6 Players the Seattle Kraken Must Take at the NHL Expansion Draft


Bleacher Report 19 July, 2021 - 06:00am 15 views

When are the NHL protected lists released?

Starting at 10 AM ET on Sunday, when the NHL will make the protection lists public, the Kraken will have a window to negotiate with and sign any (un)restricted free agents who are unprotected from their 2020-21 team. Though, if they do, that will count as their pick from that player's 2020-21 club. novacapsfans.comThe Capitals’ Protection List For The 2021 NHL Expansion Draft

How many players can the Kraken take?

The Kraken can only select one player per team. In addition to choosing from players that the other teams left unprotected for the expansion draft, the Kraken also can sign any unprotected unrestricted free agent before Wednesday's draft. NBC Sports Boston2021 NHL Expansion Draft: List of best players exposed to Kraken

Who will the Red Wings protect in the expansion draft?

Expansion draft It makes the most sense for the Wings to protect seven forwards (Dylan Larkin, Tyler Bertuzzi, Jakub Vrana, Robby Fabbri, Adam Erne, Michael Rasmussen and Givani Smith), one goaltender (Thomas Greiss) and three defensemen. Detroit Free PressDetroit Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman's plan in 2021 NHL entry draft

It's official: The Seattle Kraken are a thing.

The NHL's newest team will take shape for its inaugural season this week, following submission of protected player lists Saturday by 30 of the league's other teams.

The Kraken will choose from the players who were left unprotected and submit their 30 picks (one from each team) to the league office by Wednesday morning.

Their expansion draft picks will be announced on Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET.

Here are a few predraft specs:

• Seattle must pick at least 20 players who are already under contract for 2021-22, meaning no more than 10 of its choices can be players due to become free agents on July 28.

 If the Kraken do target a would-be free agent who is unprotected, they have a 72-hour interview window with that player before picks are submitted on Wednesday.

 The Vegas Golden Knights were not required to submit a player list as part of an agreement made when they entered the league as an expansion team in 2017-18.

Needless to say, the B/R hockey writing types have been busily scanning the protected player lists since they went public Sunday morning, and we consequently made it our mission to compile our own list of six players Seattle simply must have on the ice at Climate Pledge Arena when play begins in October.

Without further ado, read on to see our picks for the Kraken's first starting lineup, and make sure to drop us a line in the comments section to let us know your thoughts.

You've got to have a goalie.

And though there are higher-profile and higher-Priced (pun intended) options out there now that the protected lists have been submitted, none come at a better value than Chris Driedger.

The third-round pick from 2012 is only 27, is coming off his busiest and most effective season in the NHL—2.06 goals-against average, .927 save percentage—and is about to become an unrestricted free agent, meaning Seattle general manager Ron Francis can acquire his services at an agreeable rate.

The Kraken could go the Vegas route and select Carey Price, following the model established when the Golden Knights picked veteran Marc-Andre Fleury in 2017, but the Montreal goalie is 33, his regular-season numbers were far off Driedger's in 2020-21 and he's due $10.5 million for each of the next five seasons.

TSN's Pierre LeBrun has reported a run at Driedger is already in the works, and we agree with the logic.

Get the emerging talent here, and make the big-money splashes elsewhere.

It's the stuff that executive suite dreams are made of.

OK, that's a little strong. But perusing the roster of available players and seeing Vince Dunn's name on it has got to be a good thing for GM Francis.

Not only is the St. Louis Blue defenseman just 24, but he's also a mobile blueliner who thrives in a puck-possession system. A move to Seattle would give him a chance to be a first-pair player who would be in the mix for time on the power play as well.

Dunn scored 12 goals two seasons ago and had 20 points in just 43 games in 2020-21 on a one-year contract that paid him $1.875 million.

He's a restricted free agent at this point, meaning he's probably in line for a decent raise, but it's still reasonable money to get in on the ground floor for a player who could blossom in a Seattle uniform.

Another chance to buy low on a player and conserve cash for other investments.

Oh, and speaking of other investments, here's one.

When it comes to defensemen who may soon be available on the open market, none are attracting more attention than Carolina's Dougie Hamilton.

The mammoth 6'6", 229-pounder just finished his third season with the Hurricanes and ninth overall in the NHL. He reached double-digits in goals for the seventh time while finishing in the top 10 among all blueliners in multiple statistical categories—fifth in goals (10), ninth in assists (32) and seventh in points (42).

Hamilton's due to become an unrestricted free agent on July 28 and had already gotten permission to speak with other teams before Carolina left him unprotected for the expansion draft. He just finished a deal that paid him $34.5 million over six seasons and is expected to command near $8 million per season going forward.

So yes, it's a lot of money. But he's a lot of player.

And the Kraken have an advantage in that they, as an expansion team, could offer Hamilton an eight-year contract if a deal is done before July 28. No other team but Carolina could exceed seven years, and selling him on the idea he would be the foundational piece of a new franchise could be a worthwhile tiebreaker.

Take a deep breath, offer the contract for eight years and $60 million and start sewing No. 19 sweaters.

You're putting together a hockey team.

You need a goalie. You need defensemen. And you need players who can score goals.

James van Riemsdyk can score goals.

So much so that only six players in the NHL have scored more goals than he has (199) over the past eight seasons while playing fewer games than he has (553).

Now 32, the New Jersey native scored 17 times and had 43 points in 56 games for Philadelphia in 2020-21 but was not included on the Flyers' protected list.

He's got two years remaining on a deal that will pay him $7 million per, but it's hard to imagine getting a scorer any more reliable than him for significantly less money. Plus, he's a veteran who provides a locker room presence and does the little things like winning one-on-one battles and making defensive plays that start odd-man rushes.

Change your scenery. Change your trajectory.

Alexander Kerfoot has been a worthwhile player in the NHL for two teams, scoring as many as 19 goals in one season for the Colorado Avalanche before a 2019 trade sent him to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

He's been a third-line center on a star-studded Maple Leafs team and has seen his production fall off to the tune of just 17 goals in 121 games across the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons.

With the Kraken, he would have a chance to become more.

The energetic 5'10", 185-pounder could slot in nicely in Seattle's top six, and the experience he's had with assistant coach Paul McFarland while in Toronto could help with the transition as well.

He's signed for two more seasons at $3.5 million apiece, which seems a reasonable price for a smart, versatile player who can play center or wing, kill penalties and aid a power play.

This one could come to down to predraft machinations.

The Tampa Bay Lightning are still publicly basking in the glow of their second successive Stanley Cup championship, but GM Julien BriseBois is busy behind the scenes trying to figure out how to prolong the dynasty while staying within the confines of the ever-present salary cap.

Several players who had vital roles in the latest title run are unprotected for the expansion draft, meaning the Kraken will have their pick of the likes of Alex Killorn, Ondrej Palat, Yanni Gourde and Tyler Johnson. 

Johnson is a Washington native, so it would make perfect sense for Seattle to take him for competitive and marketing reasons—and there's always a chance BriseBois and Francis could come up with something on the side that would get him to the Pacific Northwest—but the suggestion here is that Gourde is the one.

The 29-year-old can play any forward position and has been a productive player since arriving to the Lightning on a full-time basis in 2017-18. He reached double-digit goal totals in all four seasons, exceeding 20 twice, and has scored an additional 13 times in the two championship marches.

Four more seasons at $5.167 million are reasonable and would make him a signature Kraken player.

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Predators protect 3 forwards, 5 defenseman, Saros ahead of upcoming Seattle Expansion Draft

WSMV Nashville 19 July, 2021 - 01:01pm

Juuse Saros #74 of the Nashville Predators stretches in warmups prior to an NHL game against the Chicago Blackhawks at Bridgestone Arena on October 29, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - The National Hockey League announced today the Available and Protected Lists for the 30 NHL Clubs who will provide players to the Seattle Kraken in the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft presented by Upper Deck.

The Kraken's selection of 30 players, one from each NHL Club with the exception of the Vegas Golden Knights, will be revealed live from Seattle in a special 90-minute broadcast on Wednesday, July 21, at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN2.

The 2021 NHL Expansion Draft is being conducted under the same rules for the Kraken as the Golden Knights in 2017. Current NHL teams were able to protect seven forwards, three defensemen and one goaltender, or eight skaters (forwards/defensemen) and one goaltender.

WSMV.com is now with you on the go! Get the latest news updates and video, 4WARN weather forecast, weather radar, special investigative reports, sports headlines and much more from News4 Nashville.

Chris Harris has been a sports anchor/reporter for News4 since August 2011.

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New York Rangers' Young Stars Will Be Safe from Seattle

WTMM 104.5 The Team - ESPN Radio 19 July, 2021 - 10:08am

It's me, the hockey fanatic, here to tell you everything you need to know about the 2021 Seattle Kraken Expansion Draft, which takes place tomorrow.

Here's a quick primer for the newcomers to how an NHL Expansion Draft works. Each NHL team (except the Vegas Golden Knights, who are exempt from this draft) but choose which players from their roster to protect, and which to "expose" as potential future members of the Seattle Kraken. Each team can "protect" either seven forwards, three defensemen and a goaltender, or eight skaters total (regardless of position) and a goaltender.

The Kraken will then select 14 forwards, nine defensemen and three goaltenders, one player each, from each team. Certain teams won't lose any important players, while others may lose a very impactful player. The New York Rangers enter the expansion draft with a lot of potential for the upcoming season, and their youth will end up being a saving grace for this draft. Here's who I think might join the Kraken from the Blueshirts.

Let's begin by taking a look at which players are ineligible to be taken by the Kraken, due to their youth and lack of NHL games played:

Notice a few familiar names? Yeah, that's by design. The Rangers are STACKED with young talent, and because they haven't been in the NHL long enough, none of those players are eligible. This list includes Norris Trophy winner Adam Fox, first overall draft selection Alexis Lafreniere, and starting goaltender Igor Shesterkin, among others.

So, that left the Rangers with decisions to make with the remaining players on the roster. Here's who they chose...

Also included in this group is goaltender Alexander Georgiev. So, the players without checkmarks next to them, are the players available to be stolen in the draft tomorrow.

For my money, I'm looking at three forwards to be taken. These players are Barclay Goodrow, Tim Gettinger and Julien Gauthier. Goodrow was *just* acquired from the two-time reigning Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning, and had a big impact on the physical style of play the team developed. The Rangers have been missing that style of play in their lineup, and any team, including the Kraken, would love to add it.

Gauthier and Gettinger are both 23 years of age, and both have tons of offensive upside. Both have had stellar performances in the American Hockey League over the past few seasons, and seem poised to crack an NHL lineup full-time in the near future.

I have to make a pick, so I will...and because Goodrow is a free agent now, and Gauthier is the only one with a contract for next season, I will say Julien Gauthier is selected by the Seattle Kraken.

Opinion | The Seattle Kraken are agents of change. Every NHL team is playing this game

TheRecord.com 17 July, 2021 - 12:00am

Times they are a-changing. It’s inevitable. Buckle up, it’s going to be an interesting couple of weeks.

There’s a great chance that a number of teams will look very different the next time the skates are laced up in the NHL — some by choice, some unwillingly.

Seldom before has there been such a perfect storm brewing for change.

The usual elements that prompt action are there: expiring contracts, the upcoming amateur draft, and disappointment from underachieving teams. The unusual factors piling on include a $81.5-million (U.S.) hard salary cap that remains flat because of the pandemic pressures of the past 18 months, and a looming expansion draft that will have the newly minted Seattle Kraken looking to raid your roster and pry away one of your assets. They’re coming after one of your guys, and you have to decide who you’re going to let them have.

It’s a nervous time for players, part of the job for managers, and an exciting time for fans. The excitement comes from thinking, or at least hoping, that change is always positive. That’s not always the case.

Let’s start at the top with the Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning, who want no change at all. Their creative overspending, however, means change is inevitable, along with the increasing financial demands of some key free agents who performed so strongly.

Win, play well and you get paid by your team is the way things usually work in pro sports. That won’t be the case in Tampa, which will likely lose some combination of free-agents Blake Coleman, Barclay Goodrow and David Savard. Contracted stalwarts including Alex Killorn, Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat and Yanni Gourde can’t all fit either, so someone will be calling for moving vans. General manager Julien BriseBois’ cellphone number is high on every GM’s speed dial list right now. Teams would love to add that winning pedigree to their locker rooms.

The losing Cup finalist, the Montreal Canadiens, had a bit of a shock this past week when routine medicals revealed captain Shea Weber’s physical maladies — including foot, knee and hand ailments. The severity has put next season in jeopardy for Weber, maybe longer. The defensive cornerstone of the group that protects Carey Price in net would be greatly missed, but it’s too early for any final determination. (The immediate outcry that Weber could potentially miss the regular season and return for the playoffs free of cap encumbrance, a la Nikita Kucherov this season, have been summarily dismissed.)

Montreal’s changes will be based more on financial choice, with decisions to be made on free agents including super-defender Phillip Danault, versatile Joel Armia and the ageless Corey Perry, who looks like he still has lots to give. They also hope not to lose their goalie insurance in Jake Allen, who will be exposed in the expansion draft and attractive to the Seattle folks.

Toronto’s fans may be the most anxious about Zach Hyman, an unrestricted free agent given permission to shop his wares ahead of the July 28 start of free agency and find out whether the grass truly is greener on the other side. With cash very tight in the Leafs’ coffers, they’re hopeful that the lure of a perfect role in his hometown will lead Hyman to stay. Incumbent goalie Freddie Anderson also appears headed on a shopping trip in free agency.

Depending on how the Leafs’ protected list played out, Seattle might wind up with defenceman Travis Dermott or forward Alex Kerfoot. That decision could be a trigger point for Leaf changes to follow.

Colorado is at a similar cash-strapped standoff with pending free-agent captain Gabriel Landeskog, whose time with the Avalanche could be coming to a close after 10 seasons — before this promising group achieves its lofty championship aspirations. They’re breaking up the band before they’ve even completed the song in the Rocky Mountains.

Around the league, other avenues of change add to the intrigue.

With Wednesday’s expansion draft rapidly approaching, Seattle GM Ron Francis sits front and centre as the agent of change. The protection lists will emerge and anxious shoppers around the league will be looking to effectively partner with the Kraken, who will be eyeing some of those not protected. Deals will be struck, often quietly. Third parties will get involved if they sense a benefit to their team.

The icing on the cake could be the trade demands of several high-profile players with large contracts. Where they might wind up remains anyone’s guess, but with names such as Jack Eichel, Vlad Tarasenko and Seth Jones floating out there, we may have to capitalize CHANGE.

Seattle Kraken NHL Expansion Draft

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