Wild West: Seattle Kraken – Expansion Draft – Part One

Grant Campbell

2022-01-31

At the midseason mark of the Seattle Kraken's first NHL season, I thought it would be an interesting exercise to see what players they chose from each club and what players they passed on.  I'm not going to include players that were unrestricted free agents as Seattle could have been in on any of those players if they wished. Although they did choose five UFAs of which, three signed and two didn't.

I've split this into two parts as we will look at 15 teams this week and 15 teams next week that the Kraken could take players from.

Anaheim Ducks

Who they chose – Haydn Fleury – D – (23-2-1-3)

Players available – Sonny Milano – F – (35-9-16-25), Anthony Stolarz – G – (14 GP, 2.76 GAA, 91.7 save%), Adam Henrique – F – (24-6-10-16)

On the surface, it seems like the Kraken would have been better off taking Milano, Stolarz or Henrique than Haydn Fleury. Milano and/or Henrique would be in the top-six in Seattle and Stolarz seems like a capable backup.

Fleury is a sixth or seventh defenseman on the Kraken who is averaging a career-high of 16:48/game. The 25-year-old former 7th overall pick in 2014 has played 200 NHL games with nine goals and 21 assists, 259 hits and 108 blocked shots. Defenders take a little more time to develop, but it seems unlikely that Fleury will develop into the top-four defenceman he was drafted to be. He is a restricted free agent who makes $1.3 million this season on an expiring contract.

Perhaps there were some concerns with Milano's health as he only played six games last year? The 25-year-old former 16th overall pick from 2014 has blossomed this season in Anaheim and has 0.71 pts/game after 35 games. He has played 166 NHL games with 31 goals and 41 assists, which is good for 0.43 pts/game. His defensive game was a deficiency earlier in his career but with some sheltering, he has been just fine.

The Kraken targeted Chris Driedger and Philipp Grubauer to be their two goalies, but Stolarz could have strengthened the position over Joey Daccord and perhaps Driedger as well.

Seattle shied away from long-range contracts like Henrique who had three years remaining at $5.825 million AAV. If healthy, Henrique is an upgrade on Marcus Johansson, Calle Jarnkrok or Ryan Donato on the LW.

Arizona Coyotes

Picked – Tyler Pitlick – F – (25-0-2-2 in Calgary)

Pitlick was traded to Calgary for a 4th round pick in 2022, which is a fairly good return value for his role and production. The Kraken was going to have a few players like Pitlick to choose from so did well to get something for him as he would have been a UFA at the end of this season.

Players available – Ilya Lyubushkin – D –