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NSHL DRAFT starts Monday @ 9 AM EST

NSHL Draft

Expansion Draft Results

Saturday, September 9th
Los Angeles Kings
D Klas Dahlbeck
F Mats Zuccarello
D Erik Gudbranson
D Brandon Davidson
D Stefan Elliott
F Andrew Agozzino
F Chris Kreider
D Justin Schultz
G Jacob Markstrom
F Brett Bullmer
F Peter Holland
D Matt Irwin
F Kyle Clifford
F Kyle Okposo
F Jakob Silfverberg
F Anton Lander
F Mike Hoffman
G Michael Hutchinson
Winnipeg Jets
F Joakim Nordstrom
F Nathan Gerbe
F Colin Wilson
D Kevin Connauton
F Antoine Roussel
F Ryan Stanton
F Riley Nash
D Thomas Hickey
F Michael Raffl
D Zach Bogosian
D Niklas Hjalmarsson
F Philip Samuelsson
F Andrei Loktionov
D John Moore
F Nick Palmieri
F Tyler Bozak
D Jordie Benn
F Josh Jooris

Draft Lottery

Thursday, September 7th


Ah, if only.

The Nashville Predators would have defied all odds and won the NSHL Draft Lottery on lucky #24 - one of only three numbers they held entering Thursday nights draw. Now, here we are.. the team has been erased and they're bumped out of the picture.

Enter the happy as can be Edmonton Oilers who climb into the top spot in this year's NSHL Draft despite ending the Lottery 2nd. The team now has the tough task of deciding between Nico Hischier or Nolan Patrick as the player deserving of the top spot in this year's draft.

The complete Draft Lottery results are listed below. Keep in mind, the lottery was done with all teams in play and the Nashville picks were removed after the fact to bump everyone else up.

Draft Lottery Results
1st   24 7th Up 6
1st   11 1st -
2nd 30 6th Up 4
3rd   27 3rd -
4th   15 5th Up 1
6th 56 2nd Down 3
5th   14 4th Down 1
6th   8 8th -
7th   10 10th Up 3
8th   9 9th Up 1

It's Lottery Time!

The NSHL Draft Lottery is about to be held. Below are the numbers that each team is hoping to see get drawn when random.org is used to generate a random sequence of numbers.

As the Toronto Maple Leafs have a vested interest, the Commissioner has delegated the draw to Detroit GM Eric Gosselin for this year.

Note - Expansion Teams enter the draft in positions 9 and 10 pre-lottery. However, the two NASHVILLE picks in red will be voided after the numbers are drawn.

For example, if the #2 is the first number in the sequence, Nashville via Calgary would get Pick #1. Once the Lottery is completed and all remaining slots are filled, the pick will be voided and all teams behind will be moved up.

Draft Lottery #s
Team From #s 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25
  25 1 11 18 25 31 37 42 47 51 55 59 62 65 68 71 74 76 78 80 82 84 85 86 87 88
20 2 12 19 26 32 38 43 48 52 56 60 63 66 69 72 75 77 79 81 83          
  15 3 13 20 27 33 39 44 49 53 57 61 64 67 70 73                    
  10 4 14 21 28 34 40 45 50 54 58                              
  7 5 15 22 29 35 41 46                                    
5 6 16 23 30 36                                        
  3 7 17 24                                            
  1 8                                                
  1 9                                                
  1 10                                                

Expansion Lists

Tuesday, September 5th

Lists Due Friday by Noon EST

With the Dispersal Draft winding down, teams should be making final preparations for their Expansion Draft protection list of 11 players.

The league requires a list of 11 players (full names and position) by Friday at 12 PM EST.

Any player that is a rookie is exempt.

All prospects are exempt.

Any 25 year old players recently signed to an ELC are exempt.

Pete, you are also exempt.

Lists will be posted on the EXPANSION page (and yes, if you submit early and need to make a change later that's fine - these lists are NOT final). I'd rather have you get it in on time and need a change than miss the deadline.

Check it out here.

New Jets Take Ehlers & O'Reilly 2 & 3

Sunday, September 3rd
Ryan O'Reilly

Sousa Takes Familiar Players in Re-Build

After Sebastian Aho came off the board first, the new Winnipeg Jets followed suit with a prospect of their own.. literally. GM Johnny Sousa selected forward Nikolaj Ehlers with the second pick of the round, the first for Winnipeg but a player off his old roster.

Following that pick, Sousa again went the familiar route and took his former Captain, forward Ryan O'Reilly with his second pick, the third overall.

"We really liked our roster and if things had gone differently over the past few months, we expect it'd still be our roster. We're thrilled at this second opportunity and wanted to start with a strong core - and I know with Nik and Ryan we'll have that." GM Sousa said during an interview with TSN Radio Winnipeg.

Following that interview, there were some conflicting and otherwise unconfirmed reports that the Jets have actually selected O'Reilly with the intention of flipping him down the road. #NSHLKyper chimed in on Hockey Central's late night broadcast that perhaps a deal was already in the works..

"Yes. I'm hearing the Jets are talking to a lot of teams about O'Reilly in the hopes they can turn him into a few pieces. He's only 26 and is an elite forward in this league, but his one year contract is not something the Jets necessarily are thrilled working with in expansion mode. One team I know they're talking to is Montreal. I'm not sure how far along things are but it's something to keep an eye on."

Kings Name 1st Player in Franchise History

Sunday, September 3rd
Sebastian Aho

Finnish Prospect Sebastian Aho Taken 1st

...and so it begins.

Los Angeles Kings' GM Pete Tower announced 20 year-old Finnish forward prospect and NHL Carolina Hurricane Sebastian Aho would be their choice with the first overall pick in the Expansion team portion of the Dispersal Draft.

Aho was selected off theFlorida Panthers' prospect list and becomes the historical first ever Los Angeles Kings player as a part of the new team.

The team announced they will strongly consider Aho as part of their roster at the start of the year, but also don't think it'd hurt to have him develop more and grow before having him rated. "Time will tell..." is all we could get out of GM Pete Tower.

"This is a big day in Hollywood as we begin to assemble our cast. We saw Sebastian as a no-brainer future NSHL star and wanted him as a part of our franchise." the Kings released in a press release following the announcement.

The ball is now in the Winnipeg Jets' court as they have two selections to make.

League Welcomes Aboard #NSHLKyper

Sunday, September 3rd
Sebastian Aho #NSHLKYPER

NSHL Insider Nick Kypreos to Replace Fact or Fiction

I'm hearing FACT on this one. Nick Kypreos to the NSHL on a long-term deal, replacing Fact Or Fiction. It's done.

Everyone was up in arms when the league announced earlier this year that Fact Or Fiction was ending. Well, now people will be up in arms when they realize they're stuck with ME.

Not sure who I am?

I've got inside scoop to all 20 teams. ALL OF THEM.

I've got inside scoop into the minds of the league's GMs and know what they're thinking.

I've got inside scoop into the league's mysterious Board of Directors and what they're thinking.

You'll learn to love me.



Sunday, September 3rd

Update! Decision Made!

The Winnipeg Jets have decided to take the first pick in the Expansion Draft, handing over the rights to first pick in the Dispersal Draft to the Los Angeles Kings.

The league has made the entire Dispersal Draft list available to all in the shared Dropbox folder.

The first pick now belongs to the Los Angeles Kings.

The second and third pick belongs to the Winnipeg Jets.

The fourth pick belongs to the Los Angeles Kings.

And then, the Calgary Flames will get the returning teams going as the remaining 18 teams take their turns through two rounds of the Dispersal Draft.

Any players left unselected will have their contracts voided and become unrestricted free agents regardless of age. Any prospects remaining will re-enter the upcoming NSHL Draft.

Jets Win Coin Toss.. Decision Looms

The Winnipeg Jets' fans are happy as ever to have their team back in the league. GM Johnny Sousa is happy as ever to be back in the league as well, and now everyone in the organization is happy to have won the historic coin toss that lets them decide how to being the building process.

The team may now choose to choose first in the Dispersal Draft, first in the Expansion Draft or the higher starting point in the Draft Lottery at 7th (instead of 8th).

Expansion rival Los Angeles will get to choose from the remaining two options above, with the third option returning to Winnipeg.

Prospect Signings Updated

The league has updated team rosters with a number of prospect signing requests, UFA releases etc. that were sent in over the past week.

Following this update the Commissioner announced that any prospects that are being signed because they are 25 are still EXEMPT from the Expansion Draft process.

The Commissioner stated that teams are signing guys now as part of the off-season process and to save time later and that the timing of the signings should not impact their protection status.

"A GM could just leave them on the Prospect List for a few more weeks and sign them later, but that adds time on to the off-season. If a GM wants to sign a guy now because there's time to do so, so be it."

Catching Up

Sunday, September 3rd

Elliotte Friedman #NSHLFRIEDGE

#NSHLFriedge on the Playoffs & Looming Expansion

Wow. What a few weeks it has been. Playoffs. An MSHL final that was the Battle of the Unlikely. The Islanders and Seguin. The End and Start of the Sousa Era. The Kings and Jets are 19 and 20. Lots to cover, let's get started.

The MSHL playoffs were quite a bit of a surprise for many as the Wolfpack and Mallards took on the "Minnesota North Stars" approach of getting hot at the right time and taking out the favoured competition. As some of the worst MSHL teams last year, both Finalists turned zeroes into heroes and came out ahead (with the Wolfpack coming out slightly more ahead than the Mallards).

What does this mean for the MSHL going forward?

I was asked on Twitter whether or not I thought more teams would take a "one and done" approach to the MSHL. Not to say that's what either of these clubs did, but more to the point that they quickly turned it around in less than a year.

To answer the question: Yes - but not for the reason you'd think.

The league's Board of Directors have eliminated the Pro IIHF contract and are restricting any international players to MSHL only duty. Sounds great, I'm all for it. Let North American talent compete at the elite level and open the door for vets to stick around or for young kids to break through.

With an influx of IIHF talent (see Vezina candidate Jonas Hiller), the MSHL is about to get a production boost. IIHF deals are one year deals and one year deals only with no rights going forward. Any team that thinks an Ilya Kovalchuk on a one year deal would improve their club into immediate competitiveness (he would), can sign him, pay him the big bucks and buy a top line winger to complement their young up and comers.

One GM told me he expects the MSHL IIHF UFA market to be as fierce and competitive as any other part of free agency this off-season. "Hiller, Kovalchuk, Bouchard, Brunner... all top quality players that could turn any team into the MSHL17 version of the Wolfpack or the Mallards."

Speaking of the MSHL: would you look at how quickly a player like Tyson Barrie can go from "MSHL stud" to helping his team reach the Stanley Cup Finals. Fair, he had a lot of help, but the Detroit Red Wings made an improbable run of their own this year and their wealth of MSHL talent played a big part.

With that being said, the Grand Rapids Griffins were an odds on favourite right through the playoffs too. Nino Niederreiter has grown up in the MSHL and will soon graduate to NSHL game where he'll no doubt excel. The Red Wings - Griffins culture seems to defy the "future one and done" MSHL point I made earlier. I guess in truth the direction and speed of travel all depends whose driving the truck and how fast they want to get there.

That brings me to the New York Islanders. The Islanders turned Cleveland Barons turned Washington Capitals turned New York Islanders again. Before the current group was in place the franchise had best been known for only three things: the elite Mike Comrie era, being incredibly cheap and being incredibly MIA. Oh how times have changed.

The Tim Tan era is upon us and his moves have already brought the team a title. True, many of the pieces were inherited, but the addition of Taylor Hall cannot be overlooked. The team is no longer the "autopilot" champion and all things considered, no one would be the least bit surprised if they were back in the finals next year.

"It may be getting tougher for a team like the Islanders..." an anonymous GM told me. "The Sabres relocation to Pittsburgh puts them both in the East. The Sabres franchise is up and coming if you look at the recent regular season successes of their affiliate in Rochester. They've got some talent that may interest an Expansion club too, to be honest. Interesting decisions ahead for the reigning champs."

Moving on to the Expansion teams..

The league has been aware of the Panthers' removal and rebirth for some time, but the Predators' decision had only happened in recent weeks. Two teams out. Two teams in. Easy, right?

GM Sousa's personal relocation overseas made him unreachable and therefore inactive for months. The decision originally to remove him wasn't easy and set to take apart one of the best top to bottom clubs the NSHL has seen. But for the Commissioner and the Board, inactivity is inactivity.

Then, after curfew, a plea came from GM Sousa to return to the league and restore himself as the league's 20th GM - only a couple of years removed from NSHL and MSHL titles. What a bind.

My sources tell me the league was in talks with a couple of people to fill the role when Sousa's request came through. Going on the credibility built through the years, Sousa was awarded the second Expansion franchise - losing what he built as a punishment for inactivity and zero communication.

I asked the Commissioner for his comment on my findings above. His response?

"Look. Anyone can have stuff in their life take over and the NSHL becomes an afterthought. I get it. But it's helpful to know the interest is there to return. The communication lines are open, send a message. We sort out lines and rosters for busy GMs all the time. We lost communication here and made plans to expand that impacted every GM. We were too far along to back up."

Now that GM Sousa is back officially, I'm hearing reports he has already sent feelers out to existing GMs about making a deal to protect their studs from the Expansion Draft. The difficulty he has is he cannot guarantee his Expansion rival in Los Angeles won't take what he agrees to pass on.

According to those in the Sousa / Jets camp, regardless who wins the coin toss on Sunday, the Jets will be taking two former Predators with their only Dispersal Draft picks.

As for the "real" new guy? All is mum. As a referral of Ducks GM Andy the expectation is that GM Tower will not take a "slow and steady" approach to building and will come out guns a-blazing.

Related note: GM Andy tells me the new guy in Los Angeles is the "Hamm of the West" - can't wait to cover his press conferences, let me tell you.

Ok, so we have two new teams entering the fray, there's bound to be some gossip on the trade front, right?

Surprisingly, there's not much that I'm aware of. I do know there's a Red Wings - Lighting now Tigers deal involving goaltender Matt Murray that will likely light a fire. The Tigers will be holding onto an unconfirmed asset for the Red Wings until after the Expansion Draft and will be rewarded for it.

Look for a number of teams to consider this approach, although I doubt many pull it off. Protecting 11 players is definitely more than enough with rookies and prospects exempt.

In a typical situation that's 1 goalie and then the first two lines of forwards and top two pairs of defenders. Teams can stray from that approach obviously, but few need the extra protection given the abundance of up and coming youth in the league.

Finally, I wanted to ask the Commissioner what his plans were for expansion down the line if this goes well. Given that a number of GMs were apparently lining up to take on the 20th team before Johnny Sousa was re-hired. His thoughts were pretty clear: "20 is good. We've got a solid group here. The contraction will help with financial stability of the 18, then the two new teams get a fresh slate. 20 active teams is perfect. We need to build up player depth, specifically goalies. Get them wanting to play I the MSHL and NSHL instead of overseas - then we're golden."

Summer's winding down and the offseason approaches. I suspect you'll hear more from me in the next little bit. It's bound to be hectic. Enjoy!

- Friedge

Winnipeg is #20

Friday, August 25th

Well This Is Awkward

Heeeeere's Johnny!

Now former Predators GM Johnny Sousa reached out to the league over the past 24 hours to work out a way to get back in the league, preferably to rescue the empire he built.

Unfortunately, the extended time away led to the league heading in a different direction, making plans for dispersal and planning ahead for expansion.

The compromise?

Johnny's previously stellar track record earned him first opportunity to return and he has accepted a position as the 20th team entering the league as an expansion franchise. To go with the fresh start, Johnny will be playing out of Winnipeg as the Jets.

"The report is the league and Sousa lost touch for several months and no one knew what was happening. I believe all sides have an agreement in place and understand the unfortunate situation. With that said, activity and communication is super important for the success of the NSHL and so restarting the empire is the punishment. It's tough for sure." NSHL Friedge said on a drive home radio station report.

The RFA Market

Friday, August 25th

The Upgraded System, Upgraded

It didn't take a schoolgirl-like temper tantrum and months away for the RFA Market system to get an upgrade.

Sure it took a lot of back and forth, some creativity, a lot of the "undo" button. But here it is, a fine-tuned market system that hopefully lets GMs decide a player's value in a system where everyone can play, at a cost.

Some key upgrades from last year:

Compensation Chart

The compensation chart has changed to reflect the new "offers over" system. If you value a player in the early and more expensive stages, the player's value is high regardless of his age.

The new chart is simplified and based on each of the RFA Market rounds. Anything above those minimums adds further picks.

The "Bridge" Contract Is Back

A player coming out of their entry level contract can once again re-sign with their team at 150% the league average salary until they're 25.

This was introduced last off-season and helped prevent 22 and 23 year old superstars from going from $1.25M to $15M in a single bound.

The RFA Tag

This one is 'uge. This one has potential!

Teams may now "tag" one potential RFA for as long as they want (max contract lengths still apply) which gives the player the average salary of the re-signing team's Top 3 salaries at the end of the season.

The catch?

The tag exists for the duration of the contract that's signed and even if the player is traded, the GM using the tag cannot use it again until it expires.

Four year deal using the tag? No more tagging until that four years is up!

Qualifying Offers Gone

The old Qualifying Offer (QO) has been eliminated from the league. All players who fit the age criteria are now automatically Restricted Free Agents (RFAs).

In the past a team had to formally extend an offer to an RFA, something that was rarely not done and was rarely accepted.

This is a key time save and teams can just let players sit on the market if they have no intention of re-signing them.

You can review the RFA Market here.


Wednesday, July 26th

"We Don't Know What Went Wrong..."

Yep. The league screwed up.

Can't count.

Fitting, isn't it?

League can't count properly and it leads to Carolina being awarded the #NSHL17 All-Star Classic thanks to a tie-breaking league vote.

"Take off your socks and sandals Thelma! Get yer countin' done! The hockey it's a comin' our way!"

While the league takes full responsibility for the flub in counting, it bares no ownership over the way the votes were cast.

"We don't know what went wrong in the initial count.. well we do, we missed the Chicago vote. But we don't know what went wrong after that to create such a league-wide panic that the Carolina franchise has won the bid to host the event."

The 'Canes beat out the soon-to-be Pittsburgh Penguin and current Buffalo Sabre franchise who proposed an outdoor series of games. A brilliant idea. A money-making idea!

Nope. Carolina. Indoors. Rednecks.

You're all sons of b*tches for this one. You'll live to regret it - all of you. Get your mute buttons ready on the Twitter. No doubt they'll be hamming it up for ages with this win.


Board of Directors' Busy Season

Sunday, June 25th

The Annual Rulebook Cleanup

The Trade Deadline has passed menaing a number of teams slow down their efforts as we enter the stretch drive towards the playoffs. Not true if you're on the Board of Directors.

Following the deadline is the perfect time for items to be reviewed and changes to be made as no one can panic on a rule change and make franchise changing moves quickly to try and beat others to the punch.

The first such moves were announced earlier on Sunday with waiver claims becoming playoff ineligible and multiple claims now allowed via waivers. Neither one has sweeping ramifications but hopefully both improve the league as a whole.

Another change coming up for NSHL17 will be quite a bit more impactful as the Board agreed to change the allowances for IIHF contracts in the pros.

Starting this off-season IIHF players will only be able to sign MSHL contracts and will not be a part of NSHL rosters.

When asked the Commissioner stated the reason was "Young players work their whole lives to crack an NSHL line-up and to have those roster spots taken away by players who don't even necessarily want to play in North America doesn't seem fair."

With the success this season of IIHF players like Jonas Hiller in Anaheim and Roman Cervenka in Montreal the change guarantees some high-end talent will be featured next season for sure (add in the likes of Ilya Kovalchuk, Pavel Datsyuk and Ray Emery).

To coincide with that change, the Board also approved another drastic change that makes all IIHF contracts two-way (worth 10% of their full value) and perhaps more importantly, tradeable.

All previous NSHL or MSHL IIHF deals came with mandatory No Movement Clauses. Not anymore.

"We are really focusing on improving the game at the minor league level and at the same time, have it make sense for all of our affiliates. This change not only allows IIHF players to be dealt, but it opens up a door to a bigger span of potential talent."

What the Commissioner was alluding to was the amount of IIHF players still listed as UFAs even today. By removing the one-way contract and no movement clause restrictions, teams should have no problem loading up on depth.

It's widely expected that the league will be holding a separate IIHF signing phase once regular free agency winds down this off-season.

The final official change so far is a guarantee for 35+ year old veteran free agents of a one-way contract regardless of the salary they signed for.

"The goal here is simple: keep our veteran players in the pros if that's where they belong. This will cut down on the "sign & stash" mentality of overpaying veteran players during free agency and then waiving them to receive the 10% salary discount."

The MSHL currently has a number of players who are over 35 who would make $2-$3 million a year if they were in the pros but instead are only making $200-$300k on two-way deals.

The Board is clearly focusing on having the MSHL as a developmental league and keeping NSHL quality talent in the NSHL.

In a separate change in order to "simplify" things, the Board changed the policy on minimum wage for the upcoming off-season. Rather than a variable minimum salary range between $350k and $500k depending on age and experience, any player signing that is not coming off the prospect list (and therefore does not qualify for an Entry Level Contract (ELC) will make no less than $500,000 a season.

"For $150,000 difference, the change to a flat $500,000 for anyone not entering the league for the first time is a no-brainer. Easy to manage, easy to remember."

A list of changes as they're made over the coming weeks will be posted in a separate section on the mainpage.

Suggestions and recommendations are welcome.

Official Rule Changes

Sunday, June 25th

List of Confirmed Rules Changes

Added Sunday, June 25th:


A player claimed off waivers following the Trade Deadline is ineligible to play in the playoffs.

Section: XIV

A team may submit more than one waiver claim at a time, however the team must prioritize their claims from highest priority claim to lowest priority claim.

Section: IX

If a team with multiple claims is successful at claiming a player, they lose priority on any other player on their list.

Section: X

IIHF Contracts

An IIHF contract is a minor league only, one (1) year, two-way deal with a guaranteed 10% Signing Bonus with no future rights regardless of age.

Section: II

One-Way Contract

Any player signing a contract that is 35 years of age or older is automatically given a one-way contract regardless of their salary.

Section: IV

League Average Salary

For reference purposes to rules within this rulebook, all averages are rounded up to the nearest $10,000 for ease of use (however both versions will be available).

Section: VI


The minimum wage for any player that signs who is not coming off of the prospect list is $500,000 per season.

Section: VI