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Seattle Kraken Expansion Draft – Projecting the Pacific Division Protection Lists

Hockey article at Knup Sports

The Seattle Kraken Expansion Draft is scheduled for July 21. As organizations, fans, and players alike await the fate of their favorites, I’ve put together both a list of players I believe each team will protect AND a projected Seattle Kraken roster.

The Seattle Kraken Expansion Draft is scheduled for July 21. As organizations, fans, and players alike await the fate of their favorites, I’ve put together both a list of players I believe each team will protect AND a projected Seattle Kraken roster.

Notes about the Mock Seattle Kraken Expansion Draft

1.) This mock did not include any trades. Seattle will likely try to work deals with teams, either to acquire additional draft picks or quality prospects. Likewise, other teams may look to pawn off a bad contract or try to incentivize the Kraken to take a less-prized player or prospect. While I fully expect at least a couple of such trades to happen, this version did not account for that.

2.) This mock was completed on July 11, 2021. If trades or buyouts occur before Friday’s team posting, some adjustments may be necessary, but I’m looking to keep this as close to the original mock as possible.

3.) This mock gave all teams the option to protect either seven forwards, three defensemen, and one goaltender OR eight skaters (regardless of position) and one goaltender. Several players are expected to waive their no-movement clauses (NMCs), though that information may not become public ahead of the Seattle Kraken expansion draft. I’ve chosen only to waive the NMCs for players I felt confident would waive their NMCs.

4.) When completing Seattle’s roster, I used CapFriendly’s interactive Seattle Kraken Expansion Draft Simulator to guarantee all teams exposed their players appropriately and to ensure the projected Kraken roster met all selection requirements, including the minimum numbers of forwards, defensemen, and goaltenders, salary cap compliance, and contracts which already cover the 2021-22 season. CapFriendly has been a crucial resource on this project, and I highly encourage you to check out more of their work!

5.) I’ll be releasing one division per day Monday through Thursday of this week (July 12-15) with the Mock Seattle Kraken roster being published on Friday, July 16. The schedule will look like this:

  • Seattle Kraken Expansion Draft – Projecting the Central Division Protection Lists: Click Here.
  • Seattle Kraken Expansion Draft – Projecting the Atlantic Division Protection Lists: Click Here.
  • Seattle Kraken Expansion Draft – Projecting the Metropolitan Division Protection Lists: Click Here.
  • Seattle Kraken Expansion Draft – Projecting the Seattle Kraken Roster: Click Here.


Without any further ado, here are the Pacific Division Protection Lists.

Anaheim Ducks Protection List



Max JonesHaydn FleuryJohn Gibson
Isac LundeströmCam Fowler
Rickard RakellHampus Lindholm
Troy TerryJosh Manson


It may come as a surprise to see Anaheim opt for the 8-1 protection list, but with an aging group of forwards, there is a need to create roster space in the lineup for younger players like Trevor Zegras, Jacob Perreault, and Brayden Tracey.

Additionally, Anaheim has built their roster from the net out. John Gibson is a Top 5 goaltender in the league, though over the past few season’s he has been left out to dry, largely due to the Ducks’ inability to sustain offensive pressure at the other end of the ice. This makes it even more important to protect their defensive core of Fowler, Lindholm, and Manson. Picking up Fleury from Carolina (which has been a factory for quality defensemen in recent years) gives Anaheim a solid top four defense group, and losing one of those four to Seattle would hurt more than losing a forward.

Notable Exposed Players: Sam Steel, Danton Heinen, Kevin Shattenkirk, Alexander Volkov.


Calgary Flames Protection List



Mikael BacklundRasmus AnderssonJacob Markström **
Dillon DubeNoah Hanifin
Johnny GaudreauChris Tanev
Elias Lindholm
Andrew Mangiapane
Sean Monahan
Matthew Tkachuk


** = player has an NMC and must be protected


Here is the first example we saw where a player waived their NMC to benefit the team. Milan Lucic has two years remaining on his $5.25M AAV contract, and at age 33, it’s almost guaranteed Seattle won’t select Lucic for that price. By waiving his NMC, Lucic also allowed Calgary to avoid a difficult decision between rising stars like Dube and Mangiapane.

While defense was a noticeable issue in 2021, Calgary is able to retain, arguably, their top three defensemen in the system. Exposing captain Mark Giordano does have some risk, as Giordano has still been a solid contributor. Here, Calgary is gambling whether Seattle would take a 37-year-old defenseman with a considerable $6.75M cap hit next season or take another player with a more cap-favorable contract.

Notable Exposed Players: Giordano, Oliver Kylingon, Matthew Phillips, Josh Leivo.

Edmonton Oilers Protection List



Josh ArchibaldEthan BearStuart Skinner
Leon DraisaitlDuncan Keith**
Jujhar KhairaDarnell Nurse
Connor McDavid
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
Jesse Puljujarvi
Kailer Yamamoto


** = player has an NMC and must be protected


Depending on what happens with contract extensions for defensemen Adam Larsson and Tyson Barrie, Edmonton could reverse course and opt for the 8-1 route if either Larsson or Barrie strike a new deal with the Oilers ahead of the expansion draft. However, what seems likely at this point is Edmonton will protect their known assets in Bear, former , and Nurse defensively while continuing to negotiate extensions for their blueliners.

Edmonton takes a bit of a risk here as well in exposing defenseman Oscar Klefbom, who has been excellent when healthy but missed all of the 2021 season after surgery for a chronic shoulder injury. Klefbom may not be ready to play at the start of the 2021-22 season, but if he is fully healthy, he should be a solid factor on the blueline for whichever team’s jersey he ends up wearing.

Notable exposed players: Larsson, Barrie, Klefbom, Mike Smith, Zach Kassian.


Stay tuned to KnupSports.com for all the latest NHL offseason news.


Los Angeles Kings Protection List



Lias AnderssonDrew Doughty**Cal Petersen
Viktor ArvidssonMatt Roy
Andreas AthanasiouSean Walker
Carl Grundström
Alex Iafallo
Adrian Kempe
Anze Kopitar


** = player has an NMC and must be protected


With a relatively thin defensive group, Los Angeles opts for the 7-3-1 route, shuffling things around a bit after acquiring Arvidsson from the Nashville Predators in a trade on July 1. Petersen gets the nod as the protected goaltender over Jonathan Quick due to the latter’s age (35), contract status (two more years at $5.8 million AAV), and recent performance (sub-.900 save percentage in two of the last three seasons).

Several of L.A.’s key pieces aren’t eligible for exposure, such as Tobias Björnfot, Quinton Byfield, Gabriel Vilardi, and Rasmus Kupari. The Seattle Kraken Expansion Draft may sting a little bit this time around, but it shouldn’t hurt nearly as much as losing Brayden McNabb to Vegas in 2017.

Notable Exposed Players: Quick, Olli Maatta, Blake Lizotte, Trevor Moore, Dustin Brown


San Jose Sharks Protection List



Rudolfs BalcersBrent BurnsJosef Kořenář
Logan CoutureErik Karlsson **
Jonathan DahlénMarc-Édouard Vlasic **
Tomáš Hertl
Evander Kane
Kevin Labanc
Timo Meier


** = player has an NMC and must be protected


If there’s a bright spot to having traded away a bunch of picks and tying up $26.5 million among three defensemen, it’s that there isn’t much in San Jose for the Kraken to choose from. The exemption list is a mile long with players who may not see ice time with the NHL club for several years. San Jose’s exposed players won’t include any potential Top 6 forwards, Top 4 defensemen, or a goaltender worth starting or backing up for a new club. While there is an INCREDIBLY slim chance San Jose exposes Brent Burns in the hopes of moving his contract (four more seasons at $8 million AAV), I would be stunned if Seattle took the bait.

While it will be nice to not have their future plans derailed by expansion, the Sharks are still three years away from being three years away from competing for the Stanley Cup again. It’s going to be a long offseason in San Jose.

Notable Exposed Players: Ryan Donato, Matt Nieto, Martin Jones, Greg Pateryn, Kurtis Gabriel


Vancouver Canucks Protection List



Brock BoeserOlli JuoleviThatcher Demko
Bo HorvatTyler Myers
Kole LindNate Schmidt
J.T. Miller
Tyler Motte
Tanner Pearson
Elias Pettersson


A season ago, Vancouver likely dreaded the impending Seattle Kraken Expansion Draft. Hopes were high that the team was close to competing for a Cup after advancing to the Western Conference semifinals. But after a disastrous season which saw the team shut down for a month following a COVID-19 outbreak, underperformance from several key players, and failure to reach the playoffs for the fifth time in the past six seasons, it’s clear a shakeup is needed.

Quinn Hughes, Vasili Podkolzin, and Nils Höglander are exempt from draft exposure, and Vancouver keeps their Top 6 forwards group intact through the 7-3-1 protection route. While there is some considerable talent exposed, several of those players also come with considerable risk (particularly Jake Virtanen, who is facing a civil lawsuit in British Columbia after allegations of sexual assault).

Notable Exposed Players: Virtanen, Braden Holtby, Madison Bowey, Jay Beagle, Antoine Roussel


Vegas Golden Knights Protection List



Trick question. Vegas’ entire team is protected, as the Golden Knights are still the newest team in the league and are not required to expose players for the Seattle Kraken expansion draft. While it also means they are not eligible to take in considerable money as part of the revenue split from Seattle’s $650 million expansion fee, the Golden Knights are coming out way ahead here.

Vegas could be active in the trade market ahead of the expansion draft, helping teams to set up a more favorable protection list, but with their cap situation, trades need to be nearly even-money, which could limit returns or require more significant asset departure.

Still, with no losses to the expansion draft and a roster that has made three playoff semifinals appearances in four years, Vegas is sitting pretty and is the heavy favorite to be the Pacific Division Champion in 2021-22.

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