I maintain that the chief competition for Ryan Nugent-Hopkins services will be the new outfit. The Seattle Kraken will have more do-re-mi, I always say, and a veteran center who can play a two-way game and mentor the youths would have high value for Seattle general manager Ron Francis. What will his team look like after the expansion draft? I had a go.
I’m proud to be writing for The Athletic, and pleased to be part of a great team with Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Jonathan Willis. Here’s the latest!
- New Lowetide: How close to NHL-ready is Oilers prospect Dmitri Samorukov?
- New Lowetide: Oilers’ reasonable expectations eat dust during Connor McDavid’s dream season
- Jonathan Willis: Why some of the most popular moves Ken Holland could make would be mistakes
- Lowetide: Why huge Oil Kings goalie Sebastian Cossa could be the perfect first-round fit for the Oilers
- DNB: What I’m hearing about the Oilers’ plans for the Kraken draft
- Lowetide: The Oilers must decide now what to do about the Connor McDavid-Leon Draisaitl dilemma
- DNB: Oilers mailbag, part 2
- Lowetide: What is Kailer Yamamoto’s future fit on the Oilers’ depth chart?
- DNB: Oilers mailbag, part 1
- DNB: What a perfect offseason could look like for the Edmonton Oilers
- Lowetide: The Oilers need to add four wingers to their top nine this summer
- Lowetide: Oilers enter free agency as a major buyer. Is third time the charm?
- DNB: Oilers could look quite different next season after departure of several players
- Lowetide: It won’t be easy, but the Oilers need to re-sign Darnell Nurse soon
- DNB: Ideal Oilers free-agent targets
- New Lowetide: An early look at the Oilers’ options for the 2021 draft
- New DNB: The pressure is on Oilers GM Ken Holland
- New Lowetide: What now for Ryan Nugent-Hopkins?
- New DNB: Connor McDavid shows his frustration as another year of his prime is lost: ‘We’re a group that expects more’
- New Jonathan Willis: The NHL gifted the Oilers Connor McDavid; six years later, they have yet to adequately support him
PROJECTED KRAKEN ROSTER
It’s an interesting process, because some of the rules are a hindrance to the Kraken. The expansion team must take 20 contracts, and that means a ton of 2021 RFA’s can’t be prioritized (I took nine, just one below the limit). It’s a Denver boot on drafting good players who are in their early 20’s and those happen to be the most valuable pieces available to new teams.
In this model, Seattle has $34,000,000 and nine RFA’s to sign. Edmonton has $21,000,000 to sign Adam Larsson plus restricted men Kailer Yamamoto, Jujhar Khaira, Dominik Kahun and Tyler Benson. If it gets into a salary battle between Seattle and Edmonton over the Nuge, Francis has the hammer.
I used to call this “The AHL All-Stars” and identified Patrick Maroon back when he played for the Philadelphia Phantoms in the minors. Is there anyone out there this year? Yes!
- RC Jack Studnicka, Boston Bruins (Providence). You may remember Studnicka, he was chosen by Boston with the draft pick Edmonton sent them for the rights to the fired Peter Chiarelli. He went 11, 0-7-7 in the AHL this year, and played 20 uneventful NHL games. He is 22, 6.01 and 171, might be an available asset.
- LW Jakub Lauko, Boston Bruins (Providence). Speedy winger spiked in his season AHL season (5-14-19 in 23 games) and at 21 is blocked by Brad Marchand, Nick Ritchie and possibly Taylor Hall.
- LC Morgan Barron, New York Rangers (Hartford). Big, skilled center who has both scoring ability and a passer’s touch. Speed is good, he would be a worthy target.
- LC David Gustafsson, Winnipeg Jets (Manitoba). Has some (6.01, 191) size and a two-way reputation, but at age 21 went 7-12-19 in 22 AHL games and that’s a little more offense than I thought he’d bring. Long shot to acquire, Winnipeg plants the roots deep on all of their picks, but he has talent.
- RC Riley Damiani, Dallas Stars (Texas). He played on the same Georgetown Raiders (OJHL) team as Matthew Cairns, think Dallas got the better prospect. He’s a little small, but highly skilled (36, 11-25-36) and at 21 is in the window to make his NHL debut.
HOW MANY ROOKIES?
I think we could see as many as three rookies (Evan Bouchard isn’t one) on the opening night roster.