Trio of New York Hockey Players Highlight Kraken Youth Movement
We now *officially* have 32 teams in the National Hockey League.
That is the case after the Seattle Kraken completed their Expansion Draft, choosing one player from 30 of the 31 teams currently in the NHL. Only the Vegas Golden Knights were allowed to keep all of their players, while the rest of the franchises in the league were forced to "expose" a certain group of players to be chosen.
As I wrote throughout the week, each New York hockey team found themselves in a unique situation heading into the draft. The New York Rangers had a number of young, exciting players who were ineligible to be drafted, leaving the team in good shape for the draft. The Islanders were set up to lose a prominent player from their roster, while the Sabres were praying they'd somehow lose multiple players to the Kraken.
We now know which player was chosen from each New York team, and the selections made by the Kraken highlight a commitment to building for the future, at the apparent expense of the present.
BUFFALO SABRES - Will Borgen, Defenseman
Admittedly, I am starting with the pick that I got correct. I believed one thing to be true about Will Borgen, and one thing only. He was the lesser of the evils that the Sabres presented the Kraken. Borgen is an intriguing young defenseman, and will be cheap to re-sign for the future. Somehow, the Sabres still managed to get worse.
NEW YORK RANGERS - Colin Blackwell, Forward
I did not get this one right, but our guest on The Drive yesterday, Colin Stephenson, did. He told us Colin Blackwell would be chosen by the Kraken, and after doing some research, I was disappointed I missed out on him. He had a breakout season with the Rangers last season, scoring 12 goals and recording 22 total points in 47 games with the big club. That goal total was tied for 6th on the team with former first overall pick, Alexis Lafreniere. Cheap scoring is a very valuable asset for the Kraken to have.
NEW YORK ISLANDERS - Jordan Eberle, Forward
I saved the biggest impact for last. I also saved one of the few players who is *not* young for last, as well. The vast majority of the Kraken roster is comprised of young, exciting talent with a ton of potential. Eberle, however, is an established NHL veteran, and an established scoring threat, something he's been doing in the league for a decade. He's played 779 NHL games since 2010, scoring 241 goals. He'll provide a much-needed veteran presence on a team that will have a lot of growing to do quickly.
After last night's draft, here is every player currently in the Kraken organization.
Big shoutout to CapFriendly.com for the rosters.