The Seattle Kraken have been a dominant force in the Pacific Northwest, but their reign may be coming to an end. Will the San Francisco 49ers protect Jimmy Garoppolo from the Kraken?
The Seattle Kraken expansion draft is a new expansion team in the Overwatch League. The question of who should each team protect is up for debate.
At the start of the 2021-22 regular season, the Seattle Kraken will join the NHL as an on-ice team. They’ve got their front office and coaching staff in place, but they’re still short on players.
On July 21, they will pick one player from each of the league’s 31 existing clubs in the expansion draft to round out the roster (the Vegas Golden Knights are exempt, having just joined the league for the 2017-18 season). Those other clubs will first create a list of protected players, which will consist of either seven forwards, three defenders, and one goaltender, or eight skaters and one goalie. Here’s additional information about the structure, timetable, and everything else connected to the expansion draft.
Who will each team safeguard? Have general managers learned anything from the Golden Knights’ 2017 expansion draft? Here are our predictions for which players will be protected by all 30 clubs.
The Western Conference clubs were predicted by Emily Kaplan, while the Eastern Conference teams were projected by Greg Wyshynski. As usual, we owe our salary and contract data to our colleagues at CapFriendly. Hockey Reference, Natural Stat Trick, and Evolving Hockey provided advanced stats.
Rickard Rakell, F Troy Terry, F Isac Lundestrom F: Max Jones Cam Fowler, Hampus Lindholm, Josh Manson, Haydn Fleury, Cam Fowler, Hampus Lindholm, Josh Manson, Haydn Fleury, Cam Fowler, Hampus Lindholm, Hampus Lindhol John Gibson (G)
Tough decisions: The Ducks traded for Carolina’s Haydn Fleury last season and treated him well, giving him almost seven minutes more ice time than he had with the Hurricanes. Fleury’s safety will be a top priority for Anaheim, particularly because he’ll be appealing to Seattle GM Ron Francis, who selected him in Carolina. The Ducks will play with an eight-skater lineup thanks to Fleury’s defense. The most difficult decision is whether to retain Jakob Silfverberg, a veteran, or Isac Lundestrom, a 21-year-old. Sam Steel and Alexander Volkov, among others, are among the Ducks’ possibilities for the Kraken. They’ll also abandon Adam Henrique in the Kraken’s clutches. Henrique’s time in Anaheim as an expensive veteran may be nearing to an end, but he did have a good showing for Canada at the IIHF world championship this spring.
F: Clayton Keller (NMC) F: Phil Kessel (NMC) Conor Garland F: Christian Dvorak Lawson Crouse F: Nick Schmaltz Tyler Pitlick, Jakob Chychrun, Oliver Ekman-Larsson (NMC), Kyle Capobianco, Tyler Pitlick, Jakob Chychrun, Jakob Chychrun, Jakob Chychrun, Jakob Chychrun, Jakob Chychrun, Jakob Darcy Kuemper (G)
Tough decisions: The Coyotes are going through an organizational transition. Bill Armstrong, the club’s general manager, wants to give the team a new start, which is a euphemism for a lot of change. It’s no secret that the Coyotes want to trade Kessel and captain Ekman-contracts, Larsson’s but both players have no-movement clauses, so now isn’t the time. There are a few more senior contracts the Coyotes would want to get rid of (Chychrun may be the lone untouchable player on this roster), but such moves are best made via trade. Instead of Pitlick, Arizona may protect Michael Bunting, Christian Fischer, or Johan Larsson. The Coyotes’ roster isn’t the deepest in the league, and goaltender Adin Hill is likely the best available player for Seattle to choose from.
Patrice Bergeron (NMC) Patrice Bergeron (NMC) Patrice Bergeron (NMC) Patrice Bergeron (NMC) Patrice Bergeron (NMC) Patrice Bergeron (NMC) Patrice Bergeron (NMC) Patrice Bergeron (NMC) Patrice Bergeron (NMC) Craig Smith, F Trent Frederic Frederic Trent Frederic Trent Frederic Trent Frederic Jake DeBrusk, Charlie McAvoy, Brandon Carlo, Matt Grzelcyk, Jake DeBrusk, Jake DeBrusk, Jake DeBrusk, Jake DeBrusk, Jake DeBrusk, Jake DeBrusk, Jake Dan Vladar (G)
To address your first question, the Bruins are not required to safeguard unrestricted free agents. Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak aren’t eligible for the draft, and neither is Jeremy Swayman, a first-year pro. As a result, they guard Dan Vladar. The most difficult decisions are made at the front position. Trent Frederic, 23, received a two-year contract ($1.05 million AAV) shortly before the draft. One would think he’s safe. DeBrusk and Nick Ritchie were left to compete for the last slot. DeBrusk, we believe, gets the nod since he has greater proof of concept and a higher trade value. However, the Bruins are likely to believe that the Kraken will target one of the exposed defenders, such as Connor Clifton, Jeremy Lauzon, or Jakub Zboril.
F: Casey Mittelstadt F: Jack Eichel F: Sam Reinhart F: Rasmus Asplund D: Rasmus Dahlin D: Henri Jokiharju D: Rasmus Ristolainen G: None F: Victor Olofsson F: Tage Thompson F: Anders Bjork D: Rasmus Dahlin D: Henri Jokiharju D: Rasmus Ristolainen
Tough decisions: The Kraken has a better understanding of the Sabres’ roster than most. GM Ron Francis is close with Buffalo GM Kevyn Adams and used to work with Jeff Skinner when he was the Hurricanes’ general manager. Skinner has renounced his no-movement clause, according to John Vogl of The Athletic, but given his contract, it’s doubtful he’ll be chosen. Jason Botterill, a Kraken deputy general manager, was the Sabres’ general manager from 2017 until 2020. As a result, they are aware of the roster, and Adams is aware that they are aware of the roster. Buffalo would prefer not to lose Will Borgen, a 24-year-old defender. The Sabres have five choices in the first three rounds of this year’s draft, so this seems to be ripe for a side deal. Remember that Sabres defender Colin Miller ($3.875M AAV) was a Golden Knight in the past; would he be chosen again?
F: Johnny Gaudreau F: Matthew Tkachuk F: Sean Monahan F: Elias Lindholm F: Dillon Dube F: Mikael Backlund F: Andrew Mangiapane F: Elias Lindholm F: Elias Lindholm F: Elias Lindholm F: Elias Lindholm F: Elias Lindholm F: Elias Lindholm F: Elias Lindholm F: Eli Chris Tanev D: Rasmus Andersson D: Noah Hanifin D: Rasmus Andersson D: Noah Hanifin D: Rasmus Andersson D: Rasmus Andersson Jacob Markstrom (G) (NMC)
Tough decisions: Veteran Milan Lucic has already renounced his no-movement clause in order to assist the club in protecting another player. It was considerably simpler for management to make a choice among the forward group as a result of this. Some of the team’s big-name forwards may be moved, but only through trade, rather than losing them in the expansion draft for no reason. The most tough choice here is whether or not to protect captain Mark Giordano. For one more season, Giordano, 37, has a $6.75 million cap hit. Giordano may be a fantastic acquisition if the Kraken can find enough cost-effective players elsewhere.
Sebastian Aho, F Jordan Staal, F (NMC) Andrei Svechnikov (F) Teuvo Teravainen, Vincent Trocheck, Vincent Trocheck, Vincent Trocheck, Vincent Trocheck, Vincent Trocheck, Vincent Trocheck, Vincent Trocheck Nino Niederreiter (F) Morgan Geekie, F Brett Pesce D: Jaccob Slavin Brady Skjei, D Alex Nedeljkovic, G
Geekie, who will be 23 on July 20, seems to be a capable depth forward. He’s younger and less expensive than Jesper Fast (29, $2 million AAV through 2022-23), but he’s not necessarily superior. From the protected forwards, Fast and Warren Foegele (RFA) appear to be the odd men out. Dougie Hamilton will not be protected on defense since he is a free agent. Although the three players listed here are obvious picks, it will be difficult to see Jake Bean, a 23-year-old restricted free agent, exposed. (Not so with veteran blueliner Jake Gardiner, who has a cap hit of $4.050 million through 2022-23.) And keep in mind that Kraken GM Ron Francis is no stranger to this squad, having previously served in the same capacity with the Hurricanes (and having acquired many of these players).
F: Jonathan Toews F: Alex DeBrincat F: Dylan Strome F: Brandon Hagel F: Patrick Kane (NMC) Henrik Borgstrom, F D: Connor Murphy D: Nikita Zadorov D: Calvin de Haan G: Kevin Lankinen F: Adam Gaudette D: Connor Murphy D: Nikita Zadorov D: Calvin de Haan
Tough decisions: It seemed inevitable that de Haan and his $4.55 million contract cost would be exposed by the Blackhawks. Duncan Keith then sought and received a trade, and Chicago’s plans were altered. De Haan, who is on a contract that is about to expire, might have been a trade possibility for Seattle if the Kraken had chosen him. Now the Blackhawks will likely hang on to him and attempt to recover some value before the trade deadline. The Blackhawks won’t have to make many tough choices among forwards since Alexander Nylander (injury) will be exempt, enabling them to retain Borgstrom and Gaudette, two young forwards they acquired last season. The Blackhawks can only hope that the Kraken does not choose Malcolm Subban, a goaltender they admire, but they have no option but to defend Lankinen, who is a level above.
A seven-part behind-the-scenes docuseries that takes viewers on and off the ice and inside the locker rooms for an all-access ticket to the Stanley Cup race. ESPN+ is the place to be.
Andre Burakovsky F: Nathan MacKinnon F: Mikko Rantanen F: Gabriel Landeskog F: Nathan MacKinnon D: Cale Makar D: Devon Toews D: Samuel Girard F: Tyson Jost F: Nazem Kadri F: Valeri Nichushkin D: Cale Makar D: Devon Toews D: Samuel Girard Philipp Grubauer (G)
Tough decisions: Erik Johnson renounced his no-movement clause, enabling the Avalanche to preserve Makar, Toews, and Girard, their three coveted young defenders. Johnson, 33, is the Avs’ longest-tenured player, having missed almost all of last season due to injury. Johnson, who will earn $6 million over the next two seasons, is very unlikely to be chosen, therefore by waiving his NMC, he is assisting his team in achieving victory. If the Avs opt with an eight-skater system, Colorado might consider safeguarding Ryan Graves as well, or trade Graves so he doesn’t go unnoticed. Whatever happens, the Avs will lose a valuable roster member, since J.T. Compher and Joonas Donskoi will be unprotected.
Cam Atkinson, Patrik Laine, Boone Jenner, Oliver Bjorkstrand, Cam Atkinson, Patrik Laine, Boone Jenner, Oliver Bjorkstrand, Oliver Bjorkstrand, Oliver Bjorkstrand, Oliver Bjor Jack Roslovic, F Kevin Stenlund, Eric Robinson, Eric Robinson, Eric Robinson, Eric Robinson, Eric Robinson, Eric Robinson, Eric Robinson, Eric Robinson Seth Jones, Zach Werenski, Vladislav Gavrikov, Seth Jones, Zach Werenski, Vladislav Gavrikov, Seth Jones, Zach Werenski, Zach Werenski Joonas Korpisalo, Joonas Korpisalo, Joonas Korpisalo
Many predictions had the Blue Jackets losing Robinson to the Kraken, but it’s difficult to see them leaving the 26-year-old unprotected until they’re certain he’ll go in free agency next summer. (And, given that this is Columbus, it’s possible that’s the assumption.) If they continue to protect him and Stenlund (24, RFA next summer), veterans Max Domi (UFA next summer) and Gustav Nyquist (two more years at $5.5 million AAV) will be vulnerable. Nyquist scored 42 points in 70 games with Columbus in 2019-20, but he missed last season due to a broken labrum in his left shoulder, which necessitated preseason surgery. Dean Kukan, a 28-year-old defender who spent parts of five seasons with Columbus, is another player to keep an eye on. He has a $1.65 million cap hit and will be a free agent next summer.
F: Joe Pavelski (NMC) F: Jamie Benn (NMC) F: Tyler Seguin (NMC) F: Alexander Radulov (NMC) Radek Faksa F: Roope Hintz Denis Gurianov, Miro Heiskanen, John Klingberg, Denis Gurianov, Denis Gurianov, Denis Gurianov, Denis Gurianov, Denis Guri G: Ben Bishop D: Esa Lindell (NMC) D: Esa Lindell (NMC) D: Esa Lindell (NMC) D (NMC)
Tough decisions: As you can see, the Stars have a few no-movement clauses on their roster: Benn, Seguin, Radulov, Lindell, and Bishop. As a result, the solution is forced to be in the objective. Jake Oettinger has established himself as the Stars’ long-term goaltender, making Anton Khudobin disposable (hero of the 2020 Stanley Cup Final run, regression in 2021). The Stars’ hand is forced in the forward group due to the no-movement provisions. Joe Pavelski, who is 37 and has a $7 million yearly budget charge, was likely left unprotected by the Stars (he signed a contract that only included a no-movement clause for the first two years, not this one). Pavelski, on the other hand, emphasized his significance last season and is now considered essential. The last forward slot is a toss-up between Faksa and Jason Dickinson, two players the Stars would rather not lose.
D: Filip Hronek D: Dennis Cholowski F: Dylan Larkin F: Jakub Vrana F: Tyler Bertuzzi F: Michael Rasmussen F: Robby Fabbri F: Adam Erne F: Givani Smith Troy Stecher (D) Thomas Greiss (G)
Tough decisions: On defense, Cholowski, Stecher, Danny DeKeyser, and Gustav Lindstrom were all competing for two sports behind Hronek. Here’s what I’m thinking: Stecher, 27, is typical expansion bait, with a $1.7 million AAV and an unrestricted free agency status in 2022, but he was also one of the Wings’ top defenders last season. He could have trade-deadline value as well. Lindstrom, who is 22 years old and was not selected by current GM Steve Yzerman, has less potential than Cholowski. The forward group, on the other hand, had just one tough decision to make: Smith, an RFA, against Vladislav Namestnikov, a versatile veteran.
Connor McDavid Connor McDavid Connor McDavid Connor McDavid Connor McDavid Connor McDavid Connor McDavid Connor McDavid Connor McDavid Connor Mc (NMC) Jesse Puljujarvi, F Kailer Yamamoto, F Josh Archibald, F Tyler Benson, F Darnell Nurse (D) Duncan Keith D: Ethan Bear D: Ethan Bear (NMC) Stuart Skinner (G)
The Oilers’ most difficult choice would be to leave Caleb Jones unprotected. Instead, Jones was packaged as part of a deal for Duncan Keith. The issue has been resolved. After re-signing Nugent-Hopkins, Edmonton GM Ken Holland reaffirmed the team’s 7-3-1 plan. The most pressing issue now is who will fill the last forward position. Only two of Archibald, Benson, and Zack Kassian are available to the Oilers. Benson, who was a point-per-game player in the AHL last season, should be chosen by Edmonton because of his potential. Kassian may be the odd man out since Archibald provides good overall value. Minor leaguer Skinner is protected in net since Mike Smith is not under contract (the two parties have been negotiating on a new agreement).
Jonathan Huberdeau (NMC) Aleksander Barkov Patric Hornqvist Jonathan Huberdeau (NMC) Jonathan Huberdeau (NMC) Jonathan Huberdeau (NMC) Jonathan Huberdeau (NMC) Jonathan Huber Carter Verhaeghe, F Sam Bennett, F D: Keith Yandle F: Frank Vatrano F: Noel Acciari D: MacKenzie Weegar D: Aaron Ekblad Sergei Bobrovsky (G)
Anthony Duclair, 25, is a restricted free agent who scored 32 points in 43 games for the Panthers last season. The battle for the last forward position will most likely be between Acciari and The Duke, who is more versatile and has more years remaining on his contract ($1,666,667). GM Bill Zito could theoretically leave Duclair unprotected if he believes Seattle has better alternatives, such as forward Mason Marchment, defenders Anton Stralman, Radko Gudas, Markus Nutivaara, and RFA Gustav Forsling. Chris Driedger, an unrestricted free agent goalkeeper, has been linked to the Kraken for months.
F: Anze Kopitar F: Alex Iafallo F: Viktor Arvidsson F: Adrian Kempe F: Anze Kopitar F: Alex Iafallo F: Viktor Arvidsson F: Viktor Arvidsson Trevor Moore (F) Brendan Lemieux, F D: Drew Doughty (NMC) D: Matt Roy D: Sean Walker F: Lias Andersson D: Drew Doughty (NMC) D: Matt Roy D: Sean Walker Calvin Petersen (G)
Tough decisions: The Kings’ most important choice is format, since there was a case to go with eight skaters so they could retain Kale Clague, their fourth defender. Clague, 23, only appeared in 18 NHL games last season, but he has top-four potential, particularly given his scoring abilities. However, with the acquisition of Arvidsson, the Kings now have too many forwards to defend. Dustin Brown is one of the few surviving key players from the Stanley Cup teams, but at 37 years old and with a budget cost of $5.875 million, keeping him exposed is a soft risk. The Kings have designated Petersen as their No. 1 goalkeeper, and veteran netminder Jonathan Quick, who has a $5.8 million yearly salary charge through 2022-23, is in a similar position. The Kings have a tough task in selecting the last forward. Andersson narrowly made the cut on this list, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the Kings went with Carl Grundstrom or Andreas Athanasiou instead.
Joel Eriksson Ek, F Kevin Fiala, F Marcus Foligno (F) Jordan Greenway, F F: Ryan Hartman (NMC) F: Mats Zuccarello (NMC) Nico Sturm (F) D: Matt Dumba (NMC) D: Jared Spurgeon (NMC) D: Jonas Brodin (NMC) G: Kähkönen Kaapo
Tough decisions: GM Bill Guerin has already made the most difficult decision of his career, purchasing the remaining four years of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter’s contracts. The changes will have long-term salary-cap ramifications, but in the near term, they clear more than $10 million in cap space for next season (ideally to sign a top center), as well as two protected expansion-draft slots. Dumba, who Guerin’s predecessor went to great lengths to protect in 2017, is suddenly back on the list. On defense, Carson Soucy is the odd man out, while on attack, Victor Rask is unprotected. Rask, 28, had a strong 2021 season, so this is a disappointment. The second tough decision Guerin must make is whether to preserve Cam Talbot, a dependable veteran, or Kähkönen, a promising young goaltender. The Wild, on the other hand, do not want to lose.
Tyler Toffoli, Josh Anderson, Brendan Gallagher (NMC), Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Artturi Lehkonen, Tyler Toffoli, Tyler Toffoli, Tyler Toffoli, Tyler Toffoli, Tyler Toffoli, Tyler Toffoli, Tyler Toffoli, Tyler Toffoli, Tyler Toffoli, Tyler Toffoli, Tyler Toffoli Jake Evans, Phillip Danault, Ben Chiarot, Jeff Petry (NMC), Joel Edmundson, Jake Evans, Phillip Danault, Ben Chiarot, Ben Chiarot, Ben Chiarot, Ben Chiarot, Ben Chiarot, Ben Chiarot, Ben Chiarot, Carey Price (G) (NMC)
Tough decisions: The Canadiens’ expansion draft preparations were thrown into disarray when a bombshell was revealed on Wednesday. Montreal defender Shea Weber will likely be exposed in the expansion draft, according to TVA’s Renaud Lavoie, due to ailments to his left foot and thumb, which may keep him out for the whole next season. If that’s the case, the Canadiens won’t have to pick between Ben Chiarot and Joel Edmundson for protection. Jake Allen should not be a part of the Kraken following the draft, according to the Canadiens. They signed Price’s backup to a two-year deal, and throughout the regular season, he outplayed the star. Jonathan Drouin, 26, is a guy to keep an eye on since he has two more years at $5.5 million against the cap. In April, he took a leave of absence from the squad due to personal issues. The Canadiens are expected to expose him, owing to the uncertainty surrounding his position and the possibility that a change of scenery might be helpful.
Filip Forsberg (F) D: Roman Josi (NMC) D: Mattias Ekholm D: Ryan Ellis D: Dante Fabbro D: Alexandre Carrier F: Luke Kunin F: Calle Jarnkrok D: Roman Josi (NMC) D: Mattias Ekholm D: Ryan Ellis D: Dante Fabbro D: Alexandre Carrier Juuse Saros (G)
Tough decisions: With so many excellent defenders on the roster, the Predators will almost certainly use an eight-skater lineup to protect at least four of them. Would they, however, be willing to defend five people? That is the existential question that GM David Poile must answer, and it has become a problem as a result of Alexandre Carrier’s breakthrough season in 2021. Carrier, 24, surprised in a top-four position and has a predictable cost ($733,333 year through 2022-23). It would be unusual, but not unheard, to protect five defenders; the Islanders did it at the Vegas draft. The Predators will try to entice the Kraken with pricey veterans Matt Duchene and Ryan Johansen, but it’s difficult to see them being taken. Jarnkrok ($2 million per season through next season) and Colton Sissons ($2.85 million per season until 2025-26) may battle for the last forward slot.
• NHL executives scout the best prospects • Check out the newest crop of top choices » • Slovenian trip of Francesco Pinelli »
F: Nico Hischier F: Jesper Bratt F: Pavel Zacha F: Janne Kuokkanen F: Yegor Sharangovich F: Nico Hischier F: Jesper Bratt F: Pavel Zacha F: Pavel Zacha F: Pavel Zacha F: Pavel Zacha F: Pavel Zacha F: Pavel Zach Miles Wood, F Andreas Johnsson, F Will Butcher D: Damon Severson D: Jonas Siegenthaler D: Damon Severson D: Jonas Siegenthaler D: Damon Severson D: Jonas Siegen Mackenzie Blackwood (G)
Some of the Devils’ promising young talents (Jack Hughes, Ty Smith, and Jesper Boqvist) are exempt, which is a tough decision. The most important choice here was whether to preserve P.K. Subban, who has a $9 million salary cost next season, or Butcher, who has a $3,733,333 cap hit before becoming an unrestricted free agent next summer. Butcher has squandered his last two seasons with the Devils, despite the fact that he is still just 26 years old. They might defend him, daring the Kraken to capture Subban. (Wouldn’t P.K. be a better salesman/ambassador for an expansion team?) However, the Devils’ forwards Nathan Bastian ($825,000 AAV until 2022-23), Michael McLeod (RFA), and Nick Merkley will provide Seattle with additional alternatives (RFA).
F: Mathew Barzal F: Jean-Gabriel Pageau F: Josh Bailey F: Jordan Eberle F: Anthony Beauvillier F: Anders Lee F: Brock Nelson D: Adam Pelech D: Ryan Pulock D: Adam Pelech D: Adam Pelech D: Adam Pelech D: Adam Pelech D: Adam Pelech D: Adam Pelech D: Adam Pelech D: Adam Pelech D: Adam Pelech D: Adam Pelech D: Adam Pelech D: Adam Pelech Scott Mayfield, D Semyon Varlamov (G)
Some of the Islanders’ favorite players will be drafted in the expansion draft pool. Casey Cizikas (UFA), Cal Clutterbuck ($3.5 million for one more season), and Matt Martin ($1.5 million until 2023-24) will be exposed as their top checking line. RFA forwards Kieffer Bellows (23) and Otto Koivula (22) will be tempted by the Kraken as well. The three selections on defense were simple decisions, but it leaves Nick Leddy vulnerable, which is why the Islanders are allegedly selling him ahead of the draft. The major issue is if GM Lou Lamoriello can find any way to remove Andrew Ladd ($5.5 million AAV through 2022-23) off this roster.
F: Artemi Panarin (NMC) F: Mika Zibanejad (NMC) F: Chris Kreider (NMC) F: Ryan Strome F: Pavel Buchnevich F: Filip Chytil F: Brett Howden D: Jacob Trouba (NMC) D: Libor Hájek D: Ryan Lindgren F: Pavel Buchnevich (NMC) F: Pavel Buchnevich (NMC) F: Pavel Buchnevich (NMC) F: Pavel Alexandar Georgiev (G)
Tough decisions: The Rangers’ decision-making process reflects the advantages of being a rebuilding club. Norris Trophy winner Adam Fox, fellow defenseman K’Andre Miller, forwards Alexis Lafrenière and Kaapo Kakko, and goalkeeper Igor Shesterkin are among the exempt players. As a result, there isn’t a lot of drama, particularly with defender Tony DeAngelo out of the picture. (The New York Post reports that he’ll be bought out after the draft.) The sole cause of dispute here is Howden’s selection at forward over Colin Blackwell. However, Howden will be a limited free agency next summer, while Blackwell will be an unrestricted free agent.
Connor Brown F: Brady Tkachuk D: Thomas Chabot D: Victor Mete D: Nikita Zaitsev F: Logan Brown F: Colin White F: Drake Batherson F: Nick Paul F: Austin Watson Filip Gustavsson (G)
Tough decisions: If the question is whether to retain Watson or Evgenii Dadonov, it’s clear that the tenfold more productive player should be kept. However, in his first season in Ottawa, his performance fell by a point per 60 minutes, he’s 32, and he’s due a $5 million yearly cap charge for the next two seasons — and, more significantly, because it’s Ottawa, he’s owed $11.5 million in actual money. So, along with versatile veteran forward Chris Tierney, goalkeeper Matt Murray (whom Seattle won’t touch), and goalie Joey Daccord (who might be enticing), we’ll presume he’s exposed.
Claude Giroux (NMC) Claude Giroux (NMC) Kevin Hayes (NMC) Travis Konecny Sean Couturier Oskar Lindblom Patrick Nolan (F) D: Ivan Provorov D: Travis Sanheim F: Scott Laughton D: Ivan Provorov D: Travis Sanheim G: Carter Hart D: Philippe Myers
Two big names at forward are likely to be exposed to the Kraken, so it’ll be a tough decision. Through 2022-23, James van Riemsdyk, 32, has a $7 million cap hit. Through 2023-24, Jakub Voracek, 31, earns $8.25 million against the cap. Both parties have considered the prospect of a change of scenery in each instance, according to Sportsnet. Both veterans played under Seattle coach Dave Hakstol while he was the Flyers’ bench manager, with Voracek having his greatest offensive season when Hakstol was in charge. Shayne Gostisbehere, a puck-moving defender who earns $4.5 million against the cap for the next two seasons, is another major name anticipated to be exposed. Forward Nicolas Aubé-Kubel, 25, who has a $1.075 million cap hit before becoming an RFA next summer, and veteran defender Justin Braun, who has one more season at $1.8 million before becoming a UFA, are two cost-effective possibilities for the Kraken.
F: Jake Guentzel F: Kasperi Kapanen (NMC) F: Evgeni Malkin (NMC) F: Sidney Crosby (NMC) F: Evgeni Malkin (NMC) Jeff Carter (F) Teddy Blueger F: Bryan Rust Kris Letang (NMC) D: Brian Dumoulin D: Mark Friedman D: Kris Letang (NMC) D: Kris Letang (NMC) D: Kris Letang (NMC) D: Kris Casey DeSmith (G)
Tristan Jarry had an above-average save percentage of.888 and a negative-5.8 goals saved in the playoffs. On a deal that current GM (and former goalkeeper) Ron Hextall refused to give him, he has two more seasons at a $3.5 million cap cost. So many indications point to Jarry being exposed for the Kraken as the Penguins’ main starter last season — and bear in mind that Jarry is a British Columbia native. The other fascinating discussion is now underway. Blueger has recently signed a two-year contract with Pittsburgh for $2.2 million per year. Does this mean he’ll be protected above forwards like Jared McCann ($2.94 million before RFA status next season) and Zach Aston-Reese (RFA)? Jason Zucker (two years remaining at $5.5 million AAV) and Brandon Tanev ($3.5 million AAV through 2024-25) are expected to be made available to Seattle, despite the fact that Hextall had no involvement in their acquisition.
F: Evander Kane F: Logan Couture Kevin Labanc F: Tomas Hertl F: Timo Meier Jonathan Dahlen, F Rudolfs Balcers (F) D: Brent Burns (NMC) D: Erik Karlsson (NMC) Marc-Edouard Vlasic (D) (NMC) Josef Korenar (G)
Tough decisions: The Sharks don’t have many tough decisions to make, which is a testament to how small their roster is. No-movement provisions apply to Karlsson and Vlasic, and they must be safeguarded. Burns does not, and although the Sharks may be interested in offloading his $8 million contract, GM Doug Wilson has shown no sign of going that far. This club really needs a goalkeeper, as proven by Martin Jones’ $5.75 million contract being left unclaimed. Dahlen, 23, is a natural fit for the last forward spot. He has yet to play in the NHL, but he has been dominating Sweden’s second-tier league. Dahlen is expected to make the Sharks’ roster in 2021-22.
Oskar Sundqvist F: Ryan O’Reilly F: David Perron F: Robert Thomas F: Brayden Schenn Jordan Kyrou, F Vladimir Tarasenko (F) Justin Faulk, Torey Krug, Colton Parayko, Justin Faulk, Torey Krug, Colton Parayko, Justin Faulk, Torey Krug, Justin Fa Jordan Binnington (G)
The Blues won’t want to lose their sharpshooter, who scored 218 goals in 531 games with the club, for nothing, so Vladimir Tarasenko’s trade request complicates matters a little. Tarasenko should be placed on the no-fly list. The Blues have a strong roster, so the Kraken has a few appealing options from which to select. Kyrou’s breakthrough season will likely put him above of Ivan Barbashev, Sammy Blais, and Zach Sanford on the protection list; any of those three players might thrive in Seattle if given a larger role. If the Blues had agreed to a new contract with Jaden Schwartz, the choices would have been more difficult, but he remains unsigned and on the verge of becoming a free agent. The Kraken are most likely to choose defender Vince Dunn, who the Blues kept after an up-and-down two seasons. St. Louis may preserve the cost-effective Niko Mikkola, but they’re more likely to keep their three veterans.
Nikita Kucherov (F) (NMC) Steven Stamkos (F) (NMC) Brayden Point (F) D: Victor Hedman (NMC) D: Mikhail Sergachev D: Erik Cernak F: Anthony Cirelli D: Victor Hedman (NMC) D: Mikhail Sergachev D: Erik Cernak Ryan McDonagh (D) Andrei Vasilevskiy (G) (NMC)
Tough decisions: When it comes to the Lightning and their cap-friendly roster, are there ever any simple decisions? If Tampa Bay is serious about completing a three-peat, it must start at the back end. That includes keeping its four best defenders healthy ahead of Vasilevskiy’s arrival. A 7-3-1 formation plus a side agreement with Seattle to ensure they don’t take a D-man might achieve this. This would also enable them to protect Alex Killorn (31, with two years remaining on his contract for $4.45 million), forward Mathieu Joseph (24, worth $737,500), and rookie Ross Colton (24, RFA). However, they might go 8-1 instead, leaving those three, as well as Ondrej Palat (30, $5.3 million for another season) and center Yanni Gourde (29, $5,166,666 AAV until 2024-25), vulnerable. Making a side trade in either situation may be difficult, since the Lightning only have two choices in the top three rounds of the next two drafts (2021 third, 2022 first). This time, no salary-cap Jedi mind tricks will rescue the Lightning. They’re going to lose an excellent player.
Mitchell Marner F: Auston Matthews John Tavares, F (NMC) D: Morgan Rielly D: Jake Muzzin D: T.J. Brodie D: Justin Holl F: William Nylander D: Morgan Rielly D: Jake Muzzin D: T.J. Brodie D: Justin Holl Jack Campbell (G)
Tough decisions: The general assumption in Toronto is that the Maple Leafs will protect a fourth defender in addition to the eight skaters and one goaltender. If that’s the case, Holl ($2 million AAV for two more seasons) could be safe, but center Alex Kerfoot ($3.5 million AAV for two more seasons) might be vulnerable. Travis Dermott, a cost-effective defender with a two-year AAV of $1.5 million, would also be Kraken bait. Keep in mind that head coach Dave Hakstol was a Leafs assistant coach before joining the Kraken, so he’s familiar with this group.
Brock Boeser F: Elias Pettersson Bo Horvat, J.T. Miller, Tanner Pearson, Tyler Motte, Matthew Highmore, Olli Juolevi, Tyler Myers, Nate Schmidt, Bo Horvat, J.T. Miller, Tanner Pearson, Tyler Motte, Tyler Motte, Tyler Motte, Tyler Motte, Tyler Motte, Tyler Motte, Tyler Motte, Tyler Motte, Tyler Motte, Tyler Motte, Tyler Motte, Tyler Motte G: Thatcher Demko G: Thatcher Demko G: Thatcher Demko
Tough choices: Given that Quinn Hughes is exempt and Alexander Edler and Travis Hamonic are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents, the Canucks won’t have to make many tough decisions on defense. The Canucks will safeguard Thatcher Demko after letting Jacob Markstrom go for free last summer, and see whether Seattle is interested in taking up Braden Holtby’s contract ($4.3 million through next season). The seventh forward position is the most difficult to choose. Although Highmore made our list, the Canucks could easily go with Kole Lind, Zack MacEwan, or Jonah Gadjovich, who has put up excellent AHL statistics but has yet to see NHL action.
Nicklas Backstrom (F) (NMC) Evgeny Kuznetsov F: T.J. Oshie F: Anthony Mantha F: Tom Wilson F: Lars Eller Conor Sheary, Conor Sheary, Conor Sheary, Conor Sheary, Conor Sheary, Conor Sheary, Conor Sheary, Conor Sheary, Conor She Dillon, Brenden Ilya Samsonov (G)
Tough choices: Don’t panic if you don’t find a name you’re looking for. Keep in mind that Alex Ovechkin, who is not mentioned above, is an unrestricted free agent who has said that he would only play for the Capitals. The Capitals’ greatest question mark was on defense, where Justin Schultz ($4 million AAV next season, then a UFA) and Brenden Dillon ($3.9 million AAV for three more seasons) are competing for the last position of protection. Schultz has more offensive potential, but the Capitals may lose Dillon to the Kraken (he’s a British Columbia native who played for the WHL Seattle Thunderbirds) and Zdeno Chara to retirement, leaving the left side of their defense vulnerable. On the other hand, goalie Vitek Vanecek, 25, who started 36 games as a rookie last season, is another intriguing possibility for the Kraken on the Capitals’ back end. Finally, apologies to lovers of homecomings and the obvious: Despite his age (34) and contract ($5.75 million AAV through 2024-25), it seems T.J. Oshie of Mount Vernon, Washington, will stay in that other Washington next season. Keep in mind that with the club shopping Kuznetsov, a trade may be made before the draft.
F: Blake Wheeler (NMC) F: Kyle Connor F: Nikolaj Ehlers F: Mark Scheifele F: Pierre-Luc Dubois F: Andrew Copp F: Nikolaj Ehlers (NMC) F: Nikolaj Ehlers (NMC) F: Nikolaj Ehlers (NMC) F: Nikolaj Ehlers (NMC) F D: Neal Pionk D: Josh Morrissey F: Adam Lowry D: Neal Pionk D: Josh Morrissey G: Connor Hellebuyck D: Dylan DeMelo
Tough decisions: With the possibility of losing a young middle-six forward like Mason Appleton, Winnipeg will preserve the majority of its experienced forwards. Appleton, who has a $900,000 yearly salary charge, scored 12 goals last season while playing only 14:25 per game, which the Kraken may view as substantial value. There was a rumor that Winnipeg might reveal Copp, a potential RFA, but that would be shocking. The actual choice for Winnipeg will be between DeMelo and Logan Stanley for the last defensive slot. DeMelo has shown to be an excellent partner for Morrissey, and with 321 career games under his belt, you know what to expect from him. Stanley is known for his height (6-7) and talent, and he was a nice surprise when he appeared late in the playoffs. If GM Kevin Cheveldayoff wants to retain both players, he’ll have to strike a deal with the Kraken.
The penguins protected list is a list of players who are eligible for the Pittsburgh Penguins to protect in the upcoming expansion draft. This question asks which players each team should protect from the Seattle Kraken.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who did every NHL team protect?
The New York Rangers protected Kevin Hayes, the Columbus Blue Jackets protected Seth Jones.
Who Should NHL teams protect?
Every team should protect their best players.
How many players can Seattle Kraken take from each team?
Seattle Kraken can take up to 10 players from each team.
- nhl expansion draft protection list date
- tampa bay lightning expansion draft protected list
- seattle kraken relocated
- vegas knights expansion draft rules
- seattle kraken jersey