The end of July will mark a very busy month on the NHL calendar, especially for the newest team in the league, the Seattle Kraken.
The NHL season doesn’t begin until October, but the race for the Stanley Cup begins in the expansion draft. This is quite a big deal for the Kraken, as this will be their biggest opportunity to pick the players who will bring potential to the team.
What the Kraken ends up doing during the expansion draft means a lot. If they pick the right guys for their team, they can end up having a successful season and reaching their ultimate goal – making it to the Stanley Cup.
Yes, it is early, but the Kraken know they must hit the ground running and waste no time in molding the perfect team together.
The Kraken Will Have Plenty Of Options During The Draft
Kraken General Manager Ron Francis, along with a handful of his close advisors, will pick 30 unprotected players from around the league. The only team who is exempt from this will be the Vegas Golden Knights. The Kraken will be able to choose from a large amount of unprotected players – good quality players that can certainly add depth and strength to the new team. That’s just what the Kraken and Francis would like, for sure.
Here is a deeper dive into detail about some of those good players that the Kraken may pick.
Carey Price is 33 years old and is a big name entering the Expansion Draft. He, of course, led the Montreal Canadiens to the Stanley Cup Finals and is definitely a very important asset for any team to have. So, if the Kraken were to select him, they’d be in a very good position consider all what Price has to bring to the table.
Consequently, due to Price’s age, he isn’t a “long-term” player, meaning the Kraken would likely get a good five-seven years with him on the roster until he decides to hang up the skates for good. That’s really the only downside.
Predictions On Who The Kraken Will Pick
One of those predictions include Price. Now, that still leaves a chunk of other players available for the Kraken to choose. So, this is where the Kraken will have to make some pretty big decisions and they won’t be easy ones, to say the least.
Before diving into those predictions, though, the Kraken must follow the Expansion Draft requirements. This means they will have to get at least 14 forwards, nine defenseman and three goalies and they have to select a minimum of 20 players who are currently under contract for the 2021-22 season.
So, it is pretty much a simple, straightforward rule, but it still won’t be easy. There are just too many good players available.
Here are some other players who will be available for the Kraken to draft; Jordan Eberle, Nino Niederreiter and Gabriel Landeskog, just to name a few.
Now, St. Louis Blues’ forward Vladimir Tarasenko and New Jersey Devils’ defenseman P.K. Subban would be a top prediction, as they both serve as ideal players for the Kraken. If they join the team, they could work perfectly together.
In addition, there is Ryan Getzlaf, Andrew Volkov (both of the Anaheim Ducks), David Krejci, Jarred Tinordi and Tuukka Rask (of the Boston Bruins). Those would be great players to add on the Kraken squad. Additionally, it would be nice to see Nashville Predators’ Matt Duchene, Rocco Grimaldi, Erik Haula, Calle Jarnkrok or Ryan Johansen get selected, too.
Could Alex Ovechkin Be A Kraken Soon?
In conclusion, there are what seems like thousands of very good players available for the Kraken to pick. There is another big hockey star who has his name on the unprotected list, which is Washington Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin.
It’s surprising to know that the 35-year old Russian native may soon be a Kraken. But how likely is he to sign a contract with the team? The chances are pretty shaky for this one. T.J. Oshie, goalie Ilya Samsonov, Daniel Sprong and Evegeny Kuznetsov are all on the Caps’ protected list. Ovechkin isn’t.
However, does that mean the Caps will lose Ovechkin? No, not quite. He’s an unrestricted free agent. So, the Kraken can negotiate a contract with him if they’d like. But, once again, the probability of the longtime Cap signing with a new team is really slim.
For Ovechkin himself, he would like to work up some sort of deal with the Caps. So, there’s still a huge question mark as to if he will really even sign with the Kraken if they pick him. He can easily go back to the Caps and work on that deal.
The NHL Expansion Draft begins and ends on July 23.