The protected lists have been revealed and so too has a shift in strategy by most teams when it comes to making players available for Wednesday’s expansion draft.

Unlike the Vegas expansion draft of 2017, several teams have opted to protect their value contracts, young players on team-friendly deals, as opposed to established veterans on sizeable contracts. Big-name players like Carey Price, Vladimir Tarasenko, and Mark Giordano are up for grabs as teams hope to avoid losing players with the potential to become the next Jonathan Marchessault or William Karlsson whom Vegas took from Florida and Columbus, respectively.

That’s not to say there aren’t some potential under the radar, diamonds in the rough out there for Seattle. With that in mind, here are three players who have the potential to breakout, should the Kraken choose them in the expansion draft.

 

JAKE BEAN

Bean was drafted 13th overall by the Carolina Hurricanes in 2016. In his first full NHL season in 2021, Bean recorded one goal, 11 assists in 42 games. He was heavily sheltered on the Hurricanes' third defence pairing and performed well in his role. While the offensive numbers are nothing to write home about, Bean excelled in several areas that speak to his overall game.

The 23-year-old has good poise with the puck in the offensive zone and saw time on the Hurricanes' power play. Among defencemen with 500 or more minutes at even-strength, Bean ranked 25th in offensive zone puck possession per 60 minutes. His comparables in this area were Jakob Chychrun and Darnell Nurse. With only 44 NHL games under his belt, Bean will only grow more comfortable and confident with the puck in the attacking end.