NHL mock expansion draft: Projecting all 30 players the Kraken will pick

NHL News

The Seattle Kraken will stretch their tentacles and pluck players from 30 teams on Wednesday night in the NHL expansion draft, starting at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN2.

Every team except the Vegas Golden Knights, the 2017 expansion franchise that was exempt from this draft, submitted lists of protected players to the NHL on Saturday. Twenty-seven teams protected seven forwards, three defensemen and one goaltender, while the Nashville Predators, Tampa Bay Lightning and Toronto Maple Leafs went with the eight skaters and one goaltender protection scheme instead. These were the same rules under which the Golden Knights built their team.

Just like the teams had to expose certain required players, the Kraken have some quotas to hit in their draft. They must take at least 14 forwards, nine defenseman and three goalies. Seattle must choose a minimum of 20 players under contract for the 2021-22 regular season, ones who have “an aggregate expansion draft value that is between 60%-100%” of the $81.5 million salary cap ceiling.

Keeping in mind that we’re not privy to all the side deals that ensure certain players aren’t selected by the Kraken — or ensure that certain ones are — here are our best guesses for which players Seattle selects in the expansion draft.

Team Kaplan

Age: 31 | 2020-21 cap hit: $5.825 million
2020-21 stats: 45 GP | 12 G | 9 A

Age: 25 | 2020-21 cap hit: $737,500
2020-21 stats: 21 GP | 10 G | 3 A

Age: 26 | 2020-21 cap hit: $1 million
2020-21 stats: 44 GP | 1 G | 6 A

Age: 30 | 2020-21 cap hit: $2.25 million
2020-21 stats: 46 GP | 3 G | 4 A

Age: 37 | 2020-21 cap hit: $6.75 million
2020-21 stats: 56 GP | 9 G | 17 A

Age: 23 | 2020-21 cap hit: $863,333
2020-21 stats: 42 GP | 1 G | 11 A

Age: 30 | 2020-21 cap hit: $4.55 million
2020-21 stats: 44 GP | 1 G | 9 A

Age: 26 | 2020-21 cap hit: $3.5 million
2020-21 stats: 48 GP | 10 G | 8 A

Age: 26 | 2020-21 cap hit: $5.3 million
2020-21 stats: 54 GP | 9 G | 15 A

Age: 23 | 2020-21 cap hit: $775,000
2020-21 stats (AHL): 37 GP | 18 G | 16 A

Age: 27 | 2020-21 cap hit: $1.7 million
2020-21 stats: 44 GP | 3 G | 8 A

Age: 23 | 2020-21 cap hit: $803,333
2020-21 stats: 7 GP | 0 G | 1 A

Age: 27 | 2020-21 cap hit: $850,000
2020-21 stats: 23 GP | 14 W | 2.07 GAA | .927 SV%

Age: 23 | 2020-21 cap hit: $761,666
2020-21 stats: 18 GP | 0 G | 6 A

Age: 24 | 2020-21 cap hit: $725,000
2020-21 stats: 24 GP | 16 W | 2.88 GAA | .902 SV%

Age: 26 | 2020-21 cap hit: $5.5 million
2020-21 stats: 44 GP | 2 G | 21 A

Age: 29 | 2020-21 cap hit: $2 million
2020-21 stats: 49 GP | 13 G | 15 A

Age: 24 | 2020-21 cap hit: $874,125
2020-21 stats: 27 GP | 2 G | 8 A

Age: 31 | 2020-21 cap hit: $5 million
2020-21 stats: 54 GP | 8 G | 27 A

Age: 28 | 2020-21 cap hit: $725,000
2020-21 stats: 47 GP | 12 G | 10 A

Age: 32 | 2020-21 cap hit: $5 million
2020-21 stats: 55 GP | 13 G | 7 A

Age: 32 | 2020-21 cap hit: $7 million
2020-21 stats: 56 GP | 17 G | 26 A

Age: 29 | 2020-21 cap hit: $1.25 million
2020-21 stats: 20 GP | 11 W | 2.54 GAA | .912 SV%

Age: 25 | 2020-21 cap hit: $1.9 million
2020-21 stats: 50 GP | 6 G | 14 A

Age: 24 | 2020-21 cap hit: $1.875 million
2020-21 stats: 43 GP | 6 G | 14 A

Age: 29 | 2020-21 cap hit: $5.167 million
2020-21 stats: 56 GP | 17 G | 19 A

Age: 24 | 2020-21 cap hit: $874,125
2020-21 stats: 51 GP | 2 G | 4 A

Age: 22 | 2020-21 cap hit: $783,333
2020-21 stats (AHL): 19 GP | 15 G | 3 A

Age: 30 | 2020-21 cap hit: $3.9 million
2020-21 stats: 56 GP | 2 G | 17 A

Age: 28 | 2020-21 cap hit: $3 million
2020-21 stats: 52 GP | 0 G | 9 A


How I built my team: Welcome to a flat salary-cap world, where there’s way more quality players available than there should be for Seattle. If ownership is OK spending to the cap, I’m doing it if I’m GM Ron Francis. The Pacific Division should be wide open next season, with the Golden Knights as the only early lock for a playoff spot.

As much as I love chaos, selecting Carey Price is just a bit too much for my liking. Too much risk with the unknowns of his injuries (his appointment with a specialist is conveniently after the Kraken must submit their roster), too much term and cap hit for a player with that type of mileage. Instead, the trio of Chris Driedger, Casey DeSmith and Kaapo Kahkonen give Seattle the chance to win games right out of the gate. I’d expect Driedger to be the Day 1 starter, with DeSmith or Kahkonen as potential players to trade.

James van Riemsdyk played some of his best hockey under Dave Hakstol. He’s the type of veteran that should be motivated by the new opportunity — just as Adam Henrique will benefit from a change of scenery after stalling out on an uncompetitive Ducks team.

Mark Giordano, a longtime captain in Calgary, is the leader on Day 1. His deal expires after next season, which gives this team flexibility.

In fact, Giordano would be one of eight players who becomes an unrestricted free agent after the inaugural season, letting the Kraken get their first crack at a winning season, then re-assessing the market in summer 2022.

The easiest selections on this list are Yanni Gourde and Dylan DeMelo. I really like the group of young defensemen I was able to assemble. While Vince Dunn was the Blues pick here, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Seattle take Vladimir Tarasenko, and flip him to another team (Philadelphia?) for draft picks, young players and/or prospects.

play

0:33

Former Golden Knights general manager George McPhee discusses how other NHL teams might handle the upcoming Seattle Kraken expansion draft.

Team Wyshynski

Age: 23 | 2020-21 cap hit: $700,000
2020-21 stats: 18 GP | 4 G | 4 A

Age: 24 | 2020-21 cap hit: $1 million
2020-21 stats: 52 GP | 3 G | 8 A

Age: 24 | 2020-21 cap hit: $850,000
2020-21 stats: 41 GP | 1 G | 7 A

Age: 24 | 2020-21 cap hit: $864,166
2020-21 stats: 10 GP | 0 G | 0 A

Age: 37 | 2020-21 cap hit: $6.75 million
2020-21 stats: 56 GP | 9 G | 17 A

Age: 23 | 2020-21 cap hit: $863,333
2020-21 stats: 42 GP | 1 G | 11 A

Age: 26 | 2020-21 cap hit: $3.2 million
2020-21 stats: 55 GP | 1 G | 7 A

Age: 29 | 2020-21 cap hit: $3.9 million
2020-21 stats: 51 GP | 17 G | 14 A

Age: 24 | 2020-21 cap hit: $874,125
2020-21 stats: 32 GP | 5 G | 5 A

Age: 23 | 2020-21 cap hit: $775,000
2020-21 stats (AHL): 37 GP | 18 G | 16 A

Age: 27 | 2020-21 cap hit: $1.7 million
2020-21 stats: 44 GP | 3 G | 8 A

Age: 26 | 2020-21 cap hit: $975,000
2020-21 stats: 48 GP | 9 G | 6 A

Age: 27 | 2020-21 cap hit: $850,000
2020-21 stats: 23 GP | 14 W | 2.07 GAA | .927 SV%

Age: 23 | 2020-21 cap hit: $761,666
2020-21 stats: 18 GP | 0 G | 6 A

Age: 26 | 2020-21 cap hit: $2.75 million
2020-21 stats: 50 GP | 1 G | 16 A

Age: 33 | 2020-21 cap hit: $10.5 million
2020-21 stats: 25 GP | 12 W | 2.64 GAA | .901 SV%

Age: LW | 2020-21 cap hit: $2 million
2020-21 stats: 49 GP | 13 G | 15 A

Age: 23 | 2020-21 cap hit: $714,166
2020-21 stats: 41 GP | 3 G | 7 A

Age: 31 | 2020-21 cap hit: $5.5 million
2020-21 stats: 55 GP | 16 G | 17 A

Age: 28 | 2020-21 cap hit: $725,000
2020-21 stats: 47 GP | 12 G | 10 A

Age: 32 | 2020-21 cap hit: $5 million
2020-21 stats: 55 GP | 13 G | 7 A

Age: 32 | 2020-21 cap hit: $7 million
2020-21 stats: 56 GP | 17 G | 26 A

Age: 26 | 2020-21 cap hit: $1 million
2020-21 stats: 45 GP | 9 G | 6 A

Age: 24 | 2020-21 cap hit: $700,000
2020-21 stats: 49 GP | 5 G | 7 A

Age: 29 | 2020-21 cap hit: $7.5 million
2020-21 stats: 24 GP | 4 G | 10 A

Age: 29 | 2020-21 cap hit: $5.167 million
2020-21 stats: 56 GP | 17 G | 19 A

Age: 25 | 2020-21 cap hit: $2.94 million
2020-21 stats: 43 GP | 14 G | 18 A

Age: 22 | 2020-21 cap hit: $783,333
2020-21 stats (AHL): 19 GP | 15 G | 3 A

Age: 25 | 2020-21 cap hit: $716,667
2020-21 stats: 37 GP | 21 W | 2.69 GAA | .908 SV%

Age: 28 | 2020-21 cap hit: $3 million
2020-21 stats: 52 GP | 0 G | 9 A


How I built my team: I think they do it. I think the Seattle Kraken select Carey Price. I think the opportunity to have him be their Marc-Andre Fleury is too tempting, his ties to the region are too strong, and the allure of his stardom is too compelling.

True, GM Ron Francis has put a premium on cap space. Price takes up $10.5 million of it through 2025-26; combine that with the $3.5 million that Chris Driedger will earn, and that’s 17% of your cap in goal. That’s not great. But the Kraken are a team being created out of whole cloth around that salary commitment, rather than having it shoehorned into an existing cap structure.

Would I do this? No. I say no thank you to Price, draft defenseman Cale Fleury from the Habs and then select two seasons of Jonathan Quick from the Los Angeles Kings to tandem with Driedger. Does Ron Francis do this? Yes, I think the guy whose former team stuck with Cam Ward way longer than it should have will opt for the most known commodity in goal, provided they’re confident about Price’s health.

I also think they draft Vladimir Tarasenko, with an eye towards flipping him to another team. Why not? He’s a valuable player, and perhaps the offers that aren’t palatable to the Blues will be more palatable for the Kraken. The only wrinkle is his no-trade clause, which obviously limits his market.

Those big tickets aside, this is a talented roster that only has three skaters with deals beyond 2022-23 in Jordan Eberle (whom I like better than Josh Bailey), Yanni Gourde (the easiest call in the draft) and Dylan DeMelo, a rock-solid defender on the right side.

Part of the challenge here is balancing who I think old-schoolers like Francis, Jason Botterill and Norm Maciver want to draft with who Seattle’s brilliant analytics department led by Alexandra Mandrycky and Namita Nandakumar want to draft. I’ve heard they’re on equal footing in this process. So my mock draft has a few talented veterans in James van Riemsdyk and Mark Giordano, and a few fancy-stats darlings like Jared McCann and Joonas Donskoi. This is a roster that can score on the wings and defend well; although much like with Vegas in Year 1, it’s a bit of a donut in the middle. It’s also a roster that has its share of “William Karlsson types,” a.k.a. forwards ages 23-25 who could break out under the right circumstances, like Alexander Volkov and Adam Mascherin.

Keep in mind that we don’t know the side deals, and that’s a vital piece of this. We don’t expect the 30 general managers in the expansion draft to have quite the levels of temporary panic they had in 2017, when Shea Theodore and Alex Tuch were among the players sent to Vegas to deter them from making certain selections. But these deals could still mean a treasure chest of picks and prospects for the Kraken, and that’s really what established the Knights after Year 1: The ability to acquire Mark Stone, Tomas Tatar, Max Pacioretty and Robin Lehner with those futures.

That’s the ballgame here for the Kraken. Well, that and getting Carey Price “for free,” relatively speaking.

Products You May Like

Articles You May Like

NHL Rumors: Montreal Canadiens Won’t Protect Carey Price For The Expansion Draft
Buffalo Sabres select Owen Power 1st overall in NHL entry draft
Red Wings Draft Candidates: Sebastian Cossa
The Chris Chelios Trade Revisited
Kraken Select Jordan Eberle From New York Islanders

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *