The NHL expansion draft is the largest of its kind in professional sports history, with 30 teams participating. With so many players available for selection, teams are left to make tough decisions on who to protect and who to leave exposed.
The Seattle Kraken draft is a plan that was proposed by the Seattle Kraken. The plan would allow NHL teams to leave players available for selection in an expansion draft.
Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens and Vladimir Tarasenko of the St. Louis Blues were among many great players exposed in the Seattle Kraken expansion draft, as the NHL released its protected lists on Sunday.
Because the Vegas Golden Knights are excluded from the draft, the Kraken will choose one player from among 30 NHL clubs. Beginning at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, the winners will be announced. ET on ESPN2 as part of a 90-minute special.
Teams may choose to protect seven forwards, three defenders, and a goaltender, or they could choose to protect eight skaters and a goalie if a fourth defenseman was required, as the Nashville Predators, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Toronto Maple Leafs did.
Teams didn’t have to protect unrestricted free agents, thus players like Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals, Gabriel Landeskog of the Colorado Avalanche, Taylor Hall of the Boston Bruins, and Dougie Hamilton of the Carolina Hurricanes were left vulnerable in the draft. The Kraken have the option of selecting such players, but there is little incentive to do so since they may sign with any team they choose beginning July 28.
The following are some of the prominent individuals that are under contract for the 2023-22 season but have been left unprotected by their teams:
• Center Adam Henrique ($5.825 AAV, committed through 2023-24) and defender Kevin Shattenkirk ($3.9 million AAV, signed through 2023-23) of the Anaheim Ducks.
• Forward Jeff Skinner of the Buffalo Sabres, who renounced his no-movement clause in order to be exposed in the draft. Through the 2026-27 season, his deal has a $9 million cap hit. He was signed to that deal by Kraken assistant GM Jason Botterill while in Buffalo, and he played under Seattle general manager Ron Francis in Carolina.
• Nino Niederreiter of the Carolina Hurricanes, who has one more season at a $5.25 million cap hit before becoming an unrestricted free agent.
• Forward Milan Lucic ($5.25 million AAV through 2023-33) of the Calgary Flames, who renounced his no-movement clause, and defender Mark Giordano, a 37-year-old former Norris Trophy winner with one more year of $6.75 million against the quota.
• Joonas Donskoi ($3.9 million AAV through 2023-23) and Erik Johnson ($6 million AAV through 2023-23) of the Colorado Avalanche, who renounced his no-movement clause to allow the club to protect Cale Makar, Sam Girard, and Devon Toews.
• Max Domi ($5.3 million AAV through 2023-22) of the Columbus Blue Jackets, who was acquired in a high-profile deal last summer.
• Ben Bishop of the Dallas Stars, whose deal extends through 2023-23 and has a cap hit of $4,916,666. Due to injury, the three-time Vezina finalist did not play this season and renounced his no-movement clause to allow the club to protect goaltender Anton Khudobin.
• Jonathan Quick, 35, of the Los Angeles Kings, who has two years left on his 10-year contract with a $5.8 million cap cost.
• Kaapo Kahkonen, goalkeeper for the Minnesota Wild, who has one more year with a cap hit of $725,000. Instead, the Wild decided to preserve Cam Talbot, a 34-year-old goaltender.
• Price, the goalkeeper for the Montreal Canadiens, renounced his no-movement clause so that his club could protect backup goaltender Jake Allen. The wager here is that Price’s contract, which extends through 2025-26 and has a cap cost of $10.5 million, will prevent the Kraken from drafting the 33-year-old great.
• P.K. Subban of the New Jersey Devils, who has one more year on his contract with a $9 million cap cost.
• Josh Bailey ($5 million AAV through 2023-24) and Jordan Eberle ($5.5 million AAV through 2023-24) of the New York Islanders. Meanwhile, the Islanders kept fourth-liners Cal Clutterbuck and Matt Martin safe.
• Ryan Johansen ($8 million AAV through 2024-25) and Matt Duchene ($8 million AAV through 2025-26) of the Nashville Predators, as the club embarks on a “competitive rebuild,” according to GM David Poile.
• Ottawa Senators winger Evgenii Dadonov, who was a high-profile free-agent signing last offseason and is committed through 2023-23 with a $5 million salary cost. Former Penguins goaltender Matt Murray ($6.25 million AAV through 2023-24) was also left vulnerable.
• James van Riemsdyk ($7 million AAV through 2023-23) and Jakub Voracek ($8.25 million AAV through 2023-24) of the Philadelphia Flyers, as well as defender Shayne Gostisbehere ($4.5 million AAV through 2023-23) of the Philadelphia Flyers. When they were with the Flyers, all three played under Kraken coach Dave Hakstol.
• Pittsburgh Penguins forward Jason Zucker ($5.5 million AAV through 2023-23), who was acquired in February 2023 in exchange for a first-round selection.
• Blues standout forward Tarasenko, who has asked for a trade after being dissatisfied with the team’s handling of his numerous shoulder operations. The 29-year-old goal scorer’s deal has two years remaining on it, with a cap hit of $7.5 million. Vince Dunn, a restricted free agent, was also exposed by the Blues.
• Ondrej Palat ($5.3 million AAV through next season), Tyler Johnson ($5 million AAV through 2023-23), Alex Killorn ($4.45 million AAV through 2023-23), and Yanni Gourde ($5,166,666 AAV through 2024-25) of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
• Justin Schultz ($4 million AAV through next season) and Brenden Dillon ($3.9 million AAV through 2023-24) of the Washington Capitals. Meanwhile, the Capitals have extended Trevor van Riemsdyk’s contract ($950,000 AAV through 2023-23).
The complete listings are available here. There may be side agreements in place, similar to the Golden Knights’ 2017 expansion draft, to guarantee the Kraken don’t pick players who were left exposed. That’s how players like winger Alex Tuch and defender Shea Theodore wound up in Vegas.
In the meanwhile, the Kraken may begin interviewing free agents that were left unprotected during the expansion draft. Unrestricted free agent goaltender Chris Driedger of the Florida Panthers is likely to be one of them. If the Kraken sign a free agent before the expansion draft, that player will be considered the team’s chosen player.
The seattle kraken logo is a new logo that the Seattle Kraken will be using for their expansion draft. The logo was designed by an artist named Kraken.
Frequently Asked Questions
What players are eligible for the NHL expansion draft?
The NHL expansion draft is only open to players who are not currently playing in the NHL.
Who is exempt from NHL expansion draft?
Players who have a no-movement clause in their contract are exempt from the expansion draft.
What players will the Kraken get?
The Kraken is a new weapon that will be available to all players.