The Seattle Kraken will announce their official roster on Wednesday with their expansion draft selections.
They will select 30 players, one from each NHL team excluding the Vegas Golden Knights, to build initial current roster (the rules are here).
While many of the players selected will be the foundation of the first year franchise, there will no doubt be several selections on Wednesday that never play a game for the Kraken. There are no doubt side deals being made right now with other teams for Seattle to pick a player another team likes, and then flip them for more assets.
Back in the 2017 expansion draft the Vegas Golden Knights immediately traded five of their initial picks, including Dave Schlemko, Trevor van Riemsdyk, Marc Methot, Calvin Pickard, and Alexei Emelin. It was a good way for Vegas to stockpile future assets and additional pieces to its organization.
Seattle will almost certainly do the same.
Here are some candidates that Seattle could select only to use as a trade chip immediately after the expansion draft is completed.
Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis Blues
Honestly the Kraken would be smart to take him for themselves. But it also seems reasonable to think they could take him for the purposes of flipping him to another team. Tarasenko has reportedly asked for a trade out of St. Louis, but his contract, salary cap hit, and recent injury history do make him a bit of a risk. The Kraken could pick and eat a portion of his salary in a trade to remove some of that risk for another team that wants him.
Or, the Kraken could just keep him and hope he is healthy and bounces back and plays like the All-Star player he is for the next two years.
Mark Giordano, Calgary Flames
Giordano seems like an easy pick from the Flames, even as a trade chip whether it be immediately after the draft or at the trade deadline. Is he still a Norris Trophy level player like he was three years ago? Not at all. But he is still really good and would improve a lot of team’s blue lines. He is still a positive possession-driver and can chip in enough offense to make an impact with a very manageable salary cap number. The fact he is on an expiring contract should also be attractive to other teams (including the Kraken).