The Seattle Kraken now know when they will have their team set up as TSN’s Bob McKenzie reports that the expansion draft will be held on July 21, two days before the 2021 NHL Entry Draft. He also notes that NHL teams will have to turn in their protection rosters to the league by July 17, giving Seattle four days to get ready for their draft.
All NHL teams (except the Vegas Golden Knights) will have to submit their protection roster of seven forwards, three defensemen and one goalie or eight skaters and a goaltender to the league as part of Seattle’s $650MM price tag for joining the league, which should give the expansion team a good opportunity to jump into the league and compete immediately. The Golden Knights had the exact same criteria for their expansion draft in 2017 and took those advantages straight to the Stanley Cup Finals.
The real question is whether the Kraken can take advantage of the flat salary cap in order to get multiple side deals like Vegas was able to do before their expansion draft. The Golden Knights had many side deals that netted them significant core players. While there had been talk that teams weren’t likely to make the same mistakes they made in this coming expansion draft, the state of the league due to the pandemic, could give Seattle an opportunity to offer teams salary cap relief in exchange for top players/prospects or picks.
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman also notes that no-movement clauses have also been extended into July, so that players who were supposed to have their NMC’s in place before the expansion draft will still have that.
The league has already prorated many key numbers to benefit the Kraken. Capfriendly reports that the 40/70 games played requirement for players to be exposed for the expansion draft that started in 2019/20 has been altered. Instead of 40/70, the league has prorated those numbers to 27/54 games. The career injury threshold of 60 consecutive games played will now be 41 games missed.