Dominic Tiano (and friends) is back with a fun project to simulate what the NHL’s newest franchise, the Seattle Kraken, could do on July 21st when the league has its next expansion draft. We’d like to acknowledge and thank CapFriendly and their Expansion Draft Simulator for making this post possible. If you haven’t used it, please check it out here Seattle Expansion Draft Simulator – CapFriendly – NHL Salary Caps -KL
There are or will be a number of mock drafts related to the Seattle Kraken as they prepare to join the National Hockey League for the 2021-2022 season. This is my approach.
Trade deadline has come and gone and with the exception of the current 31 teams locking up either their restricted free agents or extending their unrestricted free agents (or not) rosters are pretty much locked up as we head towards the playoffs and a very busy offseason.
With the expansion draft set to take place on July 21, 2021, there is a little wrinkle for unrestricted free agents (UFA’s). Since free agent frenzy doesn’t begin until July 28, a current team could come to an agreement with a potential UFA and not sign until after the expansion draft, therefore they wouldn’t have to use a protection spot to keep them under their control. For the purpose of this exercise, we are assuming UFA’s will not be signed until after the expansion draft.
But Seattle does hold an exclusive negotiating period where they can sign a UFA prior to the expansion draft, however that player would count as the pick from the team he was under contract with when he signed with Seattle.
Restricted free agents must also be qualified or they become unrestricted. In our scenario, we are assuming all RFA’s are qualified (and if they aren’t, would we really select them in the expansion draft?) therefore, they will need protection from being selected.
Teams have the option of protecting 7 forwards, 3 defensemen and 1 goaltender OR 8 skaters and 1 goaltender. Teams must also make available 2 forwards and 1 defenseman that has played in 27 games during the 2020-21 season or a total of 56 games combined during the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons. They must also make available one goaltender who is under contract for the 2021-22 season or a goaltender who is an RFA and has received his qualifying offer.
Seattle must select a minimum of 14 forwards, 9 defensemen and 3 goaltenders and their combined cap hits must equal 60% to 100% of this season’s cap which is $81.5 million ($48.5 million minimum). Seattle must also select a minimum of 20 players that are under contract for the 2021-2022 season, regardless of position.
Making the protected decisions for the 30 teams (remember, the Vegas Golden Knights are exempt) are four people I call intelligent hockey people. They made protected lists up for 7 or 8 teams each and then yours truly will be making Seattle’s picks.
From the list supplied to me by the four “General Managers” I have selected 16 forwards, 10 defensemen and 4 goaltenders with a combined cap hit of $61,067,255 leaving Seattle just shy of $20.5 million to sign the restricted free agents I have chosen for them (or enter the free agent market). The picks also meet the minimum requirement of selecting at least 20 players that are under contract for the 2021-2022 season.
Here’s my thought process when selecting: I wanted to build from the net out with at least one goaltender that can be sent to the minors without having to clear waivers (Joey Daccord) and then build as strong a defense as possible from the available players. Once those selections were made, I picked my forward group from the remaining teams. I wanted them young with some veteran leadership sprinkled in. My thought was that if I could be strong in net with the best possible d-core I could select, that I could always trade for help needed up front.
So, here are my selections for the Seattle Kraken (as we get closer to the draft, I will do another mock draft based on signing extensions and trades that might happen):
Braden Holtby (Vancouver) $4,300,000
Vitek Vanecek (Washington) $716,667
Anton Khudobin (Dallas) $3,333,333
Joey Daccord (Ottawa) $750,000
Michael Matheson (Pittsburgh) $4,875,000
Devon Toews (Colorado) $4,100,000
Riley Stillman (Chicago) $733,333
Vince Dunn (St Louis) $1,875,000
Caleb Jones (Edmonton) $850,000
Jake Bean (Carolina) $863,333
Josh Mahura (Anaheim) $745,000
Matt Dumba (Minnesota) $6,000,000
Erik Cernak (Tampa Bay) $2,950,000
Markus Nutivaara (Florida) $2,700,000
Oskar Lindblom (Philadelphia) $3,000,000
Richard Panik (Detroit) $2,750,000
Nick Ritchie (Boston) $1,498,925
Brayden Burke (Arizona) $925,000
Dillon Dube (Calgary) $778,333
Adam Lowry (Winnipeg) $2,916,666
Kieffer Bellows (New York Islanders) $894,166
Alex True (San Jose) $763,333
Jake Evans (Montreal) $750,000
Colin Blackwell (New York Rangers) $725,000
Kyle Okposo (Buffalo) $6,000,000
Luke Kunin (Nashville) $2,300,000
Cliff Pu (Columbus) $745,000
Joey Anderson (Toronto) $750,000
Martin Frk (Los Angeles) $725,000
Nathan Bastian (New Jersey) $714,166