Expansion draft

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An expansion draft occurs when the league creates one or more new franchises, and is a means of stocking the new team or teams with players.

Existing teams are given rights to "protect" a certain number of its players, and the remaining unprotected players form the "draft pool" available for selection by the new teams.

A similar process exists on the contraction of a league, when teams are removed or retired and its players are distributed among the remaining teams. This is referred to as a contraction draft.

List of expansion drafts