It’s easy and probably overly simplistic to suggest that the Seattle Kraken go all out in signing unrestricted free agents (UFA) at July’s Expansion Draft. If Seattle were to agree to terms with one of those players in the team’s 48-hour exclusive negotiating window, that guy would become its pick from the Expansion Draft list.
But should the Kraken explore this route? Are there players available that would be worth it?
The only sensible answer is maybe.
While there are big-named UFA’s out there, like Alex Ovechkin and Taylor Hall, the chances of them being signed by Seattle are pretty slim. In fact, signing any UFA’s at the Expansion Draft is far from a given for the Kraken. Looking back at Vegas’ Expansion Draft, the Golden Knights signed one UFA, Deryk Engelland, at the Draft.
It’s a different NHL world this time around, however. The flat salary cap has teams dealing with tighter budgets and Seattle may be able to offer more lucrative deals.
The most likely scenarios for this to happen come from teams who don’t have attractive unprotected players for the Kraken to simply pick with their Expansion selection. It’s also possible that from these clubs, Seattle chooses to pick a player who is set to become a free agent and simply allows them to walk – something that Vegas did with three players.