Great news, Seattle hockey fans! It’s another week, and we have seven more action-packed days of NHL hockey ahead of us. This week at Games on the Radar headquarters we decided to mix things up a bit. Instead of focusing on teams we’re going to shift to players.
Which players are in action this week that could potentially be in the mix when the Kraken decide who they want to bring to Seattle at the Expansion Draft on July 21? You can pretend you’re in general manager Ron Francis’s war room and do some scouting, while also enjoying some fun hockey.
This week we’ll be keeping our radar focused on the Honda West Division which is top-heavy in the standings but does offer some intriguing Expansion picks.
Here are this week’s games on the radar:
Colorado Avalanche versus Los Angeles Kings
When: Friday 6 PM, ESPN+, NHL.tv
The Avalanche are not only an entertaining team, even with their unmatching blue pants, but their depth will lead to some interesting options for the Kraken at the Expansion Draft. Defense is where Seattle may strike gold and it could come in the form of Devon Toews. He’s in his first year with the Avalanche after coming over from the New York Islanders and would slide in as a top-pairing blueliner with the Kraken. At 27, he’s still relatively young and is routinely logging 25-plus minutes a night for Colorado. His possession numbers are strong, with a Corsi-for of 58 percent which would be hard to find elsewhere. He’s solid in his own end and is chipping in offensively with four goals in Colorado’s first 20 games this year.
Up front, an interesting option for Seattle at the Expansion Draft is Joonas Donskoi. The former San Jose Shark is off to what could be a career year. He has six goals so far and is shooting a scorching 28 percent, far and away his career-best. Donskoi is a glue player who may not be on the top line but can provide consistent minutes in a second- or third-line role.
Minnesota Wild versus Arizona Coyotes
When: Friday, 5 PM, NHL.tv
The Wild are in the hunt out West. Yes, Minnesota is in the West which, well, doesn’t make a whole lot of sense but what does this year? They also have some tough choices to make with their protected list.
Minnesota has three defensemen with no-move clauses in their contracts which means the Wild may be forced to watch a player like Matt Dumba go to the Kraken in the Expansion Draft. Dumba would be a great haul for Seattle as he is a top-pairing defenseman with a solid track record in the NHL already. He can be physical as well as drive play. His underlying numbers are all positive and match his offensive output. Dumba, 27, is in his eighth season after playing junior in the WHL with the Red Deer Rebels and Portland Winterhawks. He’ll be on the Wild power play and when he does, watch for the bomb of a clapper he possesses.
Dumba is a big piece for a Wild club that is contending this year. They know he may be lost to the Kraken for nothing in the Expansion Draft and may attempt to assuage their losses by trading him at April’s trade deadline. If they don’t, Seattle will have to look elsewhere from Minnesota. So, when your eye is not trained on Dumba firing slap shots, watch fellow defenseman Carson Soucy. While not the offensive threat that Dumba is, Soucy is a solid player in his own end. He wouldn’t project as a top-pairing defenseman for Seattle, but the Kraken could use a guy like Soucy at the bottom of their rotation.