With the expansion draft coming up tomorrow, I figured I would jump on the train of everybody posting their own mock draft for the Seattle Kraken. I’ll be honest and say I didn’t really have much of a gameplan coming into this, but I will run the draft and then break my thoughts down from there.
Obviously some of these things are going to fairly moot points as side deals have likely been negotiated, but I’ll approach this with the thought that side deals do not exist. Here are my picks, ordered by position and then current cap hit.
Vladimir Tarasenko (STL, 7.5M to 2023) - Yes I’m taking a chance on Tarasenko. He has been one of the league’s most reliable goal scorers from 2014 to 2019. It sounds like if taken he would be flipped anyways, but I still think it’s better to have a player of his talent than to not.
Max Domi (CBJ, 5.3M to 2022) - Even if Domi isn’t the 72 point player from 2018-19, I still think he could really benefit from a change of scenery and lowered expectations. At the very least he could be an enticing deadline asset if Seattle is not contending.
Yanni Gourde (TB, 5.16M to 2025) - With an opportunity for an elevated role and better ice time in Seattle, I think Gourde thrives while bringing Stanley Cup pedigree to Seattle.
Chris Tierney (OTT, 3.5M to 2022) - At the very least Tierney provides a reliable depth presence for the Kraken and is easily flippable for future assets later in the year.
Alex Kerfoot (TOR, 3.5M to 2023) - Kerfoot is a very palatable option for the middle six of the forward core and can move up and down as needed.
JT Compher (COL, 3.5M to 2023) - While it was a down season for Compher, I think he could bounce back well with Seattle and again be a player who can play center or wing in the lineup.
Calle Jarnkrok (NSH, 2M to 2022) - Just a solid depth winger that I wanted the Flames to acquire at some point this offseason.
Zach McEwen (VAN, 825K to 2022) - Depth never hurts
Blake Lizotte (LA, 800K to 2022) - He had a good rookie season with 23 points in 65 games in 2019-20 and is probably worth a gamble given what else Los Angeles has exposed)
Josh Ho-Sang (NYI, UFA) - I don’t know, people probably don’t like this pick but I hope he is finally freed from the island to at least try and put together a career.
Ondrej Kase (BOS, RFA) - He never really fit in with Boston after they acquired him from the Ducks, but correctly utilized I think he could be a good breakout candidate on an expansion club.
Tyler Benson (EDM, RFA) - I mean it is quite possible that he can’t put it altogether at the NHL level but he has lit up the AHL for three years now and is just 23. Again I think he is a player worth the gamble on (lol at Edmonton for protecting Kassian over him).
Adam Gaudette (CHI, RFA) - Cheap depth with some NHL experience.
Nicholas Caamano (DAL, RFA) - The youngest player selected at 22, but provides good AHL depth with some NHL potential.
Michael Bunting (ARI, UFA) - I was impressed by his play at the World Championships and he also had 10 goals in 21 games with Arizona last year. Worth a look at the very least.
Mark Giordano (CGY, 6.75M to 2022) - Yeah I’m sad about this as a Flames fan but it make sa lot of sense to have Gio be the Kraken’s selection. If they really want he can be their Year 1 Captain, but he would also be a very tradeable asset at a later date.
Shayne Gostisbehere (PHI, 4.5M to 2023) - His star has waned considerably since his 65 point year in 2017-18, but he did have the best years of his career while being coached by new Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol, so perhaps there could be a good match for both in Seattle.
Will Butcher (NJ, 3.73M to 2022) - Butcher never really hit the heights projected for him when he was the big signing out of college, but on a one year deal Seattle can take some risk.
Dylan Demelo (WPG, 3M to 2024) - He is a solid defenseman at the analytical level and could provides stability for the Kraken core.
Troy Stetcher (DET, 1.7M to 2022) - Stetcher is a fine bottom pairing defenseman and could be happy to return to the West Coast (he’s from Richmond, BC) after a year in Detroit.
Nicholas Meloche (SJ, 750K to 2022) - AHL depth that can fill in for a few NHL games if needed.
Anthony Bitetto (NYR, 738K to 2022) - A good candidate for the 7D spot.
Jesper Lindgren (PIT, RFA) - Honestly nothing appealed to me on Pittsburgh so here we are.
Jake Bean (CAR, RFA) - It’s already been said a lot, but Jake Bean could be the next Shea Theodore like we saw with Vegas. A must pick for Seattle assuming they don’t work a side deal to sign Dougie Hamilton or something.
Josh Mahura (ANA, RFA) - Some NHL potential but young and is a good piece in the cupboard for the future.
Jake McCabe (BUF, UFA) - Missed most of 2020-21 with an injury, but if you can get him back to his level before injury, it could be a solid pick from an otherwise barren Buffalo exposure list.
Carey Price (MTL, 10.5M to 2026) - Yeah I did it. I like chaos. Sue me. He provides a superstar name with term for casual fans to get behind and Montreal melts down in the process. Realistically it doesn’t make much sense with the signing of Driedger, but I want to happen so I’m making it happen.
Chris Driedger (FLA, Reported 3.5M Deal with SEA to 2024) - Driedger had a solid couple of years in Florida after working his way up through the minor leagues. A bit of a risk to give him a big deal, but should be solid and has experience working alongside a highly paid starter that sometimes disappoints in the regular season.
Kaapo Kahkonen (MIN, 725K to 2022) - A good third goalie is critical in the NHL these days and Kahkonen showed flashes of solid hockey as a rookie with Minnesota.
Vitek Vanecek (WSH, 717K to 2022) - He’s in the same boat as Kahkonen, and I ultimately would trade one of these two for picks/prospects after the expansion draft.
That’s my team, I don’t think I went too crazy with anything here. In terms of salary cap, there would be $16.3M left to sign some of the RFA and UFA players along with adding free agents too. Here is a breakdown of my roster from the tremendous Capfriendly.com