Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
As the NHL expansion draft for the Seattle Kraken is around a year away, what could their inaugural season roster look like? NoVa Caps does its annual mock expansion draft for the NHL’s 32nd franchise. You can see last year’s mock draft here.
Each team has the option of protecting seven forwards, three defensemen, and one goaltender or eight skaters (forwards plus defensemen) and one goalie. Seattle gets the same rules as the Vegas Golden Knights did in the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft. The Kraken have to select one player from every team except the Golden Knights, who are exempt from the expansion draft. Ultimately, the Kraken must draft at least 14 forwards, nine defensemen, three goaltenders, and 20 players who are under contract for the 2020-21 NHL season while staying compliment with the $81.5 million salary cap.
While these players would be our picks today, that could change. One reason why that could be is that there are still plenty of unrestricted free agents (such as forward Mike Hoffman, center Mikael Granlund, center Erik Haula, forward Dominik Kahun, and defenseman Sami Vatanen) who could be protected by whoever signs them.
NOTE: Players must be protected (unless they waive) if they have an NMC – No Movement Clause (player has to be protected unless he waives), M-NTC NMC – Modified No-Trade Clause No Movement Clause
Protected: F Danton Heinen, C Sam Steel, C Troy Terry, C Rickard Rakell, F Sonny Milano, F Max Jones, F Jakob Silfverberg, D Josh Manson, D Cam Fowler, D Hampus Lindholm, G John Gibson
Kraken select: C Derek Grant
Protected: C Nick Schmaltz, C Christian Dvorak, F Conor Garland, F Lawson Crouse, F Christian Fischer, F Phil Kessel (NMC), F Clayton Keller, D Kyle Capobianco, D Jakob Chychrun, D Oliver Ekman-Larsson, D Darcy Kuemper
Kraken select: F Tyler Pitlick
Protected: F Charlie Coyle (NMC), C Patrice Bergeron (NMC), F Brad Marchand (NMC), F Jake DeBrusk, F David Pastrnak, F Craig Smith, F Ondrej Kase, D Brandon Carlo, D Charlie McAvoy, D Matt Grzelcyk, D Daniel Vladar
Kraken select: D Connor Clifton
Protected: C Casey Mittelstadt, C Zemgus Girgensons, C Tage Thompson, C Jack Eichel, F Jeff Skinner (NMC), F Victor Olofsson, F Sam Reinhart, D Lawrence Pilut, D Henri Jokiharju, D Rasmus Dahlin, G Jonas Johansson
Kraken select: D Colin Miller
Protected: C Sam Bennett, C Sean Monahan, F Matthew Tkachuk, F Johnny Gaudreau, F Andrew Mangiapane, F Milan Lucic (NMC), F Elias Lindholm, D Mark Giordano, D Noah Hanifin, D Chris Tanev, G Jacob Markstrom
Kraken select: D Rasmus Andersson
Protected: C Jordan Staal (NMC), C Sebastian Aho, F Andrei Svechnikov, F Teuvo Teravainen, D Haydn Fleury, D Jake Bean, D Jaccob Slavin, D Brett Pesce, G Alex Nedeljkovic
Kraken select: F Warren Foegele
Protected: C Jonathan Toews (NMC), F Patrick Kane (NMC), F Alex DeBrincat, F Dylan Strome, D Duncan Keith (NMC), D Brent Seabrook (NMC), D Nikita Zadorov, D Connor Murphy, G Colin Delia
Kraken select: D Calvin de Haan
Protected: C Nathan MacKinnon, F Mikko Rantanen, F Andre Burakovsky, D Cale Makar, D Samuel Girard, D Devon Toews, D Erik Johnson (NMC), D Ryan Graves, G Pavel Francouz
Kraken select: F J.T. Compher
Columbus Blue Jackets
Protected: C Max Domi, F Cam Atkinson, C Pierre-Luc Dubois, F Oliver Bjorkstrand, D Seth Jones, D Zach Werenski, D David Savard, D Vladislav Gavrikov, G Joonas Korpisalo
Kraken select: F Gustav Nyquist
Protected: C Tyler Seguin (NMC), F Jamie Benn (NMC), F Alexander Radulov (NMC), C Radek Faksa, C Roope Hintz, F Denis Gurianov, F Joe Pavelski, D Miro Heiskanen, D John Klingberg, D Esa Lindell, G Ben Bishop (NMC)
Kraken select: G Anton Khudobin
Detroit Red Wings
Protected: C Dylan Larkin, F Evgeny Svechnikov, F Tyler Bertuzzi, F Robby Fabbri, C Michael Rasmussen, F Anthony Mantha, F Vladislav Namestnikov, D Danny DeKeyser, D Filip Hronek, D Dennis Cholowski, G Thomas Greiss
Kraken select: D Troy Stetcher
Protected: C Leon Draisaitl, C Connor McDavid, F Jesse Puljujarvi, F Kailer Yamamoto, D Oscar Klefbom, D Caleb Jones, D Ethan Bear, D Darnell Nurse, G Mikko Koskinen
Kraken select: F James Neal
Protected: C Aleksander Barkov, F Jonathan Huberdeau (NMC), F Brett Connolly, C Henrik Borgstrom, D MacKenzie Weegar, D Aaron Ekblad, D Keith Yandle (NMC), D Markus Nutivaara, G Sergei Bobrovsky (NMC)
Kraken select: F Frank Vatrano
Los Angeles Kings
Protected: C Anze Kopitar, F Adrian Kempe, C Carl Grundstrom, D Matt Roy, D Olli Maatta, D Sean Walker, D Drew Doughty (NMC), D Kale Clague, G Cal Petersen
Kraken select: C Lias Andersson
Protected: F Kevin Fiala, F Zach Parise (NMC), F Jordan Greenway, F Mats Zuccarello (NMC), D Jared Spurgeon (NMC), D Ryan Suter (NMC), D Jonas Brodin (NMC), D Carson Soucy, G Kaapo Kahkonen
Kraken select: C Joel Eriksson-Ek
Protected: C Jesperi Kotkaniemi, F Arturri Lehkonen, F Paul Byron, F Jonathan Drouin, F Josh Anderson, F Brendan Gallagher (NMC), F Tyler Toffoli, D Victor Mete, D Jeff Petry (NMC), D Cale Fleury, G Carey Price (NMC)
Kraken select: D Ben Chiarot
Protected: C Matt Duchene, F Filip Forsberg, F Viktor Arvidsson, C Luke Kunin, D Roman Josi (NMC), D Ryan Ellis, D Mattias Ekholm, D Dante Fabbro, G Juusse Saros
Kraken select: C Colton Sissons
New Jersey Devils
Protected: C Nick Merkley, C Nico Hischier, C Michael Mcleod, C Brett Seney, F Miles Wood, F Jesper Bratt, F Andreas Johnsson, D Will Butcher, D Ryan Murray, D Damon Severson, G MacKenzie Blackwood
Kraken select: G Corey Crawford
New York Islanders
Protected: C Brock Nelson, C Jean-Gabriel Pageau, C Mathew Barzal, F Anders Lee, F Anthony Beauvillier, F Michael Dal Colle, F Josh Bailey, D Adam Pelech, D Ryan Pulock, D Nick Leddy, G Semyon Varlamov
Kraken select: F Kieffer Bellows
New York Rangers
Protected: C Mika Zibanejad (NMC), F Artemi Panarin (NMC), C Filip Chytil, F Brett Howden, F Chris Kreider (NMC), F Julien Gauthier, F Pavel Buchnevich, D Jacob Trouba (NMC), D Anthony DeAngelo, D Ryan Lindgren, G Alexander Georgiev
Kraken select: C Ryan Strome
Protected: C Logan Brown, F Drake Batherson, C Chris Tierney, F Connor Brown, F Brady Tkachuk, C Colin White, F Evgenii Dadonov, D Thomas Chabot, D Christian Wolanin, D Josh Brown, G Filip Gustavsson
Kraken select: G Matt Murray
Protected: C Kevin Hayes (NMC), C Nolan Patrick, C Sean Couturier, F Scott Laughton, F Claude Giroux (NMC), F Oskar Lindblom, F Travis Konecny, D Travis Sanheim, D Ivan Provorov, D Philippe Myers, G Carter Hart
Kraken select: D Shayne Gostisbehere
Protected: C Sidney Crosby (NMC), C Evgeni Malkin (NMC), F Jake Guentzel, C Jared McCann, F Bryan Rust, F Jason Zucker, F Kasperi Kapanen, D Kris Letang (NMC), D Brian Dumoulin, D Marcus Pettersson, G Tristan Jarry
Kraken select: F Zach Aston-Reese
San Jose Sharks
Protected: C Logan Couture, F Alex True, F Tomas Hertl, F Evander Kane, F Timo Meier, F Kevin LaBanc, C Ryan Donato, D Erik Karlsson (NMC), D Marc-Eduoard Vlasic (NMC), D Trevor Carrick, G Josef Korenar
Kraken select: D Radim Simek
St. Louis Blues
Protected: C Brayden Schenn, C Ryan O’Reilly, F Zach Sanford, F Robert Thomas, F David Perron, F Sammy Blais, F Vladimir Tarasenko, D Vince Dunn, D Torey Krug, D Colton Parayko, G Villie Husso
Kraken select: D Marco Scandella
Tampa Bay Lightning
Protected: F Nikita Kucherov, F Steven Stamkos, C Brayden Point, F Ondrej Palat, C Anthony Cirelli, F Yanni Gourde, F Alex Barré-Boulet, D Victor Hedman, D Mikhail Sergachev, D Erik Cernak, G Andrei Vasilevskiy
Kraken select: F Alex Killorn
Toronto Maple Leafs
Protected: C Auston Matthews, F William Nylander, C John Tavares, F Mitch Marner, D Travis Dermott, D Jake Muzzin, D T.J. Brodie, D Morgan Reilly, G Jack Campbell
Kraken select: C Alexander Kerfoot
Protected: C Elias Pettersson, C Bo Horvat, C Adam Gaudette, F J.T. Miller, F Brock Boeser, F Jake Virtanen, F Kole Lind, D Nate Schmidt, D Olli Juleovi, D Brogan Rafferty, G Thatcher Demko
Kraken select: D Ashton Sautner
Protected: F Alex Ovechkin, C Nicklas Backstrom (NMC), F Jakub Vrana, C Evgeny Kuznetsov, F Tom Wilson, F T.J. Oshie, F Garnet Hathaway, D John Carlson, D Jonas Siegenthaler, D Brenden Dillon, G Ilya Samsonov
Kraken select: D Dmitry Orlov
Protected: C Mark Schiefele, F Blake Wheeler (NMC), F Kyle Connor, F Nikolaj Ehlers, F Patrick Laine, C Adam Lowry, C Jack Roslovic, D Dylan DeMelo, D Neal Pionk, D Josh Morrissey, G Connor Hellebuyck
Kraken select: F Andrew Copp
Here is a look at the projected lineup with this roster:
Killorn — Strome — Nyquist
Vatrano — Eriksson Ek — Compher
Kerfoot — Sissons — Neal
Foegele — Roslovic — Aston-Reese
Gostisbehere — Miller
Orlov — De Haan
Chiarot — Scandella
Other options: Grant, Copp, Pitlick, Bellows, Andersson, Simek, Clifton, Stetcher, Sautner, Crawford
This team currently has an average age of 27.37 years old.
The roster breakdown goes 16 forwards, 11 defensemen, and three goaltenders and the cap hit is around $92 million, so the Kraken would have to shed $10.5 million in salary-cap space prior to the start of the 2021-22 season if they were to draft this roster. This team also currently has 22 players under contract for Kraken’s inaugural year.
This would not be a bad start for the Kraken as this team has a solid first-line, bottom-six, and goaltending but perhaps the blueline and center depth could use a little work. However, they will have to build a strong blueline and center group through the draft as teams will almost certainly not expose their top-six centers or top defensemen in the expansion draft.
NoVa Caps will do two more mock expansion drafts next offseason. The first will come before each teams’ protection lists are revealed and the other after.
A final note: this is likely to change significantly as players over-perform or under-perform and change teams in the coming two seasons.
By Harrison Brown
Quite the goalie complement!
Didn’t Vegas take like 12 defensemen?
As a Caps living in Seattle I appreciate these! Go Kraken (unless they’re playing the Caps)!
Priorities = ✅
No chance the Caps protect Hathaway over Eller
There’s no way I’d put Carlson on the protected list. That slot is better used on someone else, and with any luck Seattle will take that contract off our hands
His contract is going to hurt, if it hasn’t already.
Eller is too pricey, with a flat cap for the next few years.
And with McMichael coming up
Interesting article, but you are insane if you think the flames won’t protect Andersson. Gio, Hanafin and Tanev would all get exposed ahead of him. And if Seattle thinks James Neal is a good idea, I hope they have a time machine!
You think way too much of Andersson. Neal would be a good Wilson/Reeves enforcer for Seattle.
You’re kidding right?
Yup, Andersson will get protected 100%. Gio might be the top 4 D to leave exposed with his final year on that contract.
Good thing you aren’t a GM.
Which D would you choose to expose?
Not a chance the Sens leave Matt Murray unprotected
Get real. No way Seattle would take him. That’s why he will be exposed, use the protection for another player.
How did the jets lose copp and roslovic?
Zero chance Calgary exposes Andersson
That’s simply an incorrect statement.
What’s the fine print ? For example , Quinn Hughes isn’t on the Canucks protection list according to this so what’s stopping the kraken from taking him?
Players on entry-level contracts do not need to be protected.
Players with less an two years of pro are protected, not players on entry contracts.
Neal is not been taken unless Holland gives something to Seattle to take him.
Andersson is not available from Calgary (Tanev 100% exposed before him).
Murray is only exposed if he totally sucks this year for Ottawa.
There are other issues with certain picks but my question is why do you think anyone that is a potential FA next summer will not be signed before hand?
The Rangers will NOT be protecting Howden and certainly not over Strome.
Yes they will. Snap out of it.
I agree that Holden will not be protected. Strome will be dealt at deadline. No way they lose him with zero return. Kraken will tale Hajek
(meant howden of course)
What about Shae Weber on the Canadiens
I was thinking the same think. There’s no scenario where the Canadiens don’t protect him or that the Kraken pick Chariot over Weber. Cale Fleury do not need to be protected unless he plays something like 40 games next year.
AHL counts as pro experience. 19/20 was his 2nd year pro meaning after the 20/21 season he’ll be a three year pro and eligible for the expansion draft. All teams are required to expose a MINIMUM of two forwards and one D with X number of NHL games played. But Seattle can take any player with more than two years of pro experience.
No way the Flames would leave Rasmus Anderson unprotected. Hanifin for sure, Tanev, maybe and Giordano because of his age is a possibility but no way are they not protecting Anderson
Really ? You take Sautner from Canucks ? I’d say they’d likely take Myers if they don’t take Holtby
Johnson has to be protected w NMC, Landeskgog will be a UFA after next season and I didn’t protect pending UFAs for now, Hughes doesn’t have to be protected (ELC).
Leafs don’t have to protect Dermott. He’s an RFA. Holl will be exposed.
Seattle can draft the rights to unsigned RFAs
Dermott has 3 years pro experience so yes they do have to protect him
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I have to say your protected list baffled me some…You have to dig deeper to find the players that teams will protect,will be available and who Seattle is most likely to choose
No Matt Dumba on the Wild roster? Also the Wild will be much more likely to protect the center in Erickson-Ek over Greenway. For better or worse Ek is Wild’s #2C as the roster stands.
I think they should try to get a good goltender