With the expansion draft protection lists submitted, the players on the block for the Seattle Kraken have been decided. Now in the lead-up to their inaugural draft, the Last Word on Hockey team are proposing their ideal selection from each team. As part of this exercise, salary cap and roster make-up have been incorporated into picking Seattle’s roster on behalf of general manager Ron Francis. Focusing on the teams in the Pacific Division in this particular piece, let’s dive into our ideal picks for the Kraken. The following players listed account for our Seattle Kraken mock draft selections for the Pacific Division.
Seattle Kraken Mock Draft for the Pacific Division
Haydn Fleury, Defenceman
The Seattle Kraken would be the third team for Haydn Fleury in less than four months, so there is something to question there. On the other hand, he is only 25-years-old and has shown he can be an effective player at the WHL and AHL levels. Overall, he’s scored just seven goals and 27 points through 179 NHL games over four years, so it’s fair to say he hasn’t fully arrived yet in the NHL. But sometimes it takes a while for these elite junior guys to figure it out and the Kraken would be wise to give Fleury a chance with the freshest of slates.
Mark Giordano, Defenceman
Mark Giordano offers a lot of benefits to the NHL’s newest club. He brings stand-out leadership qualities, which should make him a shoo-in for the captaincy from day one. What’s more, he still has plenty of skill and ability at the age of 37 and would be a fantastic role model in the Seattle community and a marketable face of the franchise. Giordano has won a Norris and a Messier Leadership trophy within the last three seasons; needless to say, old man’s got game.
He could be a Kraken for a few years as a cornerstone piece of the blue line or alternatively, he could be used as trade bait and shipped out at the deadline if the Kraken find themselves in hardship in year one. Giordano is one of the easiest picks for what could be a very young Kraken squad in need of an identity.
Jujhar Khaira, Forward
Jujhar Khaira brings an edge to the Kraken that is once again becoming a desired intangible in today’s game. His style of play and hard-nosed approach would offer instant fan-favourite potential on an energy line. He has also been an extremely effective penalty killer for the Oilers so far and will solidify Seattle’s PK just by being in the lineup. Khaira is not a big point-getter with only 24 goals and 63 points in 258 NHL games but will slot in perfectly to the Kraken’s bottom six.
Los Angeles Kings
Andreas Athanasiou, Winger
After what seems like an outlier of a 30-goal season in 2018-19, Andreas Athanasiou has struggled to find consistency in his young career. The Seattle Kraken may present a good opportunity for the 26-year-old restricted free agent to play top-six minutes and gain that consistency. Athanasiou has elite speed and has shown open-ice creativity but just lacks that ability to replicate good stretches and seasons.
The Kraken could utilize him in the top six and use that creativity alongside their other top talent. They could even slot him further down the lineup in an effort to create mismatches, springing him loose for at least a few breakaway goals. If Seattle wants an identity of speed and IQ, Athanasiou is the guy for them.
San Jose Sharks
Ryan Donato, Forward
The 25-year-old Ryan Donato has been a bit lacklustre so far in his career save for a few good seasons in Minnesota. He shows potential for growth in his youth still but should not rise above the bottom six in Seattle to start. He can play on the power play but is not strong in the face-off dot, so look to see him slotted in on the wing sooner than later. Donato could work the third line alongside Athanasiou.
Zack MacEwen, Centre
Like Khaira, Zack MacEwen brings an essence of grit to the Kraken. He is a young winger (25-years-old) and is not afraid to lay the body. Seattle is going to have a lot of young, talented players and adding a player with MacEwen’s capabilities in the lower half of the lineup will really balance the roster.
Vegas Golden Knights
The Golden Knights are exempt from the expansion draft so they won’t be losing a player Wednesday night. But, they will not leave unscathed, hence their inclusion in our Seattle Kraken mock draft.
The Kraken are the league’s newest toy to show off and there is a lot of excitement around the franchise. Ultimately it’s the same thing we saw in Vegas back in 2017. But once Seattle builds their roster, they will officially be the league’s newest team, stripping the Golden Knights of the title.
Once they lose that title, the Golden Knights are no longer the cute, new club. They are just another team looking at a big, empty space in their trophy case.