We've reached the last section of picks in this version of the mock draft. A reminder of my guidelines and where we stand:
This is my projection of how I would approach the draft, not a prediction of how the Kraken will actually handle it. So much of the Kraken’s actual decisions will depend on the style of team they want to build and their overall organizational strategy.
I mention some potential trade targets and structures, but have not predicted any trades yet. That will come in my next version of the draft.
I’ve aimed to build the best team I could, and have ensured that I meet the requirements of the draft. However, that’s left me with a team that would have too many NHL caliber players in the minors. Some of that will be addressed with the trades in the next version, while the Kraken will also choose in some cases to pick fringe players instead of the best player available.
I’ve made sure the team would be able to put out two powerplay and penalty kill units, but have not yet addressed items like ensuring the powerplay units have a workable mixture of right and left-handed shots.
F: Jakob Silverberg, Rickard Rakell, Troy Terry, Sam Steel
D: Hampus Lindholm, Cam Fowler, Josh Manson, Kevin Shattenkirk
G: John Gibson
LW - Sonny Milano - Signed at AAV of 1.7M
Milano’s underlying stats took a dive in 2019-20, but he’s a skilled winger who has shown the ability at times to turn that into scoring. He might not fit into a top-six role, but he can easily provide some depth scoring that any team needs to be successful.
F: Phil Kessel, Nick Schmaltz, Christian Dvorak, Lawson Crouse, Clayton Keller, Conor Garland, Christian Fischer
D: Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Jakob Chychrun, Niklas Hjalmarsson
G: Darcy Kuemper
G - Adin Hill - RFA
Arizona’s roster decisions over the past couple seasons have almost entirely wiped out their organizational depth. However, the Kraken can do much worse than finding a depth goalie who has the potential to turn into at least an NHL backup. Hill took a big step up in his NHL performance in 2019-20, with a save percentage of .918; depending on how other portions of the draft shook out, he could be the Kraken’s backup on day one.
F: Matthew Tkachuk, Elias Lindholm, Sean Monahan, Johnny Gaudreau, Sam Bennett, Dillon Dube, Andrew Mangiapane
D: Noah Hanifin, Rasmus Andersson, Mark Giordano
G: Jacob Markstrom
C - Mikael Backlund - Signed at AAV of 5.35M
Backlund consistently puts up extremely strong possession numbers (Corsi over 50% every year since 2015), despite the fact that his zone starts have typically been slanted towards tougher assignments. That comes with enough scoring to fill a top-six role, and even with his contract being a concern for this age he should be able to be the Kraken's top-line center as they kickoff.
F: Connor McDavid, Leon Draisitl, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Kailer Yamamoto
D: Darnell Nurse, Oscar Kiefbom, Ethan Bear, Caleb Jones
G: Mikko Koskinen
RW - Jesse Puljujarvi - Signed at AAV of 1.175M
Puljujarvi ends up as the odd man out in this scenario where Edmonton goes the eight skater route to protect their core defensemen. If they do so, the Kraken have to take the chance that Puljujarvi can continue his career renaissance in Seattle.
Los Angeles Kings
F: Anze Kopitar, Alex Iafallo, Adrian Kempe, Austin Wagner
D: Drew Doughty, Sean Walker, Matt Roy, Kale Clague
G: Cal Petersen
C - Lias Andersson - RFA
Andersson is similar to the Casey Mittelstadt pick from Buffalo, a player who has never lived up to the hype he had as a prospect. Most of the Kings’ talent is exempt, so the Kraken can take a chance here that he’s able to turn it around after another fresh start.
San Jose Sharks
F: Logan Couture, Evander Kane, Timo Meier, Tomas Hertl, Kevin Labanc, Ryan Donato, Jonathan Dahlen
D: Erik Karlsson, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Radim Simek
G: Josef Korenar
C - Dylan Gambrell - RFA
Similar to the Kings, there isn’t much to choose here that doesn’t come with a huge contract. Gambrell hasn’t impressed so far in the NHL, but he provides more flexibility than any contracts that the Sharks could take on; they could even move on right away by not tendering an offer.
F: Elias Pettersson, Brock Boeser, Bo Horvat, J.T. Miller, Jake Virtanen, Tylr Motte, Adam Gaudette
D: Nate Schmidt, Olli Juolevi, Brogan Rafferty
G: Thatcher Demko
D - Tyler Myers - Signed at AAV of 6M
Myers will always be criticized by some, partially because he won’t live up to what he looked like as a rookie in Buffalo. Myers’ possession numbers have generally been poor, but he provides the ability to move the puck and put up points. If Vancouver leaves him exposed to try to get out of his contract, the Kraken round out their lineup by picking up a piece that can score at 5v5 and quarterback one of the PP units.
That completes my projected picks; next time I'll take a look at where that would leave the Kraken financially and on the ice.