The Carolina Hurricanes have quite a few attractive potential targets for the Seattle Kraken Expansion Draft next year.
The 2nd NHL Expansion Draft in 4 years is right around the corner, and the Carolina Hurricanes might not be able to emerge as unscathed in this one as they did the last.
For starters, let’s look back at what the Carolina Hurricanes actually ended up losing in the Vegas Expansion Draft. The Hurricanes traded a 2017 5th round draft pick to Vegas for ‘future considerations’, which in this circumstance is a roundabout way of saying the Vegas Golden Knights would select Connor Brickley instead of any of the other, more skilled players that were left exposed by Carolina in the Expansion Draft.
Now on the other side of the negotiation table, Ron Francis might not be so willing to ‘play ball’ with the Carolina Hurricanes, considering two of these three players were drafted by the man himself during his tenure as the Canes’ Vice President and General Manager.
One slight caveat before we get into this: I am by no means saying that I actively want any of these players to go to Seattle, nor am I saying they are the ones absolutely being scouted or pursued by them going forward. I have no inside knowledge of any negotiations or communications between Ron Francis and Don Waddell. This is purely speculation.
Before we fully dive in, I’d like to also briefly go over who I believe the Carolina Hurricanes will be protecting and leaving exposed for the Expansion Draft. Jordan Staal has a full NMC, so he’s a player the Canes will be forced to protect unless Staal chooses to waive the clause.
If not, he’ll fill slot #1 of the protected list. Others that are a given are Sebastian Aho, Teuvo Teravainen, Andrei Svechnikov, Jaccob Slavin, Brett Pesce, Petr Mrazek, and Dougie Hamilton (if he does, indeed, remain with the Carolina Hurricanes after this season).
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With these names all but guaranteed to fill 4 of the 7 forward slots, all 3 defenseman slots, and the lone goalie slot, who are the other 3 forwards the Canes could be protecting?
Martin Necas should be exempt from the Expansion draft according to CapFriendly’s interactive Seattle Expansion Draft Tool, so that leaves guys like Ryan Dzingel, Warren Foegele, Jordan Martinook, Brock McGinn, Jesper Fast, and Nino Niederreiter likely targets for protection as well.
The Carolina Hurricanes have another option for protecting more defensemen if they’d like: instead of protecting 7F/3D/1G, they could protect 8 players regardless of if they’re a forward or defenseman, and 1 goalie.
It’s going to be interesting to see how they handle it, but that’s another story for another time. None of the guys listed above are players I believe the Kraken will target over the others I’m about to list in this article.
With that mostly out of the way, let’s dive into who I think Ron Francis will be looking at snagging from the Carolina Hurricanes in the Seattle Kraken Expansion Draft, from least likely, to most likely.