PHR Mock Expansion Draft: Seattle Kraken

Sports 20 July, 2021 - 02:08pm 37 views

Who is eligible for NHL expansion draft?

Players who meet the eligibility requirements — North American players 18-20 years old and European/international players 18-21 years old — will be selected by NHL teams in seven rounds. No-Movement Clause: A contract stipulation that means a player can't be traded or sent to the minors. Tacoma News TribuneWho’s going to play for the Seattle Kraken? Here’s how the NHL expansion draft works

The protection lists are in and the Seattle Kraken are now on the clock. Tomorrow night the 32nd NHL team will select their expansion roster from around the league, taking one player from 30 teams. The Vegas Golden Knights are exempt from the process, but will also not receive part of the heft expansion fee.

Seattle must select at least 20 players who are under contract for the 2021-22 season. They must also select a minimum of 14 forwards, nine defensemen and three goaltenders. The contracts of the selected players must fall between 60% ($48.9MM) and 100% ($81.5MM) of the 2020-21 salary cap. The full rules for the selection process can be found here.

The last time we had an expansion draft, the PHR team came together and developed a consensus roster. Though several of those choices turned out to be correct, the vast number of side-deals kept several top names out of Vegas. This year, we’ve done something a little bit different. Brian La Rose, Zach Leach, Josh Erickson, and I have each submitted a roster, along with a bit of explanation of our process. In these lists, we don’t take into account any potential expansion-day trades but do consider future transactions. As always, we welcome your thoughts and critiques in the comment section below.

Value and flexibility were the two elements I valued on my Seattle roster. It’s a team that will be well below the Upper Limit once everyone is signed with several veterans who were selected with the intention of flipping them either before the draft this week or by the trade deadline for picks and prospects to build up their asset base. If they’re moved by the draft, that frees up the ability to take on a bad contract or two like Arizona just did with Andrew Ladd, adding more long-term pieces to the puzzle in the process. Others like Chris Tierney and Justin Schultz are pieces that would benefit from a big role and improved numbers, building up their value for the trade deadline.

In goal, Chris Driedger (assuming he signs) with Kaapo Kakhonen gives them a controllable and cost-friendly tandem for a few years. I don’t see the point of paying big money for a veteran at this stage as I’m eyeing a longer-term buildup. Josef Korenar is waiver-exempt and as much as there are better waiver-exempt third goalies available, someone had to be picked from Arizona.

There are two distinct classes on the back end. The expiring contracts are the trade bait but it’s by design that there are six players under the age of 25. Vince Dunn is an established piece and I think some patience and good development could yield three more regular NHL blueliners out of the more unproven players with an opportunity for a regular role. Again, they’re all controllable through restricted free agency, giving them either some cost-effective players or interesting trade pieces a year or two down the road.

Up front, most of the players chosen that are signed beyond 2021-22 were picked with an eye on rehabilitating value. Whether it’s a change of scenery or a chance to play a bigger role, the hope is that some of them will become trade assets next summer. Veterans like Jakub Voracek, Jason Zucker, and Josh Bailey, meanwhile, serve as capable pieces to keep the team competitive most nights. I’d take the gamble on an injured Max Domi to see if he’s someone that’s worth keeping around longer-term. If not, he’s someone who ideally would be flippable at the deadline as well. Again, there are some prospects on there with minimal NHL time by design. The hope is that a couple will realistically pan out into serviceable pieces.

I’m not looking to make the playoffs right away if I’m GM Ron Francis. I’m thinking a slower build that gives them a promising stable of assets is the better way to go and this roster was selected with that in mind. There are some players who could be around for a while, others who can be moved for picks and prospects, and the cap flexibility to quickly pivot if something changes quickly.

Seattle Kraken GM Ron Francis took a slow, methodical approach to team-building when he was with the Carolina Hurricanes. He very well may do so again in Seattle, but he also knows how important it is for an expansion team to be exciting from the get-go in a new market. Francis can accomplish both by taking advantage of some of the big names available to him on short-term contracts, such as Subban, Tarasenko, and Zucker. Those are names that make the Kraken dangerous right away, but will also result in nice trade returns down the road if Seattle isn’t competing for a playoff spot.

However, the team stands a good chance with supporting players like Gourde, Donskoi, McCann, Namestnikov, Dillon, DeMelo, and more. I tried to balance my picks between stars on short-term deals, affordable long-term deals, high-upside young players to build around, and veteran trade bait like Bishop, Giordano, and Braun, while also selecting some players with ties to Francis or to the Pacific Northwest. I also attempted to give the team some roster flexibility with 30 picks required, taking Abramov (playing in the KHL this year) and goalies Kahkonen and Korenar (both waiver-exempt). The one pick that likely needs the most explaining is Johansen – I simply believe that Nashville has a side deal with Seattle that involves one of their two $8MM centers. I think Johansen can return to form with a change of scenery and wingers like Tarasenko and Zucker wouldn’t hurt.

It’s a team with more scoring punch than most expected weeks ago, mostly due to some unexpected exposures (Niederreiter, Dadonov, McCann etc.). There are still some notable omissions here – namely Stenlund over Max Domi from Columbus and Volkov over Adam Henrique for Anaheim. While those would certainly be the better player to select, you just can’t take too many big-money players in this environment. The higher cap hits of Duchene, Eberle, Niederreiter, and Gourde were more palatable. There’s also a bit of a controversial decision in Philadelphia, selecting Gostisbehere over either James van Riemsdyk or Jakub Voracek. He’s younger, cheaper, and on less term than both of the two, and should be poised for a bounce-back, especially under the coach in which he first succeeded. Opted for Kulak over Price for a similar reason – astronomical cap hit and injury concerns made Dallas’ Bishop a more appealing option.

Kahkonen is still waiver-eligible, meaning that Seattle could use him as the third goalie reliably if Bishop is healthy. They wouldn’t risk losing him on waivers. There aren’t really any additional cap dumps or trades needing to be made after this draft, and this team could easily finish at the top of the division and conference in Year 1.

I’ve gone with a bit of a different approach than some. I want to be a relatively competitive team right away, to give the market something to cheer for in year one, but I also was careful not to commit to any real long-term contracts. The four years remaining on Gourde’s deal is the only contract on the books through 2024-25, and he was only the choice because the center depth is so weak across the league. The key here is flexibility for GM Ron Francis and head coach Dave Hakstol. At least eight of the forwards selected have experience in the middle at the NHL level, meaning you could even sell some off when the annual race for a third-line pivot comes to pass at the deadline. Bunting’s inclusion is more about Arizona’s available players than the 25-year-old unrestricted free agent’s future. Even if a deal can’t be done, they’ll have a few days to trade his rights to interested parties.

Like Brian and Josh, I passed over the idea of Tarasenko, even though it looks like the Kraken may be interested in selecting and flipping the Russian winger. The same goes for another high-priced talent like Voracek in Philadelphia. Just don’t think it’s worth the opportunity cost of bringing in those contracts. Seattle’s cap flexibility is the greatest weapon they have right now.

In net though, I couldn’t pass up the chance to get Bishop. Sure, he might not be the same or even play due to his injury history, but there isn’t much else available in Dallas. Unless they can get a deal done with a UFA like Jamie Oleksiak or Sami Vatanen, why not take the chance on a goaltender who has one of the best save percentages in history. Even if Bishop doesn’t play, Driedger and Vanecek are good enough to hold the fort for an expansion team, while Kahkonen is still waiver-exempt and can be stashed in the minor leagues.

All four teams we’ve selected likely have a chance to do well in 2021-22, though obviously, the Kraken could start selling off assets immediately and build for a better future down the road.

I really hope the majority of you are right and Tierney is the one chosen. That’s be best case scenario by far.

four drafts, four separate PHI players taken. is JVR really that safe?

No takers for Cal Foote ? I hope that’s right.

I think Foote may be a sweetener for the Bolts to move another big contract. Realistically, they need to shed about $15-$20M to become cap compliant and sign a back up netminder, resign UFA and perhaps some bargain F/A.

He was not that impressive in 35 games, resulting in the move for Savard and no Cup games. His name makes him valuable bait.

Agree Foote might be a sweetener Johnson and a 2nd and we’ll give you Foote in the draft instead of taking Killorn or Gourde

No takers for Kale Fleury? The kid is gonna be a beast

1 point in 41 games has to be some sort of record

I would not be heart broken to move on from the zucker contract

This was my team…JVR doesn’t escape my grasp…and I do take Tierney…I hope the consensus on Zucker is correct…the Fleury is Hayden from Anaheim…

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Good Tuesday to you all. This is your humble correspondent, dishing up some hockey links and other flotsam and jetsam, as we gear up for the NHL expansion draft tomorrow and also the regular draft this weekend. For more on the Avs’ draft plans (the regular draft), click here. Let’s start off with a note on our beloved Foppa, Peter Forsberg:

Adrian Dater - Kiss and Larry Bird fan. Writer with @Gambling and @Bookies. Previously Denver Post, SI, Bleacher Report to name just a few.

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This Landeskog situation is driving my crazy. We he stay or will he go? It seems like we will know by the end of the week, one way or another.

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