New York Rangers’ Young Stars Will Be Safe from Seattle
It's me, the hockey fanatic, here to tell you everything you need to know about the 2021 Seattle Kraken Expansion Draft, which takes place Wednesday.
Here's a quick primer for the newcomers to how an NHL Expansion Draft works. Each NHL team (except the Vegas Golden Knights, who are exempt from this draft) but choose which players from their roster to protect, and which to "expose" as potential future members of the Seattle Kraken. Each team can "protect" either seven forwards, three defensemen and a goaltender, or eight skaters total (regardless of position) and a goaltender.
The Kraken will then select 14 forwards, nine defensemen and three goaltenders, one player each, from each team. Certain teams won't lose any important players, while others may lose a very impactful player. The New York Rangers enter the expansion draft with a lot of potential for the upcoming season, and their youth will end up being a saving grace for this draft. Here's who I think might join the Kraken from the Blueshirts.
Let's begin by taking a look at which players are ineligible to be taken by the Kraken, due to their youth and lack of NHL games played:
Notice a few familiar names? Yeah, that's by design. The Rangers are STACKED with young talent, and because they haven't been in the NHL long enough, none of those players are eligible. This list includes Norris Trophy winner Adam Fox, first overall draft selection Alexis Lafreniere, and starting goaltender Igor Shesterkin, among others.
So, that left the Rangers with decisions to make with the remaining players on the roster. Here's who they chose...
Also included in this group is goaltender Alexander Georgiev. So, the players without checkmarks next to them, are the players available to be stolen in the draft tomorrow.
For my money, I'm looking at three forwards to be taken. These players are Barclay Goodrow, Tim Gettinger and Julien Gauthier. Goodrow was *just* acquired from the two-time reigning Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning, and had a big impact on the physical style of play the team developed. The Rangers have been missing that style of play in their lineup, and any team, including the Kraken, would love to add it.
Gauthier and Gettinger are both 23 years of age, and both have tons of offensive upside. Both have had stellar performances in the American Hockey League over the past few seasons, and seem poised to crack an NHL lineup full-time in the near future.
I have to make a pick, so I will...and because Goodrow is a free agent now, and Gauthier is the only one with a contract for next season, I will say Julien Gauthier is selected by the Seattle Kraken.
Thank you to CapFriendly.com for the draft graphics!