In 1967, the NHL expanded from 6 teams to 12, adding franchises in California, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and St. Louis.
In 1979, the National Hockey League merged with the World Hockey Association, with WHA franchises Edmonton Oilers, Hartford Whalers, Quebec Nordiques and Minnesota North Stars joining the NHL for the 79-80 season.
On June 22, 2016, Commissioner Gary Bettman announced, that starting from the 2017-18 season, there would be 31 teams in the National Hockey League, with the addition of a franchise in Las Vegas. This will be the first expansion draft in the NHL since the Minnesota Wild and Columbus Blue Jackets entered the league in the 2000-01 season.
The expansion draft will occur in 2017, whère Vegas will select 30 players, one from each existing franchise, including at least 14 forwards, nine defensemen and three goalies. The existimg teams have the option to protect seven forwards, three defensemen and one goalie, or eight skaters and one goalie.
Any current player with a no-move clause in their contract, at the end of the 2017 season, must be included in their franchises list of protected players.