Chris Baud, Jon Hoefling and Jesse Spector got together to talk about the Seattle Kraken expansion draft, in which the team surprised many by not going for big-name players like Carey Price, Gabriel Landeskog, Vladimir Tarasenko or Jakub Voracek. What’s up with that?
Chris Baud: Hey, we’re here to talk Kraken. Go Kraken.
Jon got up early in the morning to do a mock draft, and the league made a mockery of it by leaking half the names just as we were about to post it, so here we are. Let’s do this instead.
Jon Hoefling: Yeah, I was foolish to think that GMs could keep secrets, but I never would’ve expected this many selections to become public.
Shout out to Steve Yzerman though. Man’s lips are sealed super tight.
Jesse Spector: I’m a little surprised since it’s a made-for-TV draft, but the NHL is so good at sabotaging itself.
Baud: I lived in Vegas during the VGK’s inaugural season, and it was magical. I am pretty excited to see what Seattle can do, as there are many good players available but…going off the guys leaked so far…eh….um,
Hoefling: I think the defense looks great.
Spector: I think their play is working with the cap space to build not just for year one but picks beyond.
Like, if you want to contend immediately, you take Carey Price and put a better lineup in front of him than Montreal had, which was an available option here.
Baud: It looks to me like they’re planning on getting the No. 1 pick.
Hoefling: Something Ron Francis loved to do in Carolina was to build for the long term, and while I think he has a great opportunity to be competitive right now with Seattle, he’s opting to play it a little more safe, which no one can really blame him for.
Would getting the number one pick this year really be a smart move though?
Hoefling: I mean, it’s been a difficult year to get a grasp of prospects due to the pandemic, and having number two is still a great option. I feel like there isn’t a for-sure must-take at number one this year. If there was, I’d be happy to see Seattle go for that pick.
Baud: I have no idea who the presumptive top pick would be, as the past season of amateur hockey was a disaster
Spector : As a general plan, I like the idea of building a reliable veteran D corps, running into some goaltending, and using that cap space to get the elite forwards who aren’t available in an expansion draft — no disrespect to Jordan Eberle, but he’s not what he was.
Baud: As our colleague Sam Fels points out, Francis made Carolina into a defenseman factory (to steal a phrase from Howie Roseman)
Hoefling: Seattle had the opportunity to get some elite forwards, but they opted for cheaper, more versatile guys up top.
Like they could’ve had Landeskog from Colorado, but opted for Donskoi.
Baud: Yeah let’s talk about the Flyers.
Spector: Landeskog is still gonna be a free agent, right?
Baud: The Flyers’ old coach Dave Hakstol is the Kraken coach. He was… not good, but you would think his familiarity with guys who had big years for him like Voracek, Gostisbehere and James van Riemsdyk would lead them to take one of them but nooooo, they took Carsen Twarynski, an AHL third liner.
Spector: Yeah, that was a weird hire, but maybe he learned from the experience.
Hoefling: If you would’ve asked me this morning, I would’ve said with 100% certainty that either Voracek or van Reimsdyk was headed to Seattle
Jesse Spector: Maybe a side deal.
Jon Hoefling: Maybe, but why, when you could’ve had them straight off the bat? The Twarynski pick just seemed strange all-around.
Baud: Flyers Twitter expected (JVR or Voracek being selected) … I like those guys more than most, but there was hope of a huge deal coming with cap space, like a Dougie Hamilton or Jack Eichel
Mark Giordano, classy guy, great player, but he’s 500 years old
Hoefling: Not what he used to be, that’s for sure
He’s pretty much a shoe-in for the ‘C’, right?
Baud: [Looks it up] He’s 37.
Spector: The C is for Cooked.
Hoefling: As Flames tend to do.
The Isles letting Eberle go seems like a mistake.
Spector: They haven’t taken anyone objectionable.
Hoefling: Eberle is getting up there too. I think the Kraken are going to rely on him to be a 30+ goal scorer, but that potential just isn’t there anymore
Spector: Yeah, I think protecting Clutterbuck and Martin was weird, but Lou’s been doing just fine on the Island.
Baud: Who needs goals?
Jesse Spector: Given the division they’re in, playoffs a reasonable expectation for Seattle?
Chris Baud: We’ll see who else they take but, eh, I’m not impressed with their forwards at all.
Hoefling: I fully expect this team to reach the playoffs strictly based on how bad the Pacific is.
Spector: Yeah, and I do think they have more building up front that they’ll do with trades.
Baud :Jon you didn’t spend the worst years of your life watching Hakstol.
Spector: I’m very curious about the side deals on the expansion draft slots that seem weird.
Hoefling: No. I spent them watching the Sharks choke every year. Arguably a worse fate if you ask me.
Baud: Uh… I was watching the Knights during the worst choke job of all time in Vegas… I was at a casino playing poker, and told everyone ,“It will be OK, they won’t blow this.” To your Sharks.
Hoefling: Expanding on Jesse’s point, I’m curious about that too. When I spoke with EJ Hradek earlier this week, he mentioned that the Lightning were going to have an interesting decision regarding whether to protect Cernak or McDonaugh, but they managed to protect every key part of their Cup winning roster.
Baud: Who did they protect? I forgot?
Hoefling: Everyone important, haha. Except Pat Maroon
Spector: And Yanni Gourde, eh?
Baud: Aren’t the NHL rules set up so they can do whatever they want? I kid!
Hoefling: Ah, yes. And him.
Chris Baud I kid.
Hoefling: I would’ve loved to see Athanasiou head to Seattle, but Francis just had to keep buffing his defense.
Baud: AA is very exciting but most metrics seem to indicate he’s not great. Still, I would love him.
Hoefling: MacDermid though, really? I haven’t seen the advanced stuff on him, but he doesn’t seem like the guy who’s going to make a big impact on a team with such deep defensive talent.
Was Colin Blackwell the most obvious choice of the draft?
Spector: Maybe Vince Dunn? Tarasenko is a huge name but how could you take him?
Hoefling: Because it would send Twitter into a frenzy, that’s how, haha!
Baud: I love Tarasenko,
Hoefling: Same, but I get the hesitance to pull the trigger on him. I’m a little shocked that the Kraken opted with Adam Larsson instead of Tyson Barrie as well. Was that a cap issue?
Spector: I don’t think he’s ever playing for the Blues again, but an expansion team isn’t the spot to come back.
Baud: Hakstol was an assistant in Toronto when Barrie was there, and he did not have a great season.
Hoefling: Oh. Well, fair enough.
That’s a lot of excitement over Tyler Pitlick.
Spector: The Flames are a good team to trade with, being run stupidly.
Hoefling: I was just looking him up. I was pretty sure Michael Bunting was going to be the selection from Arizona.
Spector: Like, the Panthers aren’t the dummy team this time, but there’s always a mark at the table.
Hoefling: What could the Flames possibly be willing to offer for him?
Baud: I like Pitlick actually. Of all the fourth-liners the Flyers have had, he wasn’t the worst of them.
Spector: They’re constantly running Johnny Hockey (Gaudreau) out of town there, but… picks.
Hoefling: I guess. Vegas had three first round picks their first year, so picks is probably a pretty good road to go down.
Baud: Gaudreu is another person Flyers fans are always interested in
Vegas traded Erik Brannstrom in the Mark Stone deal, and Cody Glass just this week in the Flyers-Predators deal.
Spector: Yup. This is a big step to building the team. But it’s just a step.
Baud: Well Stone is obviously a huge piece, so I’d say that draft panned out.
Spector: That deal also only gets made because they were good, but picks become prospects.
Baud: I was not at all impressed with Brannstrom when I saw him in preseason in (2018) but he’s turned out quite good.
Hoefling: Yeah, even on Ottawa, he’s shined.
This thread will be updated as trades are announced today.