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Donkey Gone: Joonas Donskoi expected to be taken by Seattle Kraken

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Well, I’m sure ESPN is thrilled. The NHL’s newest TV partner is unveiling the first-ever Seattle Kraken roster tonight, and it was supposed to be a dramatic event, preceded by more of the guessing game that has filled a thousand mock drafts by now. Instead, the Kraken’s selection list turned out to have more leaks than the oil filter to my old 1979 Ford Fairmont.

The Kraken had to submit their list of selections to the NHL this morning, and, well, someone with the league leaked like a sieve. Or, maybe they were hacked. Either way, right now there are reports circulating by reputable media outlets that show the Kraken’s full list, the players from each team that will be lost to Seattle. From the Avalanche, that player is reported to be Joonas Donskoi.

This would not especially be a surprise. Donskoi was going to be a top candidate to leave, because, well, he’s a very good player. Most of us expected either him or J.T. Compher to be selected, but it’s clear that Donskoi has the better career resume right now.

The only “good” thing in losing Donskoi is the Avs now have $3.9 million in new cap space. That now gives the Avs a little more than $26 million of room under the $81.5 hard cap. (OR IS IT $30 MILLION? One cap site, Cap Friendly, currently shows the Avs with $26 million in current cap space, with Donskoi still on it. Another, PuckPedia, has it at $22 million of current space, with Donskoi still on it. I’m thoroughly confused). UPDATE: I’m told the reason why Cap Friendly has the Avs with about $4 million more of cap space is because they aren’t including Logan O’Connor, Jacob MacDonald, Jonas Johansson or Alex Newhook on the “current” roster).

As of now, six “key” guys don’t have contracts for next season, and three of them are potential unrestricted free agents a week from today. Those UFAs are Gabe Landeskog, Philipp Grubauer and Brandon Saad. Three others (Cale Makar, Tyson Jost and Conor Timmins) are restricted free agents. The team already has decided to move on from guys such as Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Patrik Nemeth. Matt Calvert is another UFA, and he underwent back surgery recently (his back became his biggest problem prior to his last stint on the injured list, not concussions). I don’t know if the Avs will offer Calvy another deal or not.

Twenty six million dollars to spend (or is it 30)? Man, how times have changed. The entire payroll of the Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche in 1995-96 was about $16 million.

As far as the talks go with others: I believe there is at least dialogue still going on between the Avs and Landeskog and Grubauer. It doesn’t appear that anything happened between Landeskog and the Kraken, even though they had an exclusive 72-hour window to negotiate a deal with him.

Bonus Voucher!

I remain an optimist that Landy will be back with the Avs. Do I know for sure that he will? No.

If they don’t sign Landy, I have to believe Joe Sakic has something up his sleeve to bolster the roster, either via a free-agent signing or two of his own or a sizable trade. The NHL trade freeze that has been in effect the last few days ends Thursday at 11 a.m. mountain. Buckle up, kids, because I believe there will be some heavy trade activity once the freeze lifts.

As for Donskoi leaving: I think it’s a tough loss. He was the kind of guy who could play on any line and not embarrass himself. He played on the Avs’ first power play in the playoffs, the “wheel” guy in the middle. He scored 17 goals in 51 games and I thought he was pretty good in the playoffs. Pretty good, not great (five points in 10 games, all three of his goals in one game). His Corsi for percentage was a very good 55.6. He is a big guy who skates hard, checks hard and isn’t afraid to go to the net.

If the Avs lose Donskoi, Landeskog and Saad? They will have essentially lost half of their top six forwards from the playoffs and much of the regular season. Uh, that ain’t good, Bob.

Sakic better have a good backup plan, if Landy and Saad aren’t coming back (and Grubauer). But hey, I’m a “In Joe We Trust” kind of guy. So, let’s all take deep breaths and see what this next week brings.

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Adrian Dater - Kiss and Larry Bird fan. Writer with @Gambling and @Bookies. Previously Denver Post, SI, Bleacher Report to name just a few.

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hockeyhead

To bad for ESPN, Leaky NHL. Dater I just checked capfriendly and it shows 26 mil + at the moment, so if they do take Donskoi, the Avs should have close to 30 mil minus any bonus money still due. We will see if reality matches the leak. More time to work with Landy on a deal if true.

Karl Keen

I get that Jost is cheaper and Donskoi’s cap hit coming off has at least some positivity but choosing Jost over Donskoi is senseless if we were really trying to win a cup.

gurnblanston

Maybe, but I was not much of a Jost fan at all until this year and I thought he had a good season and better playoffs. If he trends up more he could help replace those points.

JD16

I believe it was more Jost over Compher. The surprise protection being O’Connor instead of Donskoi.

Karl Keen

Good point I guess I just like LOC. I guess it shows that Sakic wanted to dump some salary to try and get Landy and Grubs signed

idavsfan

AD – your list has “TOR: Jared McCann” twice and is missing the DET pick (not that it’s going to be impactful – LOL)

What do you think the chances are the AVS go after Alex Chiasson as a replacement for Saad?

Last edited 8 days ago by idavsfan
djs

Why the f* did they protect Jost over Donskoi? Right when I saw the list I was like “oh great, Avs lose Donskoi. 😢”

I was so excited to see the progression of the Nichushkin, Kadri, Donskoi line next season! Nichushkin looked great in the playoffs. It’s really too bad that Kadri f’d up so badly. Things could have been completely different.

Anyway.. gonna miss watching those guys for sure. 😩

JD16

As I commented above as well. I think Sakic was choosing Jost over Compher. Remember that Logan O’Connor was also protected.
I think Sakic just wanted to make sure to get 3+mil off the books. Though if I were him I would’ve given Seattle a pick (low/middle) to take Compher instead.

hockeyhacker5

Seattle made it clear they weren’t taking salary dumps cheaply. I’m guessing they would have wanted at least the 2nd round pick from the Graves deal to take Compher. Maybe more than that.

JD16

It wouldn’t be a salary dump scenario. JT makes less than Donskoi. I’m more saying by protecting LOC that Sakic was making sure one of those guys would be taken so he could get that cap space. The pick to Seattle would be more of a “we’d rather keep Donskoi” type of deal. Too late now though.

phrish

How many times are they going to pick Jordan Eberle? Or Jarod McCann?

Last edited 8 days ago by phrish

[…] The draft itself was a less exciting television event than it was originally intended to be. Various journalists across the Twittersphere leaked the Kraken’s picks hours before the primetime ESPN 2 spectacle was set to air, including the Donskoi pick. […]

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