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Seattle Kraken begin scouting Avalanche for NHL Expansion Draft



The Seattle Kraken, who will join the NHL as an expansion team next season, have begun scouting the Avalanche for the Expansion Draft.

Kraken pro scout Stu Barnes was at both Avalanche-Vegas games this week and was busily writing notes the whole time. The Avalanche will have to surrender one player to the Kraken when the Expansion Draft is held July 21.

Teams can protect seven forwards and three defensemen, or teams can protect any combination of eight skaters. Teams must protect players with no-movement clauses in their contracts, unless the player elects to waive the clause. They do not have to protect players with only no-trade clauses. All first- and second-year NHL players, and all unsigned draft choices are exempt from the draft. They do not count toward a team’s protected list. Of a team’s defensemen exposed, at least one must be under contract in 2021-22 and have played at least 40 NHL games the prior season, or played in at least 70 NHL games in the prior two seasons.

Players with potential career-ending injuries who have missed more than the previous 60 consecutive games may be exempt from being selected with league approval.

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Teams usually do the 7-3-1 (including a goalie) protection list, though I personally believe the Avs might be better suited doing the eight skater list. You can only lose one player. I’ll get into more expansion-list stuff in the off-season, but I just really would hate to lose a Ryan Graves to expansion, if you only protect three defensemen. I expect the Avs to do the 7-3-1 thing, but if that’s the case I think you can probably kiss Graves goodbye.

The seven forwards I’d protect? Tough question. Probably MacK, Rantanen, Landy, Kadri, Burakovsky, Nichushkin and Donskoi. That would expose Jost and Compher and Saad. If the Avs want Saad back and could re-sign him, then I probably protect Saad over Donskoi. The Avs are going to lose a good player no matter what. That’s life.

The Golden Knights, by the way, don’t have to expose anyone in the Expansion Draft. It was a nice little perk they got from the NHL when they came into the league a few years ago.

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Adrian Dater - Kiss and Larry Bird fan. Writer with @Gambling and @Bookies, Avs Insider with 104.3 The Fan. Denver Post, SI, Bleacher Report alum, author of seven books.

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Matt Briggle

Personally, I would protect Jost over Donskoi and with the emergence of MacDonald this year I think Graves is more expendable. Honestly, I think they might have to look at this as some salary cap relief and get a $3+ mil contract off their books. Wonder if they can petition the league to exempt Johnson if he’s done for the season. He wouldn’t meet the official criteria, but that was written pre-covid and the condensed schedule. Either way, if he can’t play any more this year I don’t see him having an issue with waiving the NTC as he won’t… Read more »

Aaron Hinton

Jost over Donkey? Dude are you serious?

Ari Sachter-Smith

If Jost can continue to be a legit 3C I agree you should keep him. Easier to get wingers and Donskoi’s cap hit is bigger


Correct me if I’m wrong but if the player is a UFA, you don’t need to protect them … they just have an extra week to talk with that player.


Example; Let’s keep using Joe Thornton as the example. Since he is under contract with the Sharks until June 30th, 2017, San Jose may negotiate a future contract with him any time between now and the Expansion Draft deadline. Say they come to an agreement, but don’t sign an official deal. The Sharks can leave Thornton unprotected, Vegas will have the chance to offer him a deal, but he may already be unofficially signed in San Jose, allowing the Sharks to protect a different player without the chance of losing Thornton. It’s a risk, but one likely worth taking on… Read more »


So essentially you can have a contract ready with Landy and Saad then not protect them, to allow us to protect other players. Yes it’s a risk but if you trust that player it could happen.

Matt Briggle

Not sure how much “trust” factors into this. If they have an accepted but unsigned offer on the table with Landy for say 6 years $7mil per and Seattle claims him and immediately offers him 7 years at $9 mil per and he will be their first captain would he really turn that down? I doubt the Avs would be able to match that offer, so there in lies the risk. Better to have him locked up on a signed contract and protect him than take that chance.

[…] Kraken pro scout Stu Barnes was at both Avalanche-Vegas games this week and was busily writing notes the whole time. The Avalanche will have to surrender one player to the Kraken when the Expansion Draft is held July 21. (Colorado Hockey Now) […]


AVS pipeline is loaded with defensemen.

[…] Seattle Kraken begin scouting Avalanche for NHL Expansion … […]

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