It’s finally time to meet your new favorite players, Seattle fans.
After submitting its picks to the league this morning, the Kraken will announce the players it is selecting from each of the 30 eligible NHL teams — excluding the Vegas Golden Knights — to build out its inaugural roster tonight starting at 5 p.m.
Teams had the option to protect seven forwards, three defensemen and a goalie, or eight overall skaters and a goalie.
Seattle will choose at least 14 forwards, nine defensemen and three goalies, plus four remaining players at any position. At least 20 must be under contract next season at a $48.9 million minimum cap hit.
Follow along throughout Wednesday’s expansion draft for full coverage and analysis of the Kraken’s picks and how the rest of the league will be impacted by Seattle’s newest franchise.
Let the poaching begin.
Kraken expansion draft roster
Here’s a look at the Kraken’s roster as Seattle selects players from each of the 30 eligible NHL teams.
After the player evaluations end, the celebration begins for Kraken and fans in NHL expansion draft
Two years and eight months. Over 135 weeks.
That was the wait time from the day the NHL announced a team was coming to Seattle to the day this city found out who comprised this team.
We’ll find out soon enough whether the Kraken nailed the expansion draft the way the Vegas Golden Knights did four years earlier. But we do know this: It nailed the introduction.
With Lake Union and the Seattle skyline in the backdrop, the Kraken unveiled its roster with captivating flair. Shawn Kemp and Gary Payton were there. Bobby Wagner, Macklemore and Lenny Wilkens, too.
As sunny Seattle is shown off to a national audience, Kraken opts for substance in NHL expansion draft
Forget floatplane landings, star power and every other rumored possibility that preceded Wednesday’s expansion draft event at Gas Works Park, where the Kraken unveiled its first chosen NHL players.
The Kraken’s expansion selections, one from each of 30 teams, consisted mostly of hard-nosed, workmanlike types better suited to taxi drop-offs in the nearby parking lot than glitzy surprises in front of a live ESPN2 television audience. Once the possibility of the Kraken taking Montreal Canadiens star goalie Carey Price or Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog was eliminated earlier in the day — along with any suspense as the entire player list was leaked by media outlets — all that remained was the show.
Mark Giordano revels in draft status
Mark Giordano, 37, who comes over to the Kraken from the Calgary Flames after a 15-year run, was on-site and offered the crowd the line of the night.
“This is the first time in my career I’ve ever been drafted," he said.
Giordano broke in as an undrafted free agent with the Flames in 2005. The left-handed defenseman was named the team’s captain before the 2013-14 season and in 2018-19 became the fifth NHL blue-liner to record 60 points at age 35 or older.
Kraken's first home game will be against Canucks
The first Kraken opponent at home will be the Vancouver Canucks on Oct. 23. The announcement came during the expansion draft at Gas Works Park, drawing quite a few cheers.
The NHL regular-season schedules will be announced at 3 p.m. Thursday. The Kraken is expected to play at least two and possibly three games on the road after the schedule begins Oct. 12. The Kraken's season opener will be that day at Las Vegas.
From there, Climate Pledge Arena is expected to be ready.
Gourde, Eberle should be key contributors
The picks are coming fast and furious, and so far they all match the earlier social-media leaks.
No Carey Price, but defenseman Cale Fleury, 22, was indeed taken from Montreal.
Ottawa goaltender Joey Daccord, 24, was next, followed by Yanni Gourde, 29, from the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Gourde pick should be helpful to the Kraken, especially in their forechecking game.
Forward Jared McCann, 25, from the Maple Leafs, followed by Carolina Hurricanes forward Morgan Geekie, 23, and then Jordan Eberle, 31, of the New York Islanders, a right wing that should really help with the team’s goal production.
Goalie Chris Driedger eager for 'incredible opportunity'
New Kraken goalie Chris Driedger, who flew into Seattle on Wednesday morning, spoke with the media backstage. He has a reported three-year, $10.5 million contract.
After finishing an interview he even started taking questions from a boater lingering in the waters nearby.
Driedger said he’d heard rumblings during the season the Kraken was interested in him. So he’d given some thought to coming here before the Kraken approached him the past few days.
He added: “One of the first questions I asked (GM) Ron (Francis), I said ‘Ron, what do you think about how you’re going to build this team.’ And he kind of directed me to the Carolina Hurricanes and how he built that team from the ground up there.
“Being in Florida, I played a lot against that franchise, and they’re pretty well-built. So it seems like we’re going to play some good defense. … I’m really looking forward to seeing how it all comes together."
It’s been a whirlwind since he agreed to the deal.
“I found out a few days before, so it’s been a bit of a whirlwind," he said. “And there’d been some reporting done on it, so there were a lot of people reaching out."
Driedger views this as “an incredible opportunity for me," given he slots in as a potential No. 1 goalie instead of the backup he was in Florida behind Sergei Bobrovski. For a time he also wondered whether Carey Price was coming from Montreal and might bump him back to a backup role as well.
“There was obviously a situation where Carey Price could have come and it would have been a similar situation to what I was in in Florida," he said. “I thought about that, and I said, ‘You know what? It doesn’t matter. I’m not going to worry about that.’ I’m going to play my game and do what I do to be successful."
Lenny Wilkens, Licorice the octopus make picks
Legendary former Sonics coach and player Lenny Wilkens was called up on the stage to announce the Kraken's second pick, which was Buffalo Sabres defenseman Will Borgen, 24.
An octopus named “Licorice" on the big screen — on location from the Seattle Aquarium — announced Dennis Cholowski, 23, of the Detroit Red Wings as pick No. 3.
It apparently took the Kraken much of the day to get hold of Cholowski to tell him he’d been picked, which is why it took so long for his name to leak on social media.
Jeremy Lauzon is the Kraken's first announced pick
Kraken GM Ron Francis told the crowd, ahead of announcing the team’s first pick: “We wanted players with character. We certainly wanted players that compete hard."
He then selected Jeremy Lauzon, 24, a Boston Bruins defenseman. Lauzon can play both sides of the blue line and is familiar to Kraken assistant coach Jay Leach from their time together in the AHL.
Kraken fans follow NHL tradition, boo Gary Bettman
The broadcast opening was greeted by fans in attendance booing NHL commissioner Gary Bettman — which has become tradition for fans during Stanley Cup presentations, the NHL draft and any other time Bettman speaks.
Bettman’s microphone also wasn’t turned on when he began speaking, prompting a few more catcalls from the crowd.
“Yes, with the booing and all these people — you are ready for NHL hockey," Bettman said, drawing some laughs.
He later mistakenly referred to Climate Pledge Arena as “Climate Change Arena" — which the crowd murmured about — but got through the rest of his introductory remarks unscathed.
Report: Kraken will take Dennis Cholowski out of Detroit
Detroit Red Wings: defenseman Dennis Cholowski
Everyone assumed it was Troy Stetcher, but the Kraken again switched things up and selected defenseman Dennis Cholowski, 23, a onetime first-rounder who has played 104 NHL games. Cap hit: Free agent (Mark Spector, Sportsnet).
Report: Kraken will take Chris Dreidger out of Florida
Florida Panthers: goalie Chris Dreidger
As reported earlier in the week, the Kraken is said to have finalized a three-year, $10.5 million deal that would make Dreidger, 27, the No. 1 goalie. Driedger began playing more regularly behind No. 1 Sergei Bobrovski this past season, posting a .927 save percentage in 23 games. Cap hit: $3.5 million (Elliotte Friedman, Sportsnet).
Report: Kraken will take Colin Blackwell from the New York Rangers
New York Rangers: center Colin Blackwell
The reported pick is Colin Blackwell, 28, who played for Team USA at the recent IIHF World Hockey Championships and is an effective bottom-six centerman. But there are rumors of a trade involving Kraken pick Mark Giordano that might keep Blackwell with Rangers. Cap hit: $750,000 (The Athletic).
Report: Kraken will take Morgan Geekie out of Carolina
Carolina Hurricanes: forward Morgan Geekie
The Kraken reportedly passed on Jake Bean and Nino Neiderreiter and went instead with cheap, bottom-line forward Morgan Geekie, 23. They had to take somebody. Cap hit: $750,000 (Frank Seravalli, Daily Faceoff).
Report: Kraken will take Nathan Bastian out of New Jersey
New Jersey Devils: forward Nathan Bastian
High-energy, two-way forward Bastian, 23, is young and cost-controllable for two more seasons. Cap hit: $825,000 (Chris Johnston, Sportsnet).
Report: Kraken will take Kurtis MacDermid out of Los Angeles
Los Angeles Kings: defenseman Kurtis MacDermid
The Kraken reportedly opted for left-handed defenseman MacDermid, 27, a 6-foot-5, 233-pound behemoth who can man both sides without busting the bank. Cap hit: $875,000 (Frank Seravalli, Daily Faceoff).
Report: Kraken will take John Quenneville out of Chicago
Chicago Blackhawks: defenseman John Quenneville
The Kraken didn’t get Joel Quenneville as coach, but it reportedly has picked his cousin, defenseman John Quenneville, 25, in another low-cost move likely dictated by team’s pricier previous free-agent deals with defenders. Cap hit: Free agent (Mark Spector, Sportsnet).
Report: Kraken will take Gavin Bayreuther out of Columbus
Columbus Blue Jackets: defenseman Gavin Bayreuther
The Kraken reportedly eschewed bigger salary and some risk by avoiding Max Domi and instead taking on low cost, left-handed defenseman Bayreuther, 27. It's a puzzling move given other options and suggests there's could be a side deal in place. Cap hit: Free agent (Frank Seravalli, Daily Faceoff).
Report: Kraken will take Will Borgen out of Buffalo
Buffalo Sabres: defenseman Will Borgen
The reported pick of righthanded defenseman Borgen, 24, isn’t a shock. He has some upside and toughness without a big sticker price. Cap hit: Free agent (Buffalo News).
Report: Kraken will take Carsen Twarynski out of Philadelphia
Philadelphia Flyers: forward Carsen Twarynski
A bit of a surprise, as the Kraken passed on proven goal-scoring in favor of depth forward Twarynski, 23. Looks like a cost-saving move, but coach Dave Hakstol probably likes something from their Philly days together. Cap hit: Free agent (Frank Seravalli, Daily Faceoff).
Report: The Kraken will take Joonas Donskoi out of Colorado
Colorado Avalanche: forward Joonas Donskoi
The Kraken reportedly didn’t get a deal done with Gabriel Landeskog and instead will go with bottom-six forward Donskoi, 29, for two more seasons. Cap hit: $3.9 million (The Athletic).
Report: Kraken will take Jeremy Lauzon out of Boston
Boston Bruins: defenseman Jeremy Lauzon
Some good young defenders to choose from, but reported pick Jeremy Lauzon, 24, has experience on both sides and looks capable of improving the most under former AHL coach and current Kraken assistant Jay Leach. Cap hit: $850,000 (Chris Johnston, Sportsnet).
Report: Kraken will take Tyler Pitlick out of Arizona
Arizona Coyotes: right wing Tyler Pitlick
Not much to choose from here, but reported pick of Tyler Pitlick, 28, a right wing, gives you a decent depth forward who can kill penalties. Cap hit: $1.75 million (Sportsnet).
Report: Kraken will take Vince Dunn out of St. Louis
St. Louis Blues: defenseman Vince Dunn
The Kraken reportedly passed on big-money winger Vladimir Tarasenko and went with Dunn, 24, for money, flexibility and growth potential. Cap hit: Free agent. (Frank Seravalli, Daily Faceoff).
Report: Kraken will take Joey Daccord out of Ottawa
Ottawa Senators: goalie Joey Daccord
Interesting choice in Daccord, 24, a seventh-rounder from 2015 who backstopped Arizona State and since has played in nine NHL games. Waiver exempt next season and slots in at No. 3. Cap hit: $750,000 (Frank Seravalli, Daily Faceoff).
Report: Kraken will take Calle Jarnkrok out of Nashville
Nashville Predators: forward Calle Jarnkrok
Jarnkrok, 29, is a cost-effective choice who plays center, both wings and is less risky than pricier forwards with a lone contract year left. Cap hit: $2 million (Chris Johnston, Sportsnet).
Report: Kraken will take Jordan Eberle from the New York Islanders
New York Islanders: right wing Jordan Eberle
The Kraken had some goal-producing choices here and reportedly took the biggest one in right wing Jordan Eberle, 31. On the books for three more years. Cap hit: $5.5 million (Ryan Kennedy, The Hockey News).
Report: Kraken will take Brandon Tanev out of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh Penguins: left wing Brandon Tanev
The Kraken was reportedly “zeroing in" on left wing Brandon Tanev, 29, known for his speed, aggressiveness and penalty killing. They would have him for four years, too. Cap hit: $3.5 million. (Frank Seravalli, Daily Faceoff).
Report: Kraken will take Vitek Vanecek out of Washington
Washington Capitals: goalie Vitek Vanecek
Vanecek, 25, makes all kinds of affordable sense and is reportedly the pick to compete for a No. 1 job. Cap hit: $716,667 (Frank Seravalli, Daily Faceoff).
Report: Kraken will take Mason Appleton out of Winnipeg
Winnipeg Jets: forward Mason Appleton
A lot to like here as the Kraken – with some free-agent defensemen already locked up – reportedly passes on Dylan DeMelo and takes hard-nosed forward Mason Appleton, 25, a Dave Hakstol type of guy. Cap hit: Free agent (Darren Dreger, TSN).
Report: Kraken will take Yanni Gourde out of Tampa Bay
Tampa Bay Lightning: center Yanni Gourde
Many saw this coming, as the Kraken reportedly selected center Yanni Gourde, 29. We’ll see about possible side deals, but Gourde, with four contract years remaining, does much more than a typical bottom-six forward. Cap hit: $5.167 million (Frank Seravalli, Daily Faceoff).
Report: Kraken will take Cale Fleury out of Montreal
Montreal Canadiens: defenseman Cale Fleury
Kraken reportedly passed on goalie Carey Price and opted for low-cost righthanded defenseman Cale Fleury, 22, to unite with older brother Haydn. Cap hit: Free agent (Elliotte Friedman, Sportsnet).
Report: Kraken to take Mark Giordano out of Calgary
Calgary Flames: defenseman Mark Giordano
As expected, the Kraken reportedly selected longtime Flames captain Mark Giordano, 37, a left-handed defenseman. Steep contract, but only for one year. Cap hit: $6.75 million (TSN).
Report: Kraken to take Haydn Fleury out of Anaheim
Anaheim Ducks: defenseman Haydn Fleury
No real surprise, as Ron Francis reportedly goes with his former No. 1 pick from Carolina in lefthanded defenseman Haydn Fleury, 25, who can team in Seattle with his younger brother. Cap hit: $1.3 million (TSN).
Report: Kraken will take Jared McCann out of Toronto
Toronto Maple Leafs: forward Jared McCann
To the dismay of random Twitter video posters at Pike Place Market, the Kraken passed on Alexander Kerfoot and reportedly instead selected versatile forward Jared McCann, 25, just traded from Pittsburgh to Toronto last week with one contract year left. Cap hit: $2.94 million (Frank Seravalli, Daily Faceoff).
Report: Kraken will take Carson Soucy out of Minnesota
Minnesota Wild: defenseman Carson Soucy
The Kraken passed on young netminder Kaapo Kahkonen and reportedly took Carson Soucy, 26, who projects as a bottom-four defenseman with two remaining years on a manageable contract. Cap hit: $2.75 million (Michael Russo, The Athletic).
Report: Kraken will take Kole Lind out of Vancouver
Vancouver Canucks: right wing Kole Lind
Lind, a 22-year-old second-round selection in 2017 who played his first seven career NHL games this past season, is reportedly the choice. Cap hit: Free agent (CHEK-TV Vancouver).
Report: Kraken will take Alexander True out of San Jose
San Jose Sharks: Alexander True, center
The Kraken reportedly went with 6-foot-5 center Alexander True, 24, a native of Denmark who scored the WHL championship overtime winner for Seattle Thunderbirds in 2017. Cap hit: Free agent (Pierre LeBrun, The Athletic)
Kraken to sign Oilers defenseman Adam Larsson to four-year deal, reportedly closing in on another
A hockey source confirmed an earlier Sportsnet report the Kraken has agreed to a four-year, $16 million deal with unrestricted free agent Edmonton Oilers defenseman Adam Larsson and will make him its pick from that squad in Wednesday’s NHL expansion draft.
Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff Hockey had reported the Larsson talks, and that general manager Ron Francis is also closing in on a deal with unrestricted Dallas Stars free agent defenseman Jamie Oleksiak and plans to make him his pick from that team as well.
Larsson, 28, a 6-foot-3, 208-pound native of Sweden, was a fourth overall pick by New Jersey a decade ago and got dealt to Edmonton as part of the 2016 Taylor Hall trade. He’s a right-handed shot, which is rarer for NHL blue-liners that tend to skew left, and he’s coming from an Oilers team offering scant possibilities in the draft.
Oleksiak, 28, is an imposing 6-foot-7, 255-pounder who shoots left-handed and was taken 14th overall by the Stars in 2011. He averaged more than 20 minutes per game of playing time during his team’s run to the Stanley Cup Final last fall.
Report: Carey Price won’t join the Kraken in NHL expansion draft
Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price wasn’t selected by the Kraken when it submitted its final list of expansion draft picks to the NHL on Wednesday morning, according to a report by Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet.
Price, 33, had surprisingly agreed to waive his no-movement clause ahead of the draft, which enabled the Canadiens to protect backup Jake Allen. The former Tri-City Americans netminder, who just led the Canadiens to the Stanley Cup Final, carried a $10.5 million salary-cap hit in each of the next five seasons and would have retained his no-movement clause if selected.
He is also expected to see a knee specialist in New York on Thursday and reportedly is dealing with a hip issue. The Kraken had been looking into Price for months, given rumors the Canadiens might try to expose him.
But that was before Price rebounded from a subpar, injury-plagued regular season and led the upstart Canadiens to playoff upsets over Toronto, Winnipeg and Vegas before falling to Tampa Bay in a five-game final round.
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