Mark asked in SportsHockey · 5 years ago

What is draft exemption in the NHL?

I thought the only way to get to the NHL was through the draft in some way.. I could be wrong. So what's up with this?

5 Answers

  • 5 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    You only need to have been draft eligible to eventually sign in the NHL. Eligible players must turn 18 by a certain time (in Sept., date eludes me) and 18 year olds must declare. 19 year olds are automatically draft eligible and any player not selected in their age 20 draft year automatically becomes a free agent. There are other rules regarding college and players who are drafted twice. Any college kid can elect free agency in their graduating year even if they were drafted if they are not signed within 30 days of their last college game, guys who weren't drafted can sign immediately upon completing their final game. Sometimes guys develop much later and though they are limited in what they can get contract wise they have the ability to select a best fit for them. Sometimes overseas players either elect to remain in their homeland and NHL teams opt not to draft them for a variety of reasons (they are under contract in other leagues the NHL recognizes, they tell teams they wont come here, etc.) and as they get older they decide to give the NHL a try. They at that point are no longer draft eligible so they can do the paperwork and apply for free agency. The most "normal" way to work your way into the NHL is through the draft process but several players have made their way into the NHL without ever being drafted.

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    4 years ago


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  • Deano
    Lv 7
    5 years ago

    All eligible players can be drafted. However, the world is a big place. If a player is not drafted in his eligible year, 18, any team can sign him as a free agent. There are a number of these every year. Seems to be less and less as scouts don't seem to miss much anymore.

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