As the picks and rumors start to leak out before Wednesday’s Expansion Draft, here’s a running list of all the players and rumors surrounding the Seattle Kraken — with a dash of #analysis. Read at your own peril — because, you know, spoilers.
3:16 p.m. – With Dennis Cholowski the pick out of Detroit and John Quennville the pick out of Chicago, all the picks are accounted for.
The Kraken didn’t make as big of a splash as some expected them to on Wednesday, steering away from high-cache players like Vladimir Tarasenko, Carey Price, James Van Riemsdyk, and Jakub Vorecek.
The Kraken’s biggest weapon at this juncture is flexibility. Not only with upcoming free agents — like Gabriel Landeskog and Taylor Hall — but with eating cap space in trades.
Stay tuned, folks.
10:34 a.m. – Not a huge surprise, but it appears William Borgen is the pick out of Buffalo.
Seattle is stockpiling good/interesting defensemen. It leaves one to wonder if there are some trades in the works flipping some of them to other teams…
10:04 a.m. – We have a pick from Anaheim and the New York Rangers (maybe).
Both Fleury and Blackwell were trendy choices for selection, so no surprises there.
Initial thoughts: The Kraken are prioritizing flexibility over anything else. GM Ron Francis passed on big names with big tickets attached. Additionally, Francis is wasting no time building out a deep and strong defensive corps.
However, Seattle’s 30 selections in the Expansion Draft won’t likely be the end of it. This tweet from Seravalli is perhaps some foreshadowing into that.
9:06 a.m. – A lot has happened in the last 50 minutes. Here’s what we know so far.
Seattle is taking at forward: Jared McCann (Toronto), Morgan Geekie (Carolina), Joonas Donskoi (Colorado), Calle Jarnkrok (Nashville), Nathan Bastian (New Jersey), Jordan Eberle (New York Islanders), Carsen Twarynski (Philadelphia), Brandon Tanev (Pittsburgh), Alexander True (San Jose), Kole LInd (Vancouver), Mason Appleton (Winnipeg), and Tyler Pitlick (Arizona).
At defense: Mark Giordano (Calgary), Gavin Bayreuther (Columbus), Jamie Oleksiak (Dallas), Adam Larsson (Edmonton), Carson Soucy (Minnesota), Cale Fleury (Montreal), Kurtis MacDermid (Los Angeles Kings), Jeremy Lauzon (Boston), and Vince Dunn (St. Louis).
In net: Chris Driedger (Florida), Joey Daccord (Ottawa), Vitek Vanecek (Washington).
We don’t know the picks from Anaheim, Buffalo, New York Rangers, Detroit, or Chicago. For Tampa Bay the Kraken are highly connected to forward Yanni Gourde, but that hasn’t been confirmed yet.
8:16 a.m. – The Kraken also have passed on Vladimir Tarasenko.
8:10 a.m. – For those holding out hope for Carey Price, that isn’t happening.
Defensemen Cale Fleury appears to be a likely pick out of Montreal, according to Frank Seravalli.
7:45 a.m. – Well, good morning.
It appears defensemen Adam Larsson will be the pick in Edmonton and blue liner Jamie Oleksiak will be the pick out of Dallas, according to Frank Seravalli of the Daily Faceoff.
These are the second and third players strongly linked to the Kraken, joining Florida netminder Chris Driedger. The selection and subsequent signing of the unrestricted free agent goaltender to a three-year, $3.5 million average annual value (AAV) contract was a poorly kept secret.
Larsson’s contract details are out, thanks to TSN’s Darren Dreger.
Looking over the post-draft comments on social media, I’m somewhat shocked at the degree of negativity I’m seeing. Granted, b*tching and moaning about team moves seems to be fans’ second-favorite sport, but the near-unanimous conclusion that this was a complete failure, the worst set of expansion draft choices in NHL history, and a guarantee that the Kraken will be cellar-dwellers for the next three years (I even read one opinion that “they’ll be the worst team in the league for the next five seasons, after which they’ll fold”) or more seems a bit of an extreme reaction even by those standards. In your opinions…
1) Is such a reaction, even in its less-extreme expressions, even remotely justifiable?
2) If so, what choices should Francis and his brain trust have made that would have improved the results?
This isn’t even the final version of the team, so the social media reactions are hilariously bad. But it is social media.
Solid D and G options. Some interesting pieces on O but Francis will likely need to trade some surplus D for O. And they have plenty of cap space in a league with a flat cap and teams struggling to shed contracts. The Kraken will be fine (much to the chagrin of the Twitter mob).
The team isn’t a top 5 team but they are no way going to be bottom 5 (or even bottom10).
Best advice: Don’t read social media. Follow good reporters and team sources for news, but just ignore the mob as they don’t know any more than anyone else (and, often times, they know nothing).
You need to learn to filter the signal from the noise or you won’t get any value out of social media.
Obviously someone holding that opinion is trolling or knows nothing about hockey. Either way its not worth belaboring.
I didn’t see the near-unanimous negative conclusion that you saw.
That being said what I did see was a lot of legitimate confusion about where the trades and side-deals are that must be accompanying some of the picks.
The biggest advantage of the current expansion rules is that it gives the drafting team a lot of leverage to extract value from every other team. Vegas used this to great effect- making side deals with TEN of the thirty other teams.
We haven’t seen any yet from Seattle but I am still presuming that some must have been made or some of the picks make no sense.
However I am not overly optimistic as Ron did not look very confident at the event yesterday and made that comment about getting to sleep more over the previous three days than they had anticipated.
Such a reaction is not remotely justifiable, no. The big-name veterans that were out there are on terrible contracts. This is only the foundation, and there is plenty of cap space left to shape the inaugural roster the way the Kraken want it. And by the way, they got some REALLY good players, so the people that are saying those things should kick rocks.
At this point I am extremely concerned Francis wasn’t able to leverage the cap space into valuable assets. Whatever we might think they are. Pitlicky for a fourth is it? Will be happy to be proven wrong if they sign Hamilton or Lamdeskog or whatever though!
Social media reactions never surprise me because most of the have never played hockey or are committed to watching a lot of game. I have all the I want to watch and I have years of coaching experience. I love what Seattle did. They drafted fast skaters, tough players who can play hard on the boards almost all players are under 30. Lots of salary cap to sign gifted offensive players and even a couple of players for trading. A great organizations starts with a great far system as well so when injuries happens and you lose no quality. Also realize that many players they chose never got got a chance because they played on teams whose first 2 lines played 40 minutes of the game but when they did play the were proven players. The D chosen is big fast and a tough presence on the boards. I look for Seattle to be one of the hardest teams to play against and should at least make the playoffs and compete in years to comes as well.