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Jordan Eberle, Mark Giordano headline Seattle Kraken expansion draft picks

The wait is over, the speculation can be put to rest. The Kraken are unleashed.

Though names trickled out throughout the day before the fish-picks started, the Seattle Kraken officially announced their choices in Wednesday night’s expansion draft.

Here’s who’s headed to the Pacific Northwest, listed alphabetically by team.

Anaheim Ducks: Haydn Fleury

The Ducks lost defenceman Haydn Fleury to the Kraken. Fleury, a former first-round pick of the Hurricanes in 2014 who was acquired by the Ducks in April, appeared in 12 games for Anaheim last season. He scored twice and added one assist. In 35 games before that with Carolina, he scored once.

Arizona Coyotes: Tyler Pitlick

The Kraken selected forward Tyler Pitlick from the Coyotes. Signed as a free agent by Arizona in 2020, Pitlick’s most notable NHL success came while earning regular ice time with the Dallas Stars in 2017-18, when he scored 14 goals and 13 assists in 80 games. The 29-year-old has one season remaining on his contract with a cap hit of $1.75 million.

Boston Bruins: Jeremy Lauzon

The Kraken took defenceman Jeremy Lauzon from the Bruins. A second-round selection by Boston in 2015, the 24-year-old has appeared in 76 games for the Bruins so far in his young career, scoring three times and adding eight assists.

Buffalo Sabres: Will Borgen

Defenceman Will Borgen is the Kraken selection from the Sabres. A fourth-round pick in 2015 by Buffalo, Borgen has appeared in 14 NHL games since. The six-fot-three, 205-pound 24-year-old is coming off his entry-level contract.

Calgary Flames: Mark Giordano

Mark Giordano, who took over as captain of the Flames after Jarome Iginla was traded, has been selected by the Kraken. Giordano spent his entire 15-year career with the Flames, and will leave the franchise trailing only Iginla on its all-time games played list.

The veteran defenceman had 26 points in 56 games with the Flames last season and is just three seasons removed from a 69-point, Norris Trophy-winning campaign.

Giordano has one year with a $6.75-million cap hit remaining on a six-year, $40.5-million contract signed in 2015.

Carolina Hurricanes: Morgan Geekie

Centre Morgan Geekie is the Kraken’s selection from Carolina. The 23-year-old was an impact player for the Charlotte Checkers, Carolina’s AHL affiliate, before graduating to the NHL full-time in 2020-21. Geekie signed a one-year, two-way extension with the Hurricanes last week. In 38 career regular-season NHL games, he has six goals and seven assists.

Chicago Blackhawks: John Quenneville

The Kraken picked centre John Quenneville from the Blackhawks. A pending unrestricted free agent, Quenneville scored one goal and one assist in 16 games for the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs last season. The 25-year-old had previously appeared in nine games with the Blackhawks during the 2019-20 season.

Colorado Avalanche: Joonas Donskoi

After the Avalanche’s decision to leave captain Gabriel Landeskog unprotected incited speculation about the potential for him being Seattle-bound, the Kraken opted to draft forward Joonas Donskoi instead. The 29-year-old spent the last two seasons with Colorado, scoring 33 goals and 64 points across 116 total games. Donskoi has two years remaining on a contract that carries a cap hit of $3.9 million.

Columbus Blue Jackets: Gavin Bayreuther

The Kraken picked defenceman Gavin Bayreuther from Columbus, opting against selecting forward Max Domi. Bayreuther is an unrestricted free agent who had one goal in nine games with the Blue Jackets last season. The 27-year-old also had 12 points in 14 AHL game’s with the Cleveland Monsters.

Dallas Stars: Jamie Oleksiak

Defenceman Jamie Oleksiak was selected by the Kraken. At six-foot-seven and with fluid skating abilities, Oleksiak will bring size and agility to the Kraken blue line. The 28-year-old, who had spent the majority of his career with the Stars organization and was a pending free agent, scored six goals and added eight assists in 56 games last season.

Oleksiak and Seattle agreed to a five-year deal with an average annual value of $4.6 million.

Detroit Red Wings: Dennis Cholowski

The Kraken selected Dennis Cholowski from the Red Wings. A former first-round pick by Detroit in 2016, Cholowski has appeared in just 104 NHL games so far. Last season, in 16 games played, he scored once and added two assists.

Edmonton Oilers: Adam Larsson

The Kraken have selected and signed defenceman Adam Larsson to a four-year, $16-million deal. As part of expansion rules, the Kraken were allowed to start the free agency signing period early and could negotiate with UFAs — like Larsson who was left exposed by the Edmonton Oilers.

Larsson, a defensive defenceman, provided elite results in his own end for the Oilers’ blue line last season. Infamously acquired in a one-for-one swap for Taylor Hall, the fourth pick in the 2011 NHL Draft put up 68 points in 329 games across five seasons in Edmonton.

The 28-year-old Swede was coming off a six-year, $25-million deal signed with the New Jersey Devils in 2015.

Florida Panthers: Chris Driedger

The Kraken are taking goalie Chris Driedger from the Panthers. Fresh off a breakout season in Florida that saw him go 14-6-3 in 23 games, while posting a .927 save percentage and 2.07 goals-against average, Driedger will take his emergent talents west.

The 27-year-old was set to become a free agent, but has reportedly agreed to a three-year, $10.5 million deal with Seattle, according to Greg Wyshynski of ESPN.

Los Angeles Kings: Kurtis MacDermid

The Kraken selected defenceman Kurtis MacDermid from the Kings. Another blueliner with size at six-foot-five, 233 pounds, MacDermid further fortifies the Kraken’s back end. The 27-year-old had spent his entire four-year NHL career with the Kings, scoring six times and adding 11 assists across 118 games.

Minnesota Wild: Carson Soucy

The Kraken drafted defenceman Carson Soucy from the Wild. A top-six defender on a cost-effective contract, Soucy has two seasons remaining on a three-year $8.25 million contract that carries a $2.75 million annual cap hit. Last season, while playing predominantly on the Wild’s third pairing, Soucy set career-highs in assists with 16 and points with 17.

Montreal Canadiens: Cale Fleury

After lengthy speculation that goaltender Carey Price could end up as the first face of the Kraken’s franchise, Seattle opted instead to take Cale Fleury. At 22, Fleury was the youngest player the Canadiens left exposed in the draft and, at the time of his selection, was slated to become a restricted free agent. He is the brother of Haydn Fleury, taken by the Kraken from the Ducks.

Originally drafted by Montreal in the third round of the 2017 entry draft, Fleury spent the entirety of last season playing in the AHL. He played 41 NHL games with the Canadiens in 2019-20, scoring once.

Nashville Predators: Calle Järnkrok

The Kraken selected centre Calle Järnkrok from the Predators, a move that will allow Seattle to save cap space instead of investing it in high-price Predators players like Ryan Johansen and Matt Duchene, who were also left unprotected.

Both Duchene and Johansen come with an $8-million cap hit, while Jarnkrok’s salary is a quarter of that at $2 million. The 29-year-old Järnkrok had 28 points in 49 games during the 2020-2021 season.

New Jersey Devils: Nathan Bastian

The Kraken took right winger Nathan Bastian from the Devils. At 23 years old, Bastian figures to add to Seattle’s depth and long-term talent pool. In 41 games with the Devils last season, he scored three goals and notched seven assists.

New York Islanders: Jordan Eberle

The Kraken selected Jordan Eberle from the Islanders. Eberle, one of the highest-profile names to be changing jerseys as a result of the draft, skated on the Islanders’ top line alongside Mathew Barzal and Leo Komarov last season, scoring 16 goals and 17 assists in 55 regular season games.

Eberle, a first-round pick of the Oilers in the 2008 NHL entry draft, enjoyed his most productive offensive seasons in Edmonton, earning a career-high 76 points in his sophomore campaign. He went on to post back-to-back seasons of over 60 points in 2013-14 and 2014-15.

The 31-year-old has three years remaining on his current contract, with an annual cap hit of $5.5 million.

New York Rangers: Colin Blackwell

The Kraken picked centre Colin Blackwell from the Rangers. A tenacious forechecker whose road to the NHL was marred by concussions, Blackwell made his big-league debut in 2019 as a member of the Predators. He was later signed by the Rangers and has one year remaining on his deal, carrying a cap hit of $725,000. In 47 games played with New York last season, the 28-year-old scored 12 goals and added 10 assists.

Ottawa Senators: Joey Daccord

The Kraken selected Joey Daccord from the Senators, one of three goaltenders general manager Ron Francis will build his team in front of.

Daccord’s first NHL win was immediately memorable, filling in last-minute against the Toronto Maple Leafs after Matt Murray, who was expected to start, was injured in pre-game warmups and backstopping the Senators to a 4-3 victory. Daccord went on to play eight games for Ottawa last season, posting a .897 save percentage and 3.50 goals-against average. He suffered what proved to be a season-ending lower-body injury in mid-March against the Vancouver Canucks.

Philadelphia Flyers: Carsen Twarynski

The Kraken selected left wing Carsen Twarynski from the Flyers. A third-round pick by Philadelphia in 2016, Twarynski appeared in seven games for the Flyers last season and was held without a point.

Pittsburgh Penguins: Brandon Tanev

The Penguins will lose Brandon Tanev to the Kraken in the expansion draft. Once an undrafted free agent, Tanev carved out a sturdy NHL career as a member of the Winnipeg Jets and, most recently, the Penguins. In 295 games, the 29-year-old has posted 42 goals and 50 assists. Tanev has four years remaining on a contract that carries a cap hit of $3.5 million.

San Jose Sharks: Alex True

The Kraken selected forward Alex True from the Sharks. True, who was signed by the Sharks out of Denmark in 2018, played in seven games last season for San Jose, picking up one assist. In 27 AHL games with the San Jose Barracuda, he picked up nine goals and 11 assists.

St. Louis Blues: Vince Dunn

The Kraken opted against sniping Vladimir Tarasenko, opting instead to take defenceman Vince Dunn from the Blues. The 24-year-old former second-round pick appeared in 43 games for St. Louis last season, scoring six times and adding 14 assists. A restricted free agent at the time of his selection, Dunn is coming off a three-year deal with the Blues that carried a cap hit of $722,500.

Tampa Bay Lightning: Yanni Gourde

Fresh off back-to-back Cup wins with the Lightning, Yanni Gourde will look to bring that championship experience to Seattle’s inaugural roster after being selected by the Kraken. During Tampa’s most recent Cup run, Gourde filled the role of effective two-way centre alongside Blake Coleman and Barclay Goodrow. He scored 17 goals and 36 points across 56 regular-season appearances last year.

The 29-year-old has four years remaining on a contract that carries an annual cap hit of $5.16 million.

Toronto Maple Leafs: Jared McCann

Jared McCann’s tenure with the Maple Leafs was short-lived. After being acquired via trade by Toronto, McCann was selected by the Kraken. Earlier today, Sportsnet’s Luke Fox detailed what the move means for both clubs.

Vancouver Canucks: The Kraken will be selecting right winger Kole Lind. The 22-year-old was arguable the best prospect made available by the Canucks and will challenge for a bottom-six role in Seattle next season. After making his NHL debut last season Lind had no points in seven games.

Vegas Golden Knights: No player lost

As a recent expansion team themselves, the Golden Knights were exempt from the selection process.

Washington Capitals: Vitek Vanecek

The Kraken took goalie Vitek Vanecek from the Capitals. A former second-round pick by Washington in 2014, last season was the 25-year-old’s first with the Capitals. He went 21-10-4 with a .908 save percentage and 2.69 goals-against average.

Winnipeg Jets: Mason Appleton

The Jets lost right winger Mason Appleton, a depth forward who at age 25 is poised for a big breakout in Seattle. Sportsnet’s Ken Wiebe detailed what that selection means for both teams.

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