NHL Rumors: Seattle Kraken, Boston Bruins, and Tampa Bay Lightning

The Seattle Kraken won’t be making their first expansion draft selection until July 21, but now there’s a clearer picture of who will be available. The Athletic has been running mock drafts all season and have done so again. What makes this better is we are now past the trade deadline which establishes a good idea of whom will be exposed.

Top expansion picks for the Seattle Kraken

Both Ryan S. Clark and Erik Duhatschek put forth their lists. They completely agreed on four players and they were as follows:

  • Brady Skjei (D, Hurricanes)
  • Tyson Jost (F, Avalanche)
  • James van Riemsdyk (F, Flyers)
  • T.J. Oshie (F, Capitals)

In goal, Clark went with Braden Holtby in Vancouver while Duhatschek chose Jake Allen in Montreal. If I am the Kraken you can give me Holtby all day.

Of the two, Clark was probably the most aggressive in whom he felt would be available and Seattle would chose. The three standout names were all defenseman in Matt Dumba (Wild), Brent Burns (Sharks), and Vince Dunn (Blues).

The biggest takeaway from all the mock drafts since the beginning of the season is simple; Seattle is going to have a great team out of the gate. Due to the flat-cap, teams will be exposing some higher priced veterans like T.J. Oshie instead of trying to make deals to protect them.

Does Jake DeBrusk have a future with the Boston Bruins?

jake DeBrusk rumors
Mar 3, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins left wing Jake DeBrusk (74) and Washington Capitals goaltender Vitek Vanecek (41) battle for a loose puck during overtime at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Now that the Bruins traded for Taylor Hall and his expressed desire to sign with Boston, where does that leave Jake DeBrusk? He’s been the subject of trade rumors all season and was even listed on many trade bait boards. The Bruins opted to keep him, but come this offseason what will his future look like in Boston?

Where does this leave DeBrusk? If Hall and Ritchie return, DeBrusk could stick at right wing, even if the position does not optimize his skills. If just one or neither is back, DeBrusk could be the No. 2 or No. 3 left wing. Another option is trading DeBrusk, especially if Hall and Ritchie are re-upped. If a deal happens before the July 21 expansion draft, the Bruins would want an asset that would not jumble their protection plans. If a trade happens after the Kraken select their inaugural roster, this could expand the Bruins’ market of suitors.

Fluto Shinzawa

I am a big believer of “where there’s smoke, there’s fire.” Look for Jake DeBrusk in a new uniform next season.

Tyler Johnson Seattle bound?

tyler johnson
Mar 21, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning center Tyler Johnson (9) is congratulated by teammates after scoring a goal against the Florida Panthers during the third period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Another player that was not only rumored to being traded all season but was also put on waivers twice is Tyler Johnson. The Athletic looked at the prospect of the Spokane, Washington native going back home.

The popular thought has been that Seattle is the natural landing spot for Tyler Johnson, a Spokane native who has three years left on his deal at $5 million per season. The Kraken would get a versatile forward with local ties, and Tampa Bay would get rid of a contract they tried to unload in the offseason (through trade or waivers).

The Athletic

Personally, it seems like a nice story but not one that Ron Francis is likely to bite on. Not because of his age (30) or his contract (3 more years at $5M AAV) but because of his declining production. Johnson has just 19 points in 47 games this season and had 31 in 65 the year before. He’s a long way from the 72 points in 77 contests back in 2014-15.