Cracking the Kraken Draft

I had a fairly long ride home today and I started thinking about the expansion draft and how it pertains to the Boston Bruins. I hopped on the interwebs and read a few articles with headlines like “NHL Expansion Draft Rules for Dummies”, so I’m basically an expert at this point. I thought I would help out Donny and the boys in the front office and post my version of F%&#, Marry, Kill when it comes to next year’s expansion draft and I’m calling it: Keep Ya – Love Ya – See Ya

Let me break it down for you; again this is based on my nearly 10 minutes of research.

NHL Teams have 2 different paths to protecting players. You can protect either

  • 7 forwards, 3 defensemen and 1 goalie  

OR

  • 8 skaters (forwards/defensemen) and 1 goalie

Then, the players have to qualify under the following restrictions.

If a NHL club leaves a player unprotected, that player cannot have a no movement clause (at the time of the draft), unless they agree to waive it. If the player won’t waive the clause, the club is stuck with them. An interesting little wrinkle that I found was that if a player has a No-Movement Clause (NMC) he has to waive that in order to be left unprotected. If a player has a No-Trade Clause (NTC), the club can leave the player unprotected since it’s not a trade. I guess it actually does matter how good your agent is.

In addition to the above requirements, each NHL club must meet the following minimum standards regarding players left unprotected for selection by The Kraken:

All first and second year NHL players (and all unsigned draft choices) will be exempt from selection and will not be counted as protected players. 

But for players that are left unprotected and available for The Kraken, they must include:

  • 2 Forwards and 1 Defenseman who are:
    • Under contract in 2021-22
    • Have played in at least 40 NHL games the prior season or played in at least 70 NHL games the prior 2 seasons.
  • 1 Goalie who is under contract in 2021-22 or will be a RFA immediately before the draft. 

Also, players with potential career-ending injuries who have missed more than the previous 60 consecutive games may not be used as part of a team’s unprotected pool. 

My keepers are the ones in red. Ok, ready to play? Let’s jump in.

Keep ya: I feel that this is the easiest category and that you’ll agree with (most of) my choices:

Patrice Bergeron – Brad Marchand – David Pastrnak

Charlie McAvoy – Matt Grzelcyk – Brandon Carlo

Tuukka Rask

This fills 3 forward and 3 defense slots along with the goalie.

Love ya: This category is where we’ll generate some discussion I’m guessing:

Charlie Coyle – Craig Smith – Anders BjorkSean Kuraly

Karson Kuhlman – David Krecji – Connor Clifton

Chris Wagner – Anton Blidh – Jarred Tinordi

As much as I love Krecji, he’s on the wrong side of 30 and he’s only going to decline from here. Coyle and Smith are signed to team friendly deals and frequent readers of this blog know how I feel about Bjork. The D slots to protect are already filled, so most likely Cliffy hockey is going to be headed out West. It comes down to Kuraly vs. Wags and although I do love the Mayor of Walpole, he’s a year older than Kuraly and makes a little bit more annually. I’d give a hard look at keeping Kuhlman in the spot also, but my guess is that it will depend on how they each do the rest of this season.

See ya: To be honest, I actually enjoyed this category a little bit.

Jake DeBrusk – Ondrej Kase

I will help pack, drive them to the airport and carry their luggage to get them out of here. The other regular player is Nick Ritchie. I think that Ritchie may be here even if unprotected. Ron Francis has been on the record that he wants a fast team, and that ‘aint Ritchie.

The Bruins are in an advantageous spot since the bulk of their young players: Trent Frederic, Jeremy Lauzon, Jakob Zboril, Zach Senshyn, Jack Studnicka and Dan Vladar don’t have enough NHL experience that the Bruins have to protect them. I’d assume Jaro Halak is gone and either John Moore or Kevan Miller are too depending on the extent of their respective injuries. Tinordi would be a likely candidate as would Blidh or Kuhlman but as we learned in the Vegas expansion draft, teams can swing deals for The Kraken to not take player A if the Bruins then leave player B exposed.

Hopefully Francis is looking to wheel and deal going up to the expansion draft and Sweeney can keep a little bit more than the core together. Sweens, as always I’m a phone call away if you need me.

Author: Brownie

Hockey fan/player from the greater Boston area.

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