As the off-season progresses, NHL teams had to lock their protected players by 5 PM on Saturday July 17th as the Seattle Kraken prepare for their expansion draft this week.
All of the NHL teams, except for the Vegas Golden Knights, had the option to protect seven forwards, three defensemen and one goalie, or eight skaters and one goalie. All players with continuing and effective no-move clauses had to be protected. All first- and second-year professionals are exempt from selection, as are unsigned draft choices.
You can see the whole list of players available by team here on the NHL.com website.
Some of the notable names that stand out are Canadians goalie Carey Price, St. Louis Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko, meanwhile both Alexander Ovechkin and Gabriel Landeskog were left off their teams protected list as they are pending unrestricted free agents.
Both Shea Weber and P.K. Subban were left unprotected by their current teams which means both could end up making their way to Seattle is the situation works out. Taylor Hall and David Krejci headline a long list of unrestricted free agents whom the Seattle could sign in the coming days.
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While the Vegas Golden Knights seemingly came out of nowhere to make it to the Stanley Cup Finals in their inaugural season, this Kraken team seems to be more star-studded than its expansion counter-parts.
The Seattle Kraken will no doubt be working with teams and will receive pick compensation for them to select specific players and to leave others untouched as we saw with the Golden Knights expansion.
I find it hard to see that Ovechkin will make his way to Seattle, but weirder things have happened. If all goes to plan, this team could very well be a contender early on, especially if they are able to grab Carey Price as a world class goalie.
According to NHL.com, here are the list of top name players that the Kraken will have to chose from:
The expansion draft will take place on Wednesday July 21st at 8 PM EST. The Kraken will select one player from each team excluding the Golden Knights for a total of 30 (at least 14 forwards, nine defensemen and three goalies).