Seattle Expansion Draft – Mass Mutual East Division, Trade Frenzy & Roster Freeze (Podcast Ep. 16)

Seattle Expansion Draft - Discover Central Division

Table of Contents

In the sixteenth episode of the Fantasy Hockey Hacks Podcast; Devon, Bruce, and John finish up the Seattle Expansion Draft series, and provide predictions for the Mass Mutual East Division! Once again, we’ll take a look at each team’s projected protected list, and provide our thoughts as to who Seattle will pick. NHL teams were required to present their final protected lists on July 17th, so we will go through those as well. There was a lot of news to cover this week, including trades and rumours, buyouts, contract extensions, and much more ahead of the NHL’s roster freeze (also on July 17th).


  • Pierre McGuire hired by the Ottawa Senators?
  • Duncan Keith traded to the Edmonton Oilers for Caleb Jones and a 3rd round pick
  • Pekka Rinne announces his retirement
  • Zach Parise and Ryan Suter contracts bought out by the Minnesota Wild
  • Gabriel Landeskog could be on his way to free agency
  • Carey Price waives his NMC for the purpose of exposure in the expansion draft
  • Protected lists for the Seattle expansion draft are now available for all 30 NHL teams

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Hockey News | July 12 – July 18 

  • July 12 | The Ottawa Senators have hired Pierre McGuire as Senior Vice-President of Player Development. 
  • July 12 | Duncan Keith was traded to the Edmonton Oilers for Caleb Jones and a 3rd round pick, according to Frank Seravalli. NO SALARY RETAINED.
  • July 13 | Pekka Rinne announces his retirement from the NHL. 681 GP, 368 Wins, 60 SO, .917 SV%, 2.43 GAA. Rinne was a fantasy stud for a long time, but the last couple seasons have been rough, and the net now belongs to Saros. All the best in retirement!
  • July 13 | The Minnesota Wild bought out both Zach Parise and Ryan Suter! According to, the buyouts provide the Wild with another $10.33M in cap space this summer; bringing their total projected cap space to $26.2M. Kirill Kaprizov and Kevin Fiala will both need to be signed, and Seattle Expansion looks different again.

  • July 13 | Dominic Ducharme extended as Montreal Canadiens head coach for three more seasons. 
  • July 13 | Pierre Lebrun and Darren Dreger reported on Insider Trading that Gabriel Landeskog and the Colorado Avalanche are “Not Close” on a new contract. The Avs captain may reach free agency…

  • July 14 | Jeff Skinner agreed to waive his no-movement clause for purpose of exposure in the Seattle Expansion Draft, according to Lance Lynowski. 
  • July 14 | Renaud Lavoie reported that the Montreal Canadiens will not protect Shea Weber in the upcoming expansion draft. Medical evaluations indicate that Weber could miss all of next season, possibly more. 
      • Does Petry become a top 5 Dman? 
      • Expanded role for Alexander Romanov
  • July 15 | Darren Dreger reported that the Maple Leafs have granted Zach Hyman’s agent, Todd Reynolds, permission to speak with other teams regarding a trade for his negotiation rights. 
  • July 15 | Elliott Friedman reported that Keith Yandle will be bought out by the Florida Panthers. 

  • July 15 | Anthony Duclair signs a 3-year contract with a $3M AAV. Duclair was a pending RFA. 32 Pts (10 Goals) in 43 GP.
  • July 15 | Ben Bishop waived his NMC for the purpose of exposure in the Seattle Expansion Draft. 
    • Fantasy Spin: This allows Dallas to protect Anton Kudhobin. Ottengier is exempt, so that could be the Stars’ tandem for next season. 
  • July 15 | Multiple sources report that the Colorado Avalanche and Gabriel Landeskog are far apart on a new deal. Andy Strickland mentioned that Landeskog may be looking for a new deal somewhere in the $9-10M range per season.  
  • July 15 | Ryan Graves was traded to the New Jersey Devils for Mikhail Maltev and a 2nd RD pick in 2021. 
  • July 16 | Nick Leddy was traded to the Detroit Red Wings for Richard Panik (50% retained salary) and a 2021 2nd RD pick. 
  • July 17 | Pierre Lebrun reported that all signs are pointing towards Chris Driedger being signed by the Seattle Kraken, and selected as their pick from the Florida Panthers. 
    • This would be a great add for the #SeaKraken! Driedger was 6th in Save % (.927), 6th in GAA (2.07), 8th in GSAA (11.88), and 10th in SO (3) among goalies with at least 10 starts last season.
  • July 17 | Miro Heiskanen signs an 8-Year contract with an AAV OF $8.45M.
    • Fantasy Perspective: Heiskanen is ranked in the top 15 by; but would be far more valuable without the presence of John Klingberg.  

  • July 17 | San Jose Sharks trade Josef Korinar and a 2nd RD pick (2022) for Adin Hill and a 7th RD pick (2022). 
  • July 17 | Jason Dickonson traded from Dallas to Vancouver. 
  • July 17 | Ryan Ellis (PHI) for Phillipe Meyers (NSH) and Nolan Patrick (VGK). Patrick then traded to Vegas for Cody Glass (NSH). WOW.

  • July 17 | Barclay Goodrow (UFA) traded to the New York Rangers for a 7th RD pick in 2022. Brett Howden was then moved to Vegas for a 4th RD pick in 2022 and defenceman Nick DeSimone.
  • July 17 | According to Pierre Lebrun, Carey Price has waived his NMC for the purpose of exposure in the expansion draft. Montreal wants to protect Jake Allen, and feels that Seattle will not select Price based on his hefty contract – $10.5M AAV (UFA 2026).
  • July 18 | The NHL released the protected lists for all 30 NHL teams in the Seattle Expansion Draft. Some interesting things to note: 
    • After trading Nolan Patrick, many thought that James Van Riemsdyk would then be protected. However, he has been exposed to Seattle for the expansion draft. Definitely a player I would consider. 
    • As expected Mark Giordano was exposed by the Calgary Flames. 
    • The Minnesota Wild chose to protect the older Cam Talbot over Kappo Kahkonen. Talbot’s numbers were better this year, but he is older (33 years old) and more expensive. 
    • After acquiring Jared McCann in a trade from the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Toronto Maple Leafs chose not to protect him in the expansion draft. I really like Jared McCann, and believe he would be a very solid top 9 forward for either the Leafs or the Kraken. 
    • Gabriel Landeskog (UFA) was not protected, and will be able to negotiate with the Kraken during their exclusive negotiation window. UFA goaltender Phillip Grubauer was protected though. 
    • As was reported, Carey Price was indeed exposed for the expansion draft. You have to wonder if the Kraken take a chance on Price, regardless of his contract ($10.5M AAV, UFA 2026). It does sound like Price is dealing with an injury that may cause him to miss significant time. Lebrun reported it was a knee, Seravalli reported it was a hip…


Seattle Expansion Draft | Central Division

Expansion Draft Rules & Eligibility (Source: –

The Seattle Kraken officially joined the NHL on April 30 when they made their final expansion payment. The 32nd team in the NHL will begin play in the 2021-22 season.

The 2021 NHL Expansion Draft, which is scheduled for July 21, will be under the same rules for the Kraken as the Vegas Golden Knights in 2017. The Kraken will select one player from each team excluding the Golden Knights for a total of 30 (14 forwards, nine defensemen and three goalies) not including additional players who may be acquired as the result of violations of the Expansion Draft rules.

Seattle must choose a minimum of 20 players under contract for the 2021-22 regular season and those with an aggregate Expansion Draft value that is between 60-100 percent of the prior season’s upper limit for the salary cap. The Kraken cannot buy out players chosen in the Expansion Draft earlier than the summer following its first season.

Current NHL teams can protect seven forwards, three defensemen and one goalie, or eight skaters (forwards/defensemen) and one goalie, under the following conditions.

  • All players with no movement clauses at the time of the draft, and who decline to waive those clauses, must be protected and will be counted toward their team’s applicable protection limits.
  • All first- and second-year professionals, and all unsigned draft choices, will be exempt from selection (and will not be counted toward protection limits.
  • In addition, all NHL teams must meet the following minimum requirements regarding players exposed for selection in the draft:
  • One defenseman who is a) under contract in 2021-22 and b) played in at least 40 NHL games the prior season or played in at least 70 NHL games in the prior two seasons.
  • Two forwards who are a) under contract in 2021-22 and b) played at least 40 NHL games the prior season or played in at least 70 NHL games in the prior two seasons.
  • One goalie who is under contract in 2021-22 or will be a restricted free agent at the end of his current contract immediately prior to 2021-22. If a team elects to make a restricted free agent goalie available to meet this requirement, that goalie must have received his qualifying offer prior to the submission of the team’s protected list.
  • Players with potential career-ending injuries who have missed more than the previous 60 consecutive games (or who otherwise have been confirmed to have a career-threatening injury) may not be used to satisfy a team’s player exposure requirements unless approval is received from the NHL. Such players also may be deemed exempt from selection.

IMPORTANT DATES (Source: Pierre Lebrun, The Athletic – )

  • July 13 |  Deadline for clubs to ask a player to waive his no-move clause for the sole purpose of being exposed in the expansion draft. So there’s some uncomfortable conversations coming for a few teams and players pretty soon here.
  • 24 hours after the conclusion of the Stanley Cup final: First buyout period begins. Could be a busy one this year as the flat-cap world continues to impact clubs.
  • July 16 | Last day for teams to place a player on waivers prior to the expansion draft trade/waiver freeze (noon ET).
  • July 16 | Deadline for players to agree to waive their no-move clause for the expansion draft.
  • July 17 at 3 p.m. ET to July 22 at 1 pm ET: Trade freeze amongst the 31 NHL clubs. Seattle is allowed to make trades with any club during this time.
  • July 17 | At 5 p.m. ET, firm deadline for each club to submit its expansion draft protection list to Central Registry and the NHLPA.
  • July 18 | There’s a 10 a.m. ET deadline for Central Registry to approve and send out the protection lists to all NHL teams (including Seattle, of course) and the NHLPA.
  • July 18 | Opening of the RFA/UFA interview period for Seattle as discussed above (again, only players who weren’t protected for the expansion draft).
  • July 21 | There’s a 10 a.m. ET deadline for Seattle to submit its expansion draft selections to Central Registry and the NHLPA. Also, a 10 a.m. ET deadline for the Kraken to submit contracts for any of those pending RFAs/UFAs they’ve been able to sign during the interview period.
    • The NHL announces the expansion draft results at 8 p.m. ET.
  • July 23 | NHL entry draft, Round 1 (held virtually again).
  • July 24 | NHL entry draft, Rounds 2-7.
  • July 26 | Deadline for qualifying offers.
  • July 27 | First buyout period ends at 5 p.m. ET.
  • July 27 | A team’s ability to offer an eight-year max deal to its own pending UFA expires at 11:59 p.m. ET
  • July 28 |  Opening of free agency at noon ET.

Boston Bruins

  • Devon
    • Seattle’s Pick: 
      • Nick Ritchie. Ritchie is a bottom-six forward with size (6’ 2”, 230 lbs.) that can chip in some offense. Ritchie had 26 Pts (15 Goals) in 56 games this past season. 
      • The cheaper alternative would be defenseman Jeremy Lauzon. 
  • Bruce
    • Seattle’s Pick: Jeremy Lauzon
  • John
    • Seattle’s Pick: Trent Frederic

Buffalo Sabres

  • Devon
    • Seattle’s Pick:
      • Zemgus Girgensons.The former first rounder (14th overall) missed all of 2020-2021 with a hamstring tear suffered in training camp. Under contract for two more seasons at $2.2M, Girgensons is an affordable third-line checking option.
  • Bruce
    • Seattle’s Pick: Colin Miller
  • John (7-3-1)
    • Seattle’s Pick: Zemgus Girgensons

New Jersey Devils

  • Devon (7-3-1)
    • Seattle’s Pick:
      • Michael McLeod. Drafted 12th overall in 2016, the right-shot center offers some size (6’ 2”, 190 lbs.), speed (very fast feet, quick hands), and has good vision at both ends of the ice. Like many, McLeod showed offensive upside at the Junior level; but has been used in a more defensive role with the Devils. Did well on the PK.
  • Bruce
    • Seattle’s Pick: Nick Merckley
  • John
    • Seattle’s Pick: Nathan Bastian

New York Islanders

  • Devon (7-3-1)
    • Seattle’s Pick:
      • Kieffer Bellows. The 19th pick in the 2016 draft, there is pedigree and scoring potential here. Scouting reports suggest that he has the skill-set to be a productive, top-6 scorer at the NHL level; although, at 23 years of age, time is running out.
  • Bruce
    • Seattle’s Pick: Jordan Eberle
  • John
    • Seattle’s Pick: Jordan Eberle

New York Rangers

  • Devon (7-3-1)
    • Seattle’s Pick:
      • Tony DeAngelo. We all know the story, and this is a risky pick; but how many young, right-shot defenceman like DeAngelo are readily available? In 2019-2020, he put up 53 points (15 goals) in 68 games, good enough for a 64 point pace over 82 games. Cap hit of $4.8M for the upcoming season, but then he’s an RFA the year following.   
      • Alternate pick, Colin Blackwell. Blackwell spent some time centering Artemi Panarin and Ryan Strome down the stretch and was relatively productive. From March 28th to April 18th, the Ranger center had 12 Pts (6 Goals) in 12 GP; so he has the ability to be productive given the right usage and linemates. Total of 22 PTS (12 Goals) in 47 GP last season. 
  • Bruce
    • Seattle’s Pick: Colin Blackwell
  • John
    • Seattle’s Pick: Colin Blackwell

Philadelphia Flyers

  • Devon (7-3-1)
    • Seattle’s Pick: 
      • James Van Riemsdyk. JVR produced at a 63 point pace last season, which is basically what you would expect from him. His 3 year average in an 82-game season includes 57 Pts (27 Goals), 196 SOG, and a shooting percentage of 14. With a spot on the top line and first power play unit; it wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect 250 SOG next season for JVR. Based on averages, that would translate to 35 goals. In a weaker Pacific Division that includes Anaheim, LA, San Jose, and Vancouver; I would not be shocked to see a new career-high from Van Riemsdyk.
  • Bruce
    • Seattle’s Pick: James Van Riemsdyk
  • John
    • Seattle’s Pick: James Van Riemsdyk

Pittsburgh Penguins

  • Devon (7-3-1)
    • Seattle’s Pick: 
      • Zack Aston-Reese. Excellent forechecker and defensively-minded bottom-6 forward. Analytics are positive, and he’s affordable.
      • Alternate pick, Cody Ceci. This pick is based mostly on the need to select 9 defencemen, a relatively low cap hit, and the fact he is a right-shot.
  • Bruce
    • Seattle’s Pick: Jason Zucker
  • John
    • Seattle’s Pick: Marcus Pettersson

Washington Capitals

  • Devon (7-3-1)
    • Seattle’s Pick: 
      • Vitek Vanecek.Vanecek was basically an average starting NHL goaltender this season. Including goaltenders with at least 10 GP, league average was .909 SV%, and 2.76 GAA. Vanecek: .908 SV% (31st), 2.69 GAA (30th), -0.16 GSAA (31st), and 21 Wins in 37 GP. For reference, Vancek had a better SV% than Darcy Kuemper, Sergei Bobrovsky, Anton Kudhobin, Jacob Markstrom, John Gibson, Freddie Andersen and Carey Price! 
      • The Caps netminder did have a stretch of 9 games (6 WINS) in the third quarter of the season where he played exceptionally well – .935 SV%, 1.93 GAA, and 6.54 GSAA.
  • Bruce
    • Seattle’s Pick: Vitek Vanecek
  • John
    • Seattle’s Pick: Vitek Vanecek

FHH Team Final Mock Drafts




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