The Vegas Golden Knights weren't looking for a face. They were looking for 23 faces, 23 members of a new team in a new city, ready to welcome new fans to the Vegas Golden Knights and the NHL.
They got one anyway.
When the Golden Knights selected Marc-Andre Fleury from the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft, the goalie who would come to symbolize and spur on Vegas in its first season and beyond, they found a player who was equally important for the fans and the players to latch onto.
The question is whether the Seattle Kraken, in the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft presented by Upper Deck on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; ESPN2, SN1, SN NOW), can replicate that.
"It really all depends on who's available and who we can pick, but we certainly think there's going to be some good players available," Kraken general manager Ron Francis said Saturday. "Hopefully when they get selected here, we can get them into town and walk out on the stage and they can become the early faces of our Seattle Kraken lineup."
There are options for the Kraken. With the protected lists for NHL teams except the Golden Knights being revealed Sunday, there are names that jump out as potential Fleury-like faces.