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NHL Draft Rules

Structure: The draft consists of 7 rounds, with each team receiving one pick per round

Draft Order: The 14 teams who did not make the playoffs are eligible for the draft lottery, with the teams with lower total regular sesason points receiving more number combinations. No team can move up more than 4 draft spots, nor can any team move down more than 1 spot. Thus, only the bottom 5 teams are eligible for the top pick in the draft. The rest of the picks are determined by reverse order of elimination from the playoffs, with the Stanley Cup winner receiving the last pick. For teams that were eliminated in the same round, the teams with the lower regular season point total gets the higher pick. All of the subsequent rounds are ordered in the same manner

Eligibility: Any North American player who turns 18 by September 15 and does not turn 20 by Decemeber 31 is eligible for the draft. Any non-North American player can be drafted at any age if they are at least 18 by September 15. If a player is 18, they must declare themselves eligible, but if a player turns 19 by September 15th, they are automatically eligible for selection in the draft.

Signability: If a player is not drafted by age of 20, that player becomes an unrestricted free agent. A player not signed by drafted team within two years can reenter draft, assuming they are still eligible, and if they are not eligible, will become unrestricted an free agent. A team has the rights of an NCAA player until 30 days after the player leaves the college. If a player is drafted a second time, they can not reenter the draft. If a player has entered the draft twice and not been selected, they then become free agents regardless of age. A non-North American player can not be signed unless they are drafted first.

Compensatory Picks: If a team does not sign their first-round pick within two years, they will be awarded a compensatory pick in the Draft immediately following. The pick will be in the 2nd round, equal to the selection number of the unsigned player. All other teams' selections move back one spot.