The NHL expansion draft will take place on July 21, 2021 and became the center of attention in the hockey world when the Stanley Cup Finals came to an end. The list of players available to Seattle was announced on Sunday. There are 36 forwards, 12 defensemen and 9 goalies as options for the Kraken to select. The rules of the draft dictate that the Kraken will select one player from each team, excluding the Vegas Golden Knights.
NHL Expansion Draft | Top 3 Unprotected Players
Contracts will definitely be a factor in who the Kraken decide to appoint to their inaugural roster. The lists of available players released contain plenty of big names that will be enticing to the 32nd NHL team, but there are three NHL players up for grabs that are among some of the finest in the league.
Carey Price, Canadiens
The 33-year-old goalie was a bit of a surprise to find on the list of those available considering he just led his team to a Stanley Cup Final showing. Price put up an elite .924 save percentage in the playoffs and is a goalie that turns into a brick wall when he is on a hot streak. The only dilemma with Price is that he is human and does not always perform his best. Price has only had a save percentage of over .910 once in the regular season over the last four years.
Considering this, his cap hit is set at 5 years at $10.5 million, including an $11 million signing bonus. That is a lofty price for the Kraken, but Carey Price has proven he can be worth it. There are many notable goalies open for the Kraken including Jonathan Quick, Matt Murray and Braden Holtby. However, Price is the one coming off of the best season of the group and would be an invaluable addition to the new roster.
A legend from the deep awakens.
— Seattle Kraken (@SeattleKraken) July 23, 2020
Gabriel Landeskog, Colorado Avalanche
The former captain of the Colorado Avalanche was unable to agree to terms with the team and as a result, is available to the Kraken. The expansion team actually has exclusive recruiting rights to the Left Wing. The Kraken have to draw up a contract by Wednesday if they want to recruit Landeskog. This is a big deal for the new team because the 28-year-old is in his prime and has shown leadership and technical ability with the Avalanche, who ended up first in the West for the 2020-21 season.
Last season, Landeskog netted 20 goals for his team and put up an average of nine points per game. He can score and he is a leader; both of which will be essential to this new team. Landeskog is still young enough that he can execute a high level of hockey, but he is also a veteran who can command a team.
It should be noted that he became captain at 19 years old, making him the second-youngest captain in the league’s history. Landeskog has been a leader since the beginning of his NHL career and is an asset to any team. It’s also a plus for the Kraken that Landeskog is an unrestricted free agent.
Max Domi, Columbus Blue Jackets
The center for the Columbus Blue Jackets has been left exposed for the expansion draft. Domi was a first-round pick in 2013 and the now 26-year-old has a lot left to offer to a team. Domi just finished up his first year with the Blue Jackets, but was an essential part of the organization. The former Montreal and Arizona player put up 24 points this season with nine goals but has been known to stack up 72 points in a season.
In a draft filled with older players who are still talented, but might be past their prime, Domi would be a good pick up for the Kraken. Although not extremely young, Domi is still younger than many unprotected players and capable of putting up decent numbers for years to come. Domi only has a year left on his current contract at $5.3 million, which is not bad for a player of his caliber for the Kraken.
There are many good players up for grabs for the Kraken including those listed and others such as Matt Duchene, P.K. Subban, Vladimir Tarasenko, and more. Of course, they will have to play it smart and put their money in the correct places. They can’t take every All-Star offered from each team, but they have plenty of good options to build a competitive roster.