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Kraken’s must-have players in NHL.com expansion draft


The Seattle Kraken will select 30 players in the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft presented by Upper Deck on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; ESPN2, SN1, SN NOW).

The Kraken must choose one player from each of the 30 participating teams (the Vegas Golden Knights are exempt), including at least 14 forwards, nine defensemen and three goalies. Additionally, at least 20 of their caps must already be under contract for next season, with a total value of at least 60 percent ($ 48.9 million) of the $ 81.5 million salary cap of the NHL.

[RELATED: Expansion Draft protected list released | Expansion Draft coverage]

While we’ll soon know which players will make up the bulk of Kraken’s inaugural roster (the Golden Knights had 18 expansion draft players on their opening night roster), we asked five NHL.com editors. identify the player they believe to be the best. -candidate project.

Here are the selections.

jake bean, Carolina hurricanes

There are sexier, more accomplished names on the roster, but I’m not sure there is a player with more potential than Bean, the 23-year-old defenseman who just finished his rookie season. The sample size is small, but it’s clear Bean could be an elite defender in a few years, and part of the expansion draft process is betting on players who can thrive in roles. more important. Bean has 12 points (one goal, 11 assists) in 42 games this season, but has played a limited number of minutes (14:32 per game, fifth among Hurricanes defensemen who have played at least 36 games). He was a monster in the American Hockey League for Charlotte, playing a No.1 role, scoring 92 points (23 goals, 69 assists) in 129 career AHL games. Selected in the first round (No. 13) in the 2016 NHL Draft, Bean has the skills to be a top-pair defenseman and power-play quarterback you can build a team around. These opportunities don’t present themselves too often. – Shawn P. Roarke, Senior Managing Editor

Video: TBL @ CAR, Gm1: Bean tying a power play goal

Marc Giordano, Calgary Flames

I’m not going to pretend that the Flames captain is the most talented player the Kraken can take. He is not. But the defender could be the most important. There is a tone that needs to be set for an expansion team, as the Golden Knights have experienced with Marc-André Fleury, and that’s what Giordano could do. Not only would the 37-year-old provide an immediate boost in gravity and leadership, but the skills aren’t bad either. He just finished a season in which he scored 26 points (nine goals, 17 assists) in 56 games, while playing 22:57 per game. He would provide an anchor on their first pairing and a locker room voice, while arriving with a year and a cap of $ 6.75 million remaining on his contract. If I’m Seattle general manager Ron Francis, I take Giordano. – Amalie Benjamin, editor-in-chief

Video: CGY @ MTL: Giordano’s nets pulled from the point

Kaapo Kahkonen, Minnesota Savage

Well-known keepers like Carey Award, Ben Bishop, Stanley Cup champions Matt Murray and Jonathan Rapide, and unrestricted potential free agents Rask tuukka, Petr Mrazek and Frederik Andersen jump from the list of available players page. But many forget Kahkonen, who at one point this season was arguably the most valuable rookie goalie in a bumper crop that included the eventual Calder Trophy finalist. Alex Nedeljkovic, Igor shesterkin, Ilya Sorokin, Vitek Vanecek, Kevin lankinen, Jake oettinger and, much later in the season, Spencer’s Knight. When veteran Cam Talbot was in the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol, Kahkonen had a 12-4-0 streak, including a nine-game winning streak, with a 2.05 goals-against average, .927 save percentage and two shutouts from the start of the season to March 16. But soon after Talbot returned on February 26 and began to thrive in the home stretch (16-6-5, 2.68 GAA, .914 percentage d saves, two shutouts in his last 27 games), Kahkonen’s winning streak has ended and his role has diminished, with a tough road loss to the St. Louis Blues on April 9 (nine goals against) affecting undoubtedly his confidence and his place in the rotation. But the Kraken should still look at the big picture and select a goalie who turns 25 on Aug. 16 and has posted a 19-9-1 record in his first 29 games in the NHL. – Pete Jensen, senior fantasy editor

Video: Kahkonen stops 26 shots, wins first NHL shutout

Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens

In the same way that Fleury became the face of the Golden Knights in 2017, Price could easily fill the same role with the Kraken. The goalie has five more years on an eight-year, $ 84 million contract (average annual value of $ 10.5 million), which would be a heavy financial burden to absorb. But he showed in the race for the 2021 Stanley Cup Final that he still has plenty of it in his tank. The 33-year-old was 13-9 with a 2.28 GAA, .924 save percentage and one shutout in 22 games during the playoffs. While Price’s salary is a matter of debate, the impact of the arrival of one of the NHL’s best-known players is not. He’s not the talkative type, but just splashing his image across town is the kind of immediate publicity that a very young pro sports franchise needs. For Price, there’s personal seduction, too: Seattle is 110 miles from the border with British Columbia, his home province. – Mike Zeisberger, editor-in-chief

Video: MTL @ WPG, Gm2: The price propels the Habs with a shutout of match 2

Alex killorn, the lightning of Tampa Bay

You need a bit of everything when building a squad, and Killorn provides that with his ability to play well in a number of areas, whether it’s 5v5, shorthanded, or powerplay. The 31-year-old comes off a strong Stanley Cup playoff where he scored 17 points (eight goals, nine assists) in 19 games, helping the Lightning win the Cup for a second straight year. Two days after undergoing surgery to insert a rod to repair a shattered fibula suffered when he blocked a shot from the Canadiens defenseman Jeff petry in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, Killorn was skating and hoping to make it to Game 4. He didn’t play, but it’s impressive that he even tried his luck. The forward has 33 points (15 goals, 18 assists) in 56 regular season games and has scored 40 or more points in each of his three previous seasons in the NHL. Killorn would add courage, versatility, and championship experience to the Kraken. – Tracey Myers, Editor-in-Chief

Video: NYI @ TBL, GM5: Killorn takes second in power play