a pending free agent, it will count as their selection from that team. So, for example, if Seattle came to an agreement with veteran forward Ryan Getzlaf, he would count as their selection from the Anaheim Ducks.

Sunday 18 June

10:00 A.M. ET: Protection Lists are revealed to the public – Hockey media will be busy on Sunday with the NHL set to make the Expansion Draft Protection Lists public, which means that we can really start to speculate on what Seattle’s first team in franchise history may look like.

Given the flat cap in 2021-22 due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, don’t be surprised if some big names and established veterans are left unprotected, which could allow the Kraken the opportunity to construct a highly-competitive roster for their inaugural year in the NHL.

Ben Bishop #30

Ben Bishop #30 of the Dallas Stars. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)

What Else You Need To Know

We will be putting out a full idiot’s guide to the 2021 Expansion Draft later this weekend, but there are a couple of nuggets that will be useful to know for this weekend.

As we’ve already mentioned, there has been a boatload of activity in the NHL this week as General Managers try to get their rosters in order ahead of the Trade freeze later today, and we saw veteran defenseman Keith Yandle bought out by the Florida Panthers earlier in the week.

He could be signed by the Kraken, although that would count as their selection from the Panthers, while Dallas Stars goalie Ben Bishop and Buffalo Sabres forward Jeff Skinner both waived their no-move clauses, and there are reports out there that suggest that Montreal Canadiens Captain Shea Weber could also be left exposed.

Plus, the Minnesota Wild also bought out veterans Ryan Suter and Zach Parise, so those are a handful of names to keep an eye on as the Seattle Kraken get ready to officially start building their team.

We will have a plethora of content over this weekend as we build towards both the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft, and the 2021 NHL Entry Draft.