With the expansion draft in the books, the Seattle Kraken officially have their inaugural NHL roster set. Seattle went an interesting route with the draft and mostly strayed away from players with big cap hits. With the players they drafted, Seattle managed to stay around $30 million under the cap. This strategy did set them up with a solid roster, but not all of their picks were so great. Here are some of the best and worst selections made by the Seattle Kraken.
Best: Mark Giordano (D)
This was possibly one of the easiest picks for Seattle to make in this draft. Mark Giordano was Calgary’s franchise player and has been one of the league’s best defensive defenseman over his 15 year career. He’s a consistent point scorer for a defenseman, who also puts up great numbers on the power play. And for those concerned about his age, he won his first Norris Trophy just two seasons ago. He’s a complete hockey player, who will also provide some much needed veteran leadership to a relatively young team trying to build chemistry. Giordano will also be the leading candidate to be the first captain in franchise history. Seattle has a great hockey player and leader on their roster for the next three years.
Worst: Gavin Bayreuther (D)
It seemed like it was going to be an easy choice for Seattle when Columbus left Max Domi unprotected. However they chose not to go for Domi and instead went for defenseman Gavin Bayreuther. There’s not a lot to say about Bayreuther, he’s 27 years old and has only played in 28 total NHL games. He was a solid player in a small sample size, but nothing really too special. At best he can be a replacement level player for the bottom half of Seattle’s defensive unit.
But with the amount of defenseman selected by Seattle, it’ll be hard for him to get into the lineup. He’s also an unrestricted free agent, which means he might not even be with the team next season. This pick just felt like missed potential with Domi available, a player who could’ve had an immediate impact for this team. Even Kevin Stenlund was an option that could’ve provided more immediate and long term impact for the team.
Best: The Goalie Selections
Seattle was given an embarrassment of riches when it came to available goalies for them to take. They came away with three quality talents to protect the back of their net. First off is Chris Driedger coming in from Florida. He was on a timeshare with Sergei Bobrovsky in Florida, but still put up great numbers. This past season he was top five in both save percentage and GAA while playing less games than Bobrovsky. He wasn’t great in the playoffs, but did have a strong performance in the game two loss only allowing two goals on 28 shots. He should improve more with a consistent starting role in Seattle.
If he stumbles, he has former Washington goalie Vitek Vanecek backing him up. Vanecek was a surprise starter for Washington after Ilya Samsonov had to deal with COVID protocols and injuries throughout the season. He was a formidable starter for Washington, posting a 2.69 GAA, a .908 save percentage and a 21-10 record. He will be a high quality backup and could even split starting time with Driedger throughout the season. They also got Joey Daccord from Ottawa, a promising prospect who could come up as an injury replacement this season and as a regular in the season after.
Worst: Carsen Twarynski (LW)
This pick is very similar to the pick of Gavin Bayreuther from Columbus. This is because they chose to pass on immediate help for a young player with questionable potential. He’s shown some potential in the WHL, but that hasn’t really translated in the AHL or NHL. In 107 career AHL games Twarynski has only 38 total points. He’s also played 22 games in the NHL, but only has 1 goal in those games and a -5 plus/minus. He’s only 23, so there is some chance he can develop into a better player unlike Bayreuther.
But Philadelphia had two great immediate options available in Jakub Voracek or James van Riemsdyk. Seattle’s top six wing depth is a little questionable, and could’ve used some help. Players like Voracek and van Riemsdyk would’ve given Seattle immediate scoring depth for immediate success. Their cap hit is relatively high, but the other picks Seattle made gave them the cap flexibility to take those contracts on. This was another missed opportunity for Seattle to help the team win now.
Honorable Mentions For Best Picks
Yanni Gourde, C, TBL
Jared McCann, C/LW, TOR
Adam Larsson, D, EDM
Honorable Mentions For Worst Picks
Kurtis MacDermid, D, LAK
Morgan Geekie, C, CAR
Featured image courtesy of AP Photo
Check out our NHL page for more updates!
‘From our Haus to yours’