Although the Vegas Golden Knights are exempt from the Seattle Kraken Expansion Draft, I thought it would be a fun way to pass some time by drafting my own team like they did back in 2017. With that, I put on my GM cap on and drafted a Seattle Kraken team from scratch. Here is my attempt at being an armchair GM.
Anaheim Ducks: F Alexander Volkov (former TB 2nd Rounder is worth a shot due to his offensive potential).
Arizona Coyotes: F Michael Bunting (another young F with offensive potential).
Boston Bruins: F Nick Ritchie (former Anaheim 1st rounder, big physical winger).
Buffalo Sabres: D Colin Miller (experienced 2 way D who thrived in Vegas in year 1 after their expansion draft).
Calgary Flames: F Matthew Phillips (diminutive former Junior scoring star).
Carolina Hurricanes: F Nino Niederreiter (solid top 6 F).
Chicago Blackhawks: D Nikita Zadorov (former Buffalo 1st rounder is a huge presence 6’6″ 235 lbs).
Colorado Avalanche: F Joonas Donskoi (solid 2nd or 3rd line presence).
Columbus Blue Jackets: F Max Domi (former Arizona 1st rounder should anchor second line).
Dallas Stars: D Andrei Sekera (veteran experienced blue liner).
Detroit Red Wings: F Evgeny Svechnikov (former 1st round pick with offensive flair).
Edmonton Oilers: D Cam Russell (veteran defensive defenceman).
Florida Panthers: D Radko Gudas (physical heart and soul player).
Los Angeles Kings: D Olli Maatta (experienced, talented blue liner).
Minnesota Wild: D Carson Soucy (more blue line experience with impressive +/-numbers).
Montreal Canadiens: D Brett Kulak (experienced depth defenceman).
Nashville Predators: F Ryan Johansen (a #1 Centre)
New Jersey Devils: F Nathan Bastian (young potential F with 25 goal potential).
New York Islanders: F Otto Koivula (hulking young prospect capable of playing 3 F positions).
New York Rangers: F Julien Gauthier (former Carolina 1st rounder).
Ottawa Senators: G Joey Daccord (3rd goalie option with NHL experience).
Philadelphia Flyers: D Shayne Gostisbehere (experienced offensive threat on the back end).
Pittsburgh Penguins: G Casey DeSmith (capable back up goaltender with ability to handle 30 starts).
San Jose Sharks: F Ryan Donato (another solid bottom 6 F option at centre).
St Louis Blues: F Vladimir Tarasenko (all star sniper and top line winger).
Tampa Bay Lightning: F Pat Maroon (was on the last 3 Cup winning teams, need I say more? Great veteran presence). Toronto Maple Leafs: F Pierre Engvall (big skilled forward with untapped potential, may break out given the chance). Vancouver Canucks: G Brayden Holtby (veteran starting goaltender).
Washington Capitals: D Branden Dillon (experienced defenseman).
Winnipeg Jets: F Mason Appleton (pesky young forward that can center a 4th line).
I chose 17 Forwards, 10 Defensemen and 3 Goaltenders.
My cap hit is 67M and I have 7 Restricted Free Agents that need contracts but the RFA’s that I chose will come in relatively cheaply on their new deals as they don’t have much leverage. At the end of the season 35M comes off the books as 14 contracts expire. Experienced players having a successful season on final years of contracts are frequently sought after at the trade deadline by contending teams.
By selecting 10 experienced and capable NHL defensemen I’d have the ability to move a couple of them through trade to acquire more prospects and or additional draft picks this season and beyond.
I’m comfortable with starting goaltender Brayden Holtby for a season and Casey DeSmith backing him up. Joey Daccord can come up from the minors in a pinch.
Opening Night Roster:
Forward lines: Niederreiter – Johansen – Tarasenko / Ritchie – Domi – Donskoi / Engvall – Donato – Volkov / Maroon – Appleton – Svechnikov
Defence: Miller – Maata, Dillon – Gostisbehere – Gudas, Soucy
Goaltenders: Holtby, DeSmithEmbed from Getty Images