Seattle selects its team

History was made tonight as the National Hockey League’s thirty second franchise, the Seattle Kraken, hosted the expansion draft in the Emerald City as they selected players from around the leagues other teams (except the Vegas Golden Knights who are exempt) to fill out the roster for their inaugural season this year. This moment has been highly anticipated by the fans and ownership group of the Kraken since being awarded an expansion franchise by the NHL Board of Governors back in December of 2018. It will be the first professional hockey team to play in Seattle since the Seattle Totems of the Central Hockey League (also, formerly played in the Western Hockey League) back in 1975, and is the first Seattle hockey team to compete for the Stanley Cup since the Metropolitans, who won the Stanley Cup in 1917 and folded the franchise in 1924. Without further ado, here are the results of tonight’s expansion draft and my thoughts on the choices the Seattle Kraken made tonight:

The Official Jersey Retailer of TXHT

Meet the Seattle Kraken

Haydyn Fleury (Anaheim Ducks)

Tyler Pitlick (Arizona Coyotes)

Jeremy Lauzon (Boston Bruins)

Will Borgen (Buffalo Sabres)

Mark Giordano (Calgary Flames)

Morgan Geekie (Carolina Hurricanes)

John Quenville (Chicago Blackhawks)

Joonas Donskoi (Colorado Avalanche)

Gavin Bayreuther (Columbus Blue Jackets)

Jamie Oleksiak (Dallas Stars)

Dennis Cholowski (Detroit Red Wings)

Adam Larsson (Edmonton Oilers)

Chris Driedger (Florida Panthers)

Curtis MacDermind (Los Angeles Kings)

Carson Soucy (Minnesota Wild)

Cale Fleury (Montreal Canadiens)

Calle Jarnkrok (Nashville Predators)

Nathan Bastian (New Jersey Devils)

Jordan Eberle (New York Islanders)

Colin Blackwell (New York Rangers)

Joey Accord (Ottawa Senators)

Carsen Twarynski (Philadelphia Flyers)

Brandon Tanev (Pittsvurgh Penguins)

Alexander True (San Jose Sharks)

Vince Dunn (St. Louis Blues)

Yanni Gourde (Tampa Bay Lightning)

Jared McCann (Toronto Maple Leafs)

Kole Lind (Vancouver Canucks)

Vitek Vanacek (Washington Capitals)

What do I think?

When taking a look at all of tonight’s selections in the expansion draft for the Kraken, there are some things that definitely stood out to me. First, Seattle didn’t select too many big named high salary type of players and are trying to use available cap space as a weapon in order to acquire top end talent from other teams. With the salary cap being flat for a while, other teams will be wanting cap space and the Kraken will take advantage of that sooner rather than later. Hence that’s why they didn’t take names like Carey Price (also had injury concerns), Vladimir Tarasenko (also injury concerns), Matt Duchene, Ryan Johansen, or PK Subban. Secondly, they drafted a lot of physical and tough defenseman with size like a Jamie Oleksiak or a Carson Soucy. They want their defense obviously to be tough to play against. Thirdly, they wanted young and talented goaltenders with low cap hits. Picking up Chris Driedger and Vitek Vanacek were great picks. Vanacek in particular showed he has the makings of being an NHL starting goaltender last season with the Washington Capitals in his rookie season. Washington isn’t very happy to lose him instead of a high salary type of player on their roster on defense. Finally, the Kraken picked a lot of young players who haven’t had much playing time to showcase their skills with their former teams. Young players need a chance to play, grow, and develop which the Kraken are trying to do. Ron Francis wants to make sure his team is young, fast, skilled, and tough to play against.

I was a little surprised the Kraken didn’t pick up a couple more big names but then again, the offseason is still young and I’m sure GM Ron Francis has more moves up his sleeves. What surprised me the most was there were no side deals between the Seattle Kraken and other teams. I’m thinking GM’s remembered all the talent the Vegas Golden Knights picked up in side deals during their expansion draft and didn’t want to help another expansion team go to the Stanley Cup final in year one again. However, according to sources, the Kraken were asking for a lot of compensation in side deals which was a price other teams weren’t willing to pay. There may be a couple of trades announced after the trade freeze ends at 1pm on Thursday, something to keep an eye on. As of right now, I don’t see this team doing what Vegas did and going all the way to the Stanley Cup final in year one. Depending on what they do the rest of the offseason, the Kraken may be a potential playoff team or a team that doesn’t make the playoffs at all. We’ll have to wait and see what kind of moves Ron Francis makes the rest of the offseason. Stay tuned for more Seattle Kraken coverage here at TXHT!

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