With the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft for the Seattle Kraken set to take place less than four months (will take place on July 21) and nearly half of the 2020-21 season in the books, NoVa Caps does their third expansion draft. You can read our first (after 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons) two drafts in the hyperlinks linked to the last two seasons.
We have made our picks based on factors such as the length of time a player has remaining on their contracts, their cap hit, age, and stats from this season (as well as ones past). NHL.com and Natural StatTrick were sources used for stats.
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 2021-22 NHL season while staying compliment with the $81.5 million salary cap but taking at least $48.9 million worth of salary for next season. The Kraken team drafted here is under the contract limit for next season but they will have a window to negotiate with pending unrestricted and restricted free agents before the other 31 teams, so they will be able to reach that limit in July.
All players still on entry-level contracts are exempt from the threat of being taken, but teams could trade a player on such a deal (or draft picks) to the Kraken to prevent them from taking a player they wish to keep or get them to take on one of their worst contracts to save some money under the salary cap. A player must have played at least two full professional seasons by the end of 2020-21 (at least nine games in a season).
A team must expose at least two forwards and one defenseman, who have played at least 27 games in 2020-21 or 54 from 2019-21, under contract for next season. A team must expose a goalie who is under contract for 2021-22 or can become a restricted free agent after this season.
According to CapFriendly, “Players with potential career-ending injuries who have missed the previous 60+ consecutive games due to an injury, do not meet the criteria set forth by the league in respect to the minimum exposure requirements for players, and in certain cases these players may even be deemed as exempt from the Expansion Draft selection process.”
NOTE: Players must be protected (unless they waive) if they have an NMC – No Movement Clause (player has to be protected unless he waives)
Protected: C Troy Terry, C Sam Steel, F Max Jones, F Jakob Silfverberg, D Josh Manson, D Jacob Larsson, D Cam Fowler, D Hampus Lindholm, G John Gibson
Kraken select: C Rickard Rakell
Protected: C Nick Schmaltz, C Christian Dvorak, F Conor Garland, F Lawson Crouse, F Clayton Keller, F Christian Fischer, F Phil Kessel (NMC), D Oliver Ekman-Larsson (NMC), D Jakob Chychrun, D Kyle Capobianco, G Darcy Kuemper
Kraken select: D Jordan Gross
Protected: C Charlie Coyle (NMC), C Patrice Bergeron (NMC), F Brad Marchand (NMC), F Nick Ritchie, F Jake DeBrusk, F David Pastrnak, D Matt Grzelcyk, D Brandon Carlo, D Charlie McAvoy, G Daniel Vladar
Kraken select: F Ondrej Kase
Protected: C Jack Eichel, F Jeff Skinner (NMC), F Victor Olofsson, F Sam Reinhart, D Jake McCabe, D Rasmus Dahlin, D Henri Jokiharju, D Colin Miller, G Dustin Tokarski
Kraken select: C Casey Mittelstadt
Protected: C Sean Monahan, F Johnny Gaudreau, F Milan Lucic (NMC), F Matthew Tkachuk, F Andrew Mangiapane, F Dillon Dube, F Elias Lindholm, D Rasmus Andersson, D Mark Giordano, D Noah Hanifin, G Jacob Markstrom (NMC)
Kraken select: C Sam Bennett
Protected: C Vincent Trochek, C Sebastian Aho, C Jordan Staal (NMC), F Warren Foegele, F Andrei Svechnikov, F Nino Niederreiter, F Teuvo Teravainen, D Jaccob Slavin, D Brett Pesce, D Jake Bean, G Alex Nedeljkovic
Kraken select: D Hadyn Fleury
Protected: C Jonathan Toews (NMC), C Dylan Strome, F Brandon Hagel, F Alex DeBrincat, F Matthew Highmore, F Alexander Nylander, F Patrick Kane (NMC), D Nikita Zadorov, D Brent Seabrook (NMC), D Duncan Keith (NMC), G Kevin Lankinen
Kraken select: D Calvin de Haan
Protected: C Nathan MacKinnon, F Gabriel Landeskog, F Andre Burakovsky, F Mikko Rantanen, D Sam Girard, D Erik Johnson (NMC), D Devon Toews, D Cale Makar, G Pavel Francouz
Kraken select: F Joonas Donskoi
Columbus Blue Jackets
Protected: C Max Domi, C Boone Jenner, F Patrik Laine, F Eric Robinson, F Oliver Bjorkstrand, F Jack Roslovic, F Cam Atkinson, D Seth Jones, D Zach Werenski, D Vladislav Gavrikov, G Joonas Korpisalo
Kraken select: D Dean Kukan
Protected: C Jason Dickinson, C Tyler Seguin (NMC), C Roope Hintz, F Jamie Benn (NMC), F Denis Gurianov, F Alexander Radulov, F Joe Pavelski, D Miro Heiskanen, D Esa Lindell, D John Klingberg, G Ben Bishop (NMC)
Kraken select: G Anton Khudobin
Detroit Red Wings
Protected: C Dylan Larkin, C Michael Rasmussen, F Tyler Bertuzzi, F Evgeny Svechnikov, F Adam Erne, F Anthony Mantha, F Vladislav Namestnikov, D Gustav Lindstrom, D Filip Hronek, D Dennik Cholowski, G Thomas Greiss
Kraken select: F Robby Fabbri
Protected: C Connor McDavid, C Leon Draisaitl, F Kailer Yamamoto, F Jesse Puljujarvi, D Ethan Bear, D Caleb Jones, D Darnell Nurse, D Oscar Klefbom, G Alex Stalock
Kraken select: F Dominik Kahun
Protected: F Carter Verhaeghe, C Alexander Wennberg, C Aleksander Barkov, F Jonathan Huberdeau (NMC), C Noel Acciari, F Patric Hornqvist, F Frank Vatrano, D MacKenzie Weegar, D Keith Yandle (NMC), D Aaron Ekblad, G Sergei Bobrovsky (NMC)
Kraken select: F Anthony Duclair
Los Angeles Kings
Protected: C Anze Kopitar, F Adrian Kempe, F Carl Grundstrom, F Dustin Brown, D Matt Roy, D Sean Walker, D Drew Doughty (NMC), D Kale Clague, G Cal Petersen
Kraken select: F Andreas Athanasiou
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 Matt Dumba, G Kaapo Kahkonen
Kraken select: C Joel Eriksson Ek
Protected: C Jesperi Kotkaniemi, F Jake Evans, F Jonathan Drouin, F Paul Byron, F Josh Anderson, F Tyler Toffoli, F Brendan Gallagher (NMC), D Jeff Petry (NMC), D Cale Fleury, D Ben Chiarot, G Carey Price (NMC)
Kraken select: D Joel Edmundson
Protected: C Ryan Johansen, C Matt Duchene, F Filip Forsberg, F Calle Jarnkrok, C Colton Sissons, F Luke Kunin, F Victor Arvidsson, D Dante Fabbro, D Roman Josi (NMC), D Ryan Ellis, G Juuse Saros
Kraken select: D Mattias Ekholm
New Jersey Devils
Protected: F Yegor Sharangovich, C Nico Hischier, C Pavel Zacha, F Janne Kuokkanen, F Miles Wood, F Andreas Johnsson, F Jesper Bratt, D Connor Carrick, D Damon Severson, D Will Butcher, G MacKenzie Blackwood
Kraken select: C Michael McLeod
New York Islanders
Protected: C Brock Nelson, C Jean-Gabriel Pageau, C Mathew Barzal, F Anthony Beauvillier, F Anders Lee, F Josh Bailey, F Jordan Eberle, D Ryan Pulock, D Adam Pelech, D Nick Leddy, G Semyon Varlamov
Kraken select: F Michael Dal Colle
New York Rangers
Protected: C Colin Blackwell, C Ryan Strome, C Filip Chytil, C Mika Zibanejad (NMC), F Artemi Panarin (NMC), F Chris Kreider (NMC), F Pavel Buchnevich, D Jacob Trouba (NMC), D Ryan Lindgren, D Libor Hajek, G Alexandar Georgiev
Kraken select: F Julien Gauthier
Protected: F Drake Batherson, C Chris Tierney, C Logan Brown, F Vitaly Abramov, F Brady Tkachuk, F Evgeni Dadonov, F Colin White, D Josh Brown, D Christian Wolanin, D Thomas Chabot, G Filip Gustavsson
Kraken select: F Connor Brown
Protected: C Kevin Hayes (NMC), C Sean Couturier, F Oskar Lindblom, F James Van Riemsdyk, F Claude Giroux, F Travis Konecny, F Jakub Voracek, D Philippe Myers, D Ivan Provorov, D Travis Sanheim, G Carter Hart
Kraken select: C Nolan Patrick
Protected: C Sidney Crosby (NMC), C Evgeni Malkin (NMC), F Jake Guentzel, F Jared McCann, F Jason Zucker, F Bryan Rust, F Kasperi Kapanen, D Marcus Pettersson, D Kris Letang (NMC), D Brian Dumoulin, G Tristan Jarry
Kraken select: F Zach Aston-Reese
San Jose Sharks
Protected: F Tomas Hertl, C Logan Couture, F Evander Kane, F Ryan Donato, F Timo Meier, F Kevin Labanc, F Rudolfs Balcers, D Christian Jaros, D Erik Karlsson (NMC), D Marc-Edouard Vlasic (NMC), G Josef Korenar
Kraken select: F Alex True
St. Louis Blues
Protected: C Ryan O’Reilly, F Brayden Schenn, F Jaden Schwartz, F Jordan Kyrou, F David Perron, F Vladimir Tarasenko, F Robert Thomas, D Colton Parayko, D Torey Krug, D Justin Faulk, G Jordan Binnington
Kraken select: D Vince Dunn
Tampa Bay Lightning
Protected: C Anthony Cirelli, C Brayden Point, C Steven Stamkos (NMC), F Nikita Kucherov (NMC), D Victor Hedman (NMC), D Mikhail Sergachev, D Erik Cernak, D Cal Foote, G Andrei Vasilevskiy
Kraken select: F Ondrej Palat
Toronto Maple Leafs
Protected: C Alexander Kerfoot, C Auston Matthews, C John Tavares (NMC), F Pierre Engvall, F Zach Hyman, F William Nylander, F Mitch Marner, D T.J. Brodie, D Jake Muzzin, D Morgan Rielly, G Jack Campbell
Kraken select: D Travis Dermott
Protected: C Adam Gaudette, C Bo Horvat, C Elias Pettersson, C Zach MacEwen, F J.T. Miller, F Jake Virtanen, F Brock Boeser, D Nate Schmidt, D Olli Juolevi, D Guillaume Brisebois, G Thatcher Demko
Kraken select: G Braden Holtby
Protected: C Nicklas Backstrom (NMC), C Evgeny Kuznetsov, F Alex Ovechkin, F Jakub Vrana, F Richard Panik, F T.J. Oshie, F Tom Wilson, D John Carlson, D Justin Schultz, D Brenden Dillon, G Ilya Samsonov
Kraken select: D Dmitry Orlov
Protected: F Andrew Copp, C Mark Scheifele, C Pierre-Luc Dubois, F Kyle Connor, F Mason Appleton, F Nikolaj Ehlers, F Blake Wheeler (NMC), D Dylan DeMelo, D Neal Pionk, D Josh Morrissey, G Connor Hellebuyck
Kraken select: G Eric Comrie
With the team drafted, here is the projected lineup:
Kahun — Patrick — Rakell
Duclair — Bennett — Palat
Brown — Mittelstadt — Kase
Aston-Reese — Eriksson Ek — Donskoi
Extra: Gauthier, Mcleod, True, Dal Colle, Fabbri, Athanasiou
Ekholm — Orlov
Dunn — de Haan
Edmundson — Fleury
Exta: Dermott, Kukan, Gross
This roster currently has an average age of 25.9 years old.
The roster breakdown goes 18 forwards, nine defensemen, and three goaltenders, and the cap hit is slightly more than $47 million at the moment (slightly less than the cap floor) but that will likely change as the Kraken will get a few pending restricted free agents under contract. 13 players are under contract at the moment but the Kraken can hit the lower limit by signing a few restricted free agents that they take.
This would not be a bad start for the Kraken as this team has solid depth down the wing, fourth-line, defense, and goaltending but and center depth will be a challenge to acquire for next season as all teams are expected to protect their top-six centers. They will have to build up at center through the NHL Draft.
NoVa Caps will do two more mock expansion drafts this 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 final half of the season.
By Harrison Brown
I think protecting Carlson is a waste of a spot. It’s highly unlikely the Kraken take that contract, but if they do the Caps have fixed their cap problem, with extra breathing room.
That’s certainly a valid point, and to be honest, I wouldn’t be shocked if they exposed him. Just for the huge salary, and the fact, like you stated, they probably wouldn’t take the contract. If give you a chance at protecting another defender.
Personally, I’d expose Dillon over Orlov. I like DIllon but I don’t think he lives up to his contract as well as Orlov does. Siegenthaler seems to play a similar style, plus he’s younger and cheaper.
I get that, and in the end, it certainly will be an option. The big difference is Orlov’s salary, and the fact the Capitals need to shed salary with a flat salary cap ahead for the next couple of seasons.
Seattle expansion draft is on July 21st. The NHL 2021 draft is on the 23 and 24th of that month, if you need to correct it.
No way we protect Schultz over Orlov. I see the team asking Oshie to waive his NTC and him going to Seattle since he was born there.
Orlov is gone regardless due to salary cap issues. Vanecek would be selected before Oshie.
Holtby has been awful in Vancouver this year, and lost the battle for #1. He might only get 2-3 more games the rest of this year. The only way that Seattle drafts him is if the Canucks throw in some draft pick sweeteners
They don’t have any other players worth taking after protecting 7-3-1 players.
No chance Wild do not protect Eriksson Ek. Greenway almost certainly will be available, however.
100% agreed. They have zero center depth. Dumba is a defensive liability. Calen Addison is absolutely tearing it up in the AHL. Plus, the Wild need to clear cap for Kaprisov, RFA after this season.
If Dylan Gambrel from The San Jose sharks is available they should take him. He was born in Bonney Lake, Washington. He is a decent player, too. I think playing back in his home state will be good for him.
With Brent Seabrook unoffically retiring I was thinking he would waive he NMC for the expansion draft to help the Blackhawks out. It is possible that the Hawks would then protect de Haan. Also it seems unlikely to me that the Blackhawks would protect Highmore at this point.
No Chance they take Seabrook. CHI Would have to add a major sweetener, probably a 1st, and thats not happening. They screwed themselves adding Teravainen to get rid of Bickells contract, not making that mistake again.
I don’t know that the Predators will protect Duchene. He hasn’t been a part of their resurgence and is super expensive. That would allow them to protect Ekholm who is much more valuable than Duchene.
why don’t the flames need to protect Backland? I guess you need to redo all this now that the trade deadline is done
You are correct, Jim we released 3.0 three weeks ago. We will be releasing our final version at the end of the season.
Looking at Ottawa there is no way Ottawa leaves Connor Brown unprotected… I would say they protect him ahead of L Brown, Dadonov, and Tierney … I’m guessing they will actually dangle Dadonov and /or Tierney out there for Seattle and may even resign Dzingle and protect him at this point.
This is just terrible.
You have the Minnesota Wild leaving their 1st line center and potential selke trophy winner unprotected over Jordan greenway lol
Not understanding why they would take ZAR from Pittsburgh. In your scenario of who they protect, Blueger, Tanev, Mike Matheson are available and are all better choices. If I was the Pens, I’d protect Blueger, Tanev & Matheson and expose McCann, Zucker and Pettersson. Zucker has not been that good to warrant the $5MM, McCann is a consistent minus player and Pettersson is an odd man rush waiting to happen and slow as well..
Need to update Carolina’s pick since Fluery isn’t there anymore
There is no way the Kraken get Donskoi. He will be protected. You can have Timmins or Soderberg. LOL!!!
I’m sorry, what
Senators don’t have Wolanin, and will protect Brown over Tierney. Brown is their leading goal scorer.
Leafs won’t protect Hyman because he’s a free agent. That makes no sense.
Montreal should leave Kotkaniemi unprotected as he has become a major Bust here.
Not a chance the sabres expose Mittelstadt after he finally started showing promise. That plus Eichel & Reinhart want out. Why on earth would you protect Colin Miller?!?