Seattle Kraken and expansion draft on target despite COVID-19 related delays

Kraken GM Ron Francis (CP)

Despite a delay for the start of the NHL season in 2020-2021, the Seattle Kraken are still set to begin their inaugural season in 2021-2022.

The National Hockey League held a video conference with all of their general managers on Friday hosted by commissioner Gary Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly.

Among many different topics discussed was the status of the newly formed Seattle Kraken. The status of how the Kraken’s upcoming expansion draft is progressing was addressed,

“Everything is full speed ahead on Seattle expansion,” Daly said to Tom Gulitti of NHL.com.

Seattle Kraken and the Expansion Draft

Seattle Kraken expansion draft
Seattle Kraken (NHLI)

The date of the expansion draft, originally scheduled to take place prior to the NHL Draft in late June, could be delayed based on when the NHL can start the 2020-2021 season. Intentions still remain to have a full 82 game season, but that may not possible due to many factors one of which is how the schedule will look if the league can’t have teams travel to and from the Canadian borders.

Seattle will follow the same expansion draft rules as the Vegas Golden Knights used when they he’d their draft.

Seattle will select one player from each team excluding the Golden Knights for a total of 30 (14 forwards, nine defensemen, and three goalies) not including additional players who may be acquired as the result of violations of the Expansion Draft rules.

The 30 NHL teams can use one of two formats to protect players. Current teams can protect seven forwards, three defensemen, and one goalie, or eight skaters (forwards/defensemen), and one goalie. Other circumstances such as no-move clauses and years in the league are factors clubs will have to consider when submitting their protected lists.

Other Topics Discussed at Meeting

Commissioner Bettman and Daly discussed some other points of interest as the league looks forward to next season.

-The NHL would like to start the season on Jan. 1, despite the announcement that the 2021 Winter Classic was canceled.

-A possible change in the NHL Draft Lottery.

-Having the seven that didn’t participate in the Return to Play over the summer start training camp earlier than the rest of the league.

So many questions still remain with the Covid-19 status till peaking in so many states across the country. For now the NHL and the Kraken will have to sit back and let the science dictate what is best for the league and for Seattle.

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