The 2021 Seattle Kraken Expansion Draft will take place on July 21st. The NHL’s newest franchise will get to select one unprotected player from all 32 NHL teams aside from the Vegas Golden Knights.
Below is my thirty-man roster that I have selected for the Kraken. Obviously, this doesn’t take into consideration any deals that may or may not be on the table that would see a sweetener come the Kraken’s way to take a particular player or a bad contract.
JVR – Gourde – Eberle
Drouin – Domi – Fischer
McCann – Appleton – Jarnkrok
Lemieux – Tierney – Donskoi
Dunn – Hamilton
Dillon – Lauzon
Pettersson – Fleury
Driedger – Kahkonen – Subban
Extras: Dylan Gambrell (SJS), Zack MacEwen (VAN), Colin Blackwell (NYR), Nick Merkley (NJD), Tyler Benson (EDM), Oliver Kylington (CGY), Troy Stetcher (DET), Niklas Hansson (DAL), Will Borgen (BUF)
Here’s a breakdown and reasoning for each player selected by the Kraken in my mock draft:
JVR – Philadelphia Flyers – 32 – LW:
Philly could very likely sweeten the pot and entice Seattle to take Voracek and his contract off the books; but in this mock draft I simply selected JVR to improve Seattle’s offense and powerplay from the get-go. He should slot in nicely on the first line.
Yanni Gourde – Tampa Bay Lightning – 29- C:
Gourde played a pivotal third line role on a stacked Lightning squad. He can kill penalties, contribute on the powerplay, and amass points 5v5. He’s a great all around guy that should headline the Kraken’s first line. Gourde will have the opportunity to grow and take on more responsibility than he did during his time with the Bolts. Personally, I believe this to be the best acquisition for Seattle.
Jordan Eberle – New York Islanders- 31 – RW:
Eberle is a good offensive driver who brings some valuable experience to this new Kraken team. He’s shown he can play solid first line minutes while also being a valuable asset on the powerplay. He rounds out a respectable first line which should be able to do some damage in a very underwhelming Pacific division.
Jonathan Drouin – Montreal Canadiens – 26- LW:
Drouin brings a crucial element to this Kraken team and that is speed. While Drouin isn’t quite the player many thought he would be coming out of juniors a change of scenery could be career changing. He is still young enough to find his game and put up a respectable 50+ point season. Suddenly, the pressure of being a French Canadian and playing for the Habs is no longer there and instead he can play for a team with little expectations to start.
Max Domi – Columbus Blue Jackets – 26 – C:
Domi has juggled from team to team over the years. However, when news broke that Columbus would not be protecting him, it came as a bit of a surprise to many. While he wasn’t exactly the Torts type it seemed like the Blue Jackets were ready to turn another page. Regardless, Domi should come in and be a solid 2nd line center who can be used in numerous situations. Like Drouin and others, it’s a fresh start that could see some players take a step forward in their careers.
Christian Fischer – Arizona Coyotes – 24 – W:
Fischer, an early second round pick, never really took off offensively while in Arizona. While consistently in the lineup Fischer has never been anything more than a 30+ scorer. However, much like his former teammate Dylan Strome, Fischer could see a bit of a resurgence after leaving the Grand Canyon state. For Seattle, he is cheap, young, and worth a shot.
Jared McCann – Toronto Maple Leafs – 25 – LW:
After he was acquired from Pittsburgh, many thought the Leafs had won the deal. However, it was later revealed that McCann would be exposed to Seattle in the draft. He’s a 30+ point player who is still young and can be a great asset on the third line. Not to mention his contract which is just south of 3 million.
Mason Appleton – Winnipeg Jets – 25 – C:
At only 25 Appleton is just starting to see his career blossom. He had a strong playoffs despite the Jets early exit and has potential to be a strong forechecking forward who could join McCann in being a 30+ point third liner.
Calle Jarnkrok – Nashville Predators – 29- RW:
With already four 30+ point campaigns, Jarnkrok would be a solid and cheap addition to the Kraken lineup. Jarnkrok is a versatile player who can play up and down the lineup. He should also be a good addition to the second power play unit. He is a great addition to the Kraken’s forechecking third line.
Brendan Lemieux – Los Angeles Kings – 25 – LW:
The former Ranger and recently acquired King is an excellent fourth line get for Seattle. Lemieux will serve as a pest and heavy forechecker in hopes to get under the opponents skin. Currently, the Kraken do not have such a role player which could prove valuable at such a cheap price and young age. Lemieux is a solid start to the fourth line.
Chris Tierney – Ottawa Senators – 27 – C:
Not many years ago Tierney was two points shy of a 50 point season. Over the next two campaigns Tierney has averaged just shy of 30 point seasons at 28 points per season on a young and developing Senators team. With that said, he could provide in a limited role with the Kraken while being an adequate fourth line center.
Joonas Donskoi – Colorado Avalanche – 29 – RW:
Donskoi’s ability to play anywhere in the lineup made him the most attractive addition from Colorado. Despite being on a stacked Colorado team, Donskoi got second line minutes and first unit power play time. This versatility and experience is exactly what Seattle is looking for in their bottom six. Not to mention, the former Shark has posted 30+ point seasons in all but one of his six NHL campaigns so far.
Vince Dunn – St. Louis Blues – 24 – LD:
Although it was tough to pass up on a talented yet injury riddled Tarasenko, Dunn is a cup winning, young, and versatile defenseman. While he is an RFA, Seattle should be able to sign him for anywhere around $2-3.5 million. He’s a perfect piece to add to a team that is presumably going to try and develop and draft its players to be much more competitive in the future.
Dougie Hamilton – Carolina Hurricanes – 28 – RD:
They are going to have to negotiate a contract but the Kraken should have the cap space to give Hamilton the term and salary he’s looking for. His offensive ability should help bolster scoring for Seattle from the backend and on the powerplay. His creativity in the other end will help to enhance the viewing experience of the NHL’s newest team.
Brenden Dillon – Washington Capitals – 30 – LD:
Passing up on a defenseman like Giordano, your going to want to bring in a veteran to help stabilize the blueline if you are Seattle. Not only is this achieved with Dillon, but you bring in a guy with a Stanley Cup pedigree who can help groom the younger guys while providing to be a solid penalty killer as well.
Jeremy Lauzon – Boston Bruins – 24 – RD:
The Bruins have always been able to groom and develop young defenseman despite where they were selected in the draft. Lauzon, a late second round pick, has been a big part of the Bruins this season with injuries and departures to their D-core. Not only is he young, but Lauzon is cheap and provides some size on the back end as well.
Marcus Pettersson – Pittsburgh Penguins – 25 – LD:
The former second round selection is another big addition to the Kraken blueline. With the turnover recently in Pittsburgh, Pettersson began to absorb a bigger role on the back end. He’s not an eye popping addition but is a good third pairing D-man.
Hayden Fleury – Anaheim Ducks – 25 – RD:
A former Ron Francis first round pick, the Kraken may want to give Fleury another chance to develop and prove himself with a different organization. Fleury is still a young defenseman with potential thus making him an attractive selection for Seattle.
Chris Driedger – Florida Panthers – 27 – G:
The odd-man out in Florida turns out to be a great addition for the Kraken. Driedger was solid when the Panthers called upon him this season posting a .927 save percentage. Driedger is still fairly young and could earn the number one spot if given the chance with Seattle. He’s asking for somewhere in the range of $3-3.5 million which could prove a good deal down the road.
Kaapo Kahkonen – Minnesota Wild – 24 – G:
A big young goalie who played well in relief of Cam Talbot in Minnesota. Kahkonen is a solid backup who could end up fighting for the starting job if his career trajectory continues upward. Regardless, he’s worth the shot and provides solid goaltending in relief of Driedger.
Malcolm Subban – Chicago Blackhawks – 27 – G:
A former first round pick who’s showed signs of brilliance this season with Chicago. He has never been consistent enough to earn the starting job but has proved he can be a valuable third string/backup when called upon. At worst he can play in a backup role should one of the two aforementioned goalies go down. His contract is cheap enough where Seattle shouldn’t mind having him in this role.