Last night the Seattle Kraken made their picks in the 2021 expansion draft. As expected, they got some decent players in the likes of Yanni Gourde, Jordan Eberle, and Mark Giordano just to name a few. While the team did get several quality NHL players, they went with some, shall we say, lesser-known players leaving big names such as Carey Price, Vladimir Tarasenko, to their respective teams. The reasoning behind the short, cheap contracts route according to the organization is cap space, and a want to hold onto as much of it as possible. (Which I find ironic seeing as they just grossly overpaid for defenseman Jamie Oleksiak).
All of that to say this: the Kraken are going to be terrible. and not just for a year or two. This team is going to need 3-5 years before they can compete at least. A counter to this that will be used is citing the Vegas Golden Knights immediate and continued success since their expansion draft and entry into the league in 2017. A fair point, sure, but let’s take a look at the job Vegas did compared to Seattle. For starters, the most glaring difference is trades. Vegas had 10 trades lined up after their expansion draft, to Seattle’s 0. Vegas had viable top 6 forward options through their picks and trades heading into their first season. While Seattle did get some solid forwards and will have a great first line up front, I don’t see many good options for a line two. Goal scoring will be hard to come by for this team. Which is made worse by their goaltending situation. Vegas drafted a Hall of Famer in Marc Andre Fleury in 2017. Seattle on the other hand drafted 3 goalies whose total NHL experience all together comes out to 83 games played. While Chris Driedger (38 GP .929 SV%) has posted solid numbers in his time in the show, he’s far from a proven starting goaltender. The same can be said for Vitek Vanecek (37 GP .908 SV%). And from the looks of it those, two are their best options for starting and backup goalie this upcoming season, while Joey Daccord takes some more time to develop.
All told, with subpar goaltending, and not much depth at the forward positions… Id look out for a tough year coming up for the Seattle Kraken. I’ll say their backend is stout, but not enough to save them. If you are a new fan of this team, it is safe to say you are looking to the future, as this team gets a few cracks at the NHL Entry Draft at the number 2 pick this season, and most likely some high picks in the years to come. My official prediction? 29-49-4 for second to last in the NHL. Then again, it’s the NHL and as its shown before, anybody can compete on any given night. Maybe I’m completely wrong! But I doubt it. Good luck Seattle.