Kraken Mock Expansion Draft v2 - Part Three, The Central

Before getting into mypicks from the Central Division, a reminder of my guidelines:


  • 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.

For a refresher, I've already made picks for the Atlantic and Metro divisions.


Chicago Blackhawks


Protected List:

F: Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Alex DeBrincat, Dylan Strome, Alex Nylander, Lucas Wallmark, Brandon Hagel

D: Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Nikita Zadorov

G: Collin Delia


Pick

D - Connor Murphy - Signed at AAV of 3.85M


Murphy is a player that Chicago would likely prefer to keep as part of their team, but they could be restricted by no movement clauses. Murphy’s underlying stats are weak, with poor possession and chance numbers; with that in mind, I wouldn’t want him as part of the lineup at 3.85M per year. However, I do think the Kraken could find a taker who likes his talent enough to give up some assets for Seattle to flip him.


Other Options

Nylander if not protected

Zadorov if they protect Murphy instead

Lucas Carlsson

Malcolm Subban


Colorado Avalanche


Protected List:

F: Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, Gabriel Landeskog, Andre Burakovsky, Nazem Kadri, Valeri Nichushkin, Brandon Saad

D: Cale Makar, Erik Johnson, Sam Girard

G: Philipp Grubauer


Pick

D - Devon Toews - Signed at AAV of 4.1M


Outside of Jake Allen, Toews is potentially the most important piece that the Kraken could have a chance to pick in the draft. Besides last season spent on a team in the Islanders that didn’t emphasize possession, he has consistently put up strong possession numbers to go along with his extremely good high-danger chance and xG percentages. He can fill the left side of the Kraken’s top pairing and be dependable as a penalty killer as well.


Other Options

I could see Colorado going the route of protecting eight skaters to protect Toews. If they did, any of the forwards not protected from this list would be valuable assets.

Ryan Graves

Tyson Jost

JT Compher


Dallas Stars


Protected List:

F: Benn, Seguin, Radulov, Gurianov, Hintz, Faksa, Dickinson

D: Heiskanen, Lindell, Klingberg

G: Bishop


Pick

G - Anton Khudobin - Signed at AAV of 3.33M


This is one area where I feel I differ most significantly from most - I don’t actually want the Kraken to spend a pick on Khudobin. I feel Jake Allen can be a number one, and while the league has moved towards a 1A and 1B setup in most cases, I don’t think the Kraken need Khudobin to be their 1B at his age.


Instead, it’s possible that the Stars could value Khudobin more than Seattle does; that could mean that a trade is a possibility. That likely comes down to how the Stars feel about Jake Oettinger. If they think he is ready to at least be part of their tandem, then there likely isn’t a trade to be made here and the Kraken can’t afford to pass on Khudobin at that point. They could still look to flip him to a team in need of goaltender improvement.


Minnesota Wild


Protected List:

F: Zach Parise, Mats Zuccarello, Kevin Fiala, Joel Eriksson Ek

D: Ryan Suter, Jared Spurgeon, Matt Dumba, Jonas Brodin

G: Kaapo Kahkonen


Pick

Jordan Greenway


Greenway represents an intriguing option who can provide scoring and physicality up front. He’s posted 23 and 25 points at 5v5 the past two seasons, while posting excellent xG and scoring chance numbers. He gives the Kraken an option to either pair with Oshie as a big forechecking line, or to separate them and ensure there’s physicality and size throughout the top six.


This is also a pick I expect to change later on, as I expect the Wild to move a defenseman prior to the draft and end up protecting Greenway.


Other Options

Ryan Hartman (RFA)

Cam Talbot


Nashville Predators


Protected List:

F: Viktor Arvidson, Matt Duchene, Filip Forsberg, Luke Kunin

D: Roman Josi, Mattias Ekholm, Dante Fabbro, Ryan Ellis

G: Juuse Saros


Pick

G - Connor Ingram - Signed at AAV of 733K


The Predators don’t present many options if they go with this version of protecting eight skaters, so this becomes a depth signing in goal. Ingram might never have a place in the NHL, but can be valuable at the AHL level for the Kraken. This all assumes nothing follows Ingram from the investigation into match fixing.


Other Options

Kunin if not protected

Matt Duchene if not protected


St. Louis Blues


Protected List:

F: Ryan O’Reilly, Vladimir Tarasenko, Jaden Schwartz, Brayden Schenn, Robert Thomas, Oskar Sunqvist, Jordan Kyrou

D: Colton Parayko, Torey Krug, Vince Dunn

G: Jordan Binnington


Pick

LW - Samuel Blais - Signed at AAV of 1.5M


Blais has struggled to consistently crack the Blues’ lineup, but has posted roughly average possession metrics in his time in the lineup. That’s taken a jump this year, but it coincides so far with having a much higher portion of his starts in the offensive zone. The Kraken can clearly do worse than having a pretty average forward to fill out their forward lineup, and Blais is a strong depth option for them.


Other Options

Marco Scandella

Ivan Barbashev

Jon Gillies

Robert Bortuzzo


Winnipeg Jets


Protected List:

F: Blake Wheeler, Mark Scheifele, Kyle Connor, Pierre-Luc Dubois, Nikolaj Ehlers, Andrew Copp, Mason Appleton

D: Josh Morrissey, Dylan DeMelo, Neal Pionk

G: Connor Hellebuyck


Pick

D - Nathan Beaulieu - Signed at AAV of 1.25M


Beaulieu is another player who a lot of people love for his physicality mixed with some offensive skill. However, the underlying stats have consistently been average to poor. He still has value to the Kraken as a seventh defenseman; the biggest issue could be that he’s expressed disappointment in the past when relegated to a similar role.


Other Options

Adam Lowry


The majority of the lineup is filled at this point, which is good considering the lack of depth on most of the Pacific teams going through rebuilds. However, next time we will grab our number one center and round out our top four on the back end.


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