The misconception about an expansion draft is that the Seattle Kraken will start alphabetically with the Anaheim Ducks’ list and make their picks in order all the way through to the Winnipeg Jets.
In reality, Seattle will make the juicy decisions — Carey Price, Nino Niederreiter, Mark Giordano — first, then round out their roster off of the less sexy lists that remain. The latter best describes the Edmonton Oilers, whose list of non-UFAs will not provide the Kraken with an impactful player or a huge boost in jersey sales.
The Oilers' best available players are unrestricted free agents like Adam Larsson, Tyson Barrie and Alex Chiasson. The players under contract being offered by Edmonton are fourth-liners like Devin Shore and Jujhar Khaira, unproven prospects like Tyler Benson and Cooper Marody, or a depth, veteran defenceman like Kris Russell.
The Kraken may surprise in the next 48 hours and ink a guy like Barrie as their Edmonton component. If not, however, you can bet the discussion regarding the Oilers’ list will wait for late in Seattle general manager Ron Francis’ selection process.
And while his counterpart, Oilers GM Ken Holland, may approach Francis to select a player from elsewhere and trade him to Edmonton, Holland won’t be making any deals to dissuade Francis from selecting a certain player off the Oilers’ list. Edmonton just doesn’t have to expose the level of player who would require such manipulation.