Breaking: Major update on protected players at the expansion draft.

One step closer to the expansion draft.

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The National Hockey League Expansion Draft is now one step closer to being a reality.

According to a breaking news report from ESPN's Pierre Lebrun the NHL and the Player's Association have agreed to final terms on the list of players who must be protected in the expansion draft. The list is reportedly primarily comprised of players who currently hold full no-movement clauses in their contract, and it features somewhere between 65 and 70 NHL players.

This list of players will be of tremendous importance as it will force certain teams to expose players they would have potentially protected over the player or players they are forced to protect.

Don't be surprised if several of these players are approached by their teams to waive their no-movement clauses for potential trades that free up a protected spot. Of course any teams that take on these type of contracts will expect significant returns for doing so.

Should be a very interesting road to the expansion draft.