The Seattle Kraken are soon joining the NHL as the league’s 32nd franchise. And with that comes an expansion draft that leaves available players on every team across the league (specifically, the Kraken will select one player from each team, excluding the Golden Knights for a total of 30 players, including at least 14 forwards, nine defensemen, and three goalies).
There are more rules, limitations, and minimums which you can read about right here.
The more important matter is that of the Blackhawks protection list. Teams can protect seven forwards, three defensemen, one goalie … *or* eight skaters and one goalie from the Kraken. The Blackhawks went the former route and here’s how they played it.
Forwards (7): Henrik Borgstrom, Alex Debrincat, Brandon Hagel, David Kampf, Patrick Kane, Dylan Strome, Jonathan Toews
Defensemen (3): Caleb Jones, Connor Murphy, Riley Stillman
Goalie (1): Kevin Lankinen
Forwards (7): Ryan Carpenter, Brett Connolly, Adam Gaudette, Vinnie Hinostroza
Defensemen (3): Calvin de Haan, Nikita Zadorov
Goalie (1): Collin Delia, Malcolm Subban
I’m going to save more analysis for Mario (he’s flying home at this very moment), but I do know that Nikita Zadorov was the big decision point for this team, especially after already trading away Duncan Keith and seeking a front-line defender in free agency or trade.
Early reports suggested that Zadorov, a restricted free agent, was seeking a relatively massive five year deal at a $5.85M average annual value. Scott Powers and Mark Lazerus (The Athletic) echoed those rumors, but believe he’s far more likely ot end up in the $3.5-$4.5M range and his attractiveness to the Kraken will depend largely on whether they’re willing to pony up that amount to get a deal done.
Alright, that’s it for now. More from Mario later on. And remember, the draft is this Wednesday at 7:00 CT.