Last week we looked at 15 teams that the Kraken chose players from in the 2021 Expansion Draft. This week we will continue in alphabetical order from Minnesota through to Winnipeg and look a little deeper at the player they took and the players that were available to them.
Picked – Cale Fleury – D – (1-0-0-0 in the NHL, 36-5-12-17 AHL)
Players available – Jonathan Drouin – F – (32-5-14-19), Brett Kulak – D – (38-1-7-8), Carey Price – G – (injured)
The 23-year-old Fleury played 41 games in the NHL with Montreal in 2019-20 but has been in the AHL since, until he played his first game as a Kraken on February 1st, 2022. He was the 87th overall pick in the 3rd round in 2017 and his ceiling is that of a 6th or 7th defenceman at this point. He required waivers to be sent to the AHL this season and the Kraken did put him on waivers and he went unclaimed.
The 26-year-old Drouin's career hasn't gone to plan after being the 3rd overall pick in 2013. He has scored 21 goals in 2016-27 and has put up 53 points twice in his eight seasons. He's also missed 155 games in that time with 67 of those games being in the past three years. With two years remaining on his contract at $5.5 million AAV, the Kraken was scared away.
The 28-year-old Kulak had one more year remaining on his salary with $2.2 million owing before this season. Kulak has never averaged more than 18 minutes per night or played more than 71 games in a year. He has been a solid 6th or 7th defender, who makes a little more than he should at this point and those two factors are more than likely why he wasn't picked.
A few people speculated that the Kraken might make a big splash and pick Price with his five seasons remaining at $10.5 million AAV. He had a great playoff last season, before electing for surgery, just before the expansion draft and subsequently voluntarily entering the Player's Assistance Program.
Montreal didn't have much to offer, other than rolling the dice on Drouin.
Picked – Calle Jarnkrok – F – (33-7-8-15)
Players available – Matt Duchene – F – (40-20-19-39),