NHL.com senior author Dan Rosen will provide a closer look and analysis for each selected player.
Players will be announced alphabetically by team and division, starting with the Atlantic Division, followed by Metropolitan, Central and Pacific. They are presented here in reverse order.
Nathan Bastian, F, New Jersey Devils
The 23-year-old played 41 games for New Jersey this season, scoring 10 points (three goals, seven assists). Bastian has scored 13 points (six goals, seven assists) in 48 NHL games since being selected by Devils in the second round (No. 41) in the NHL draft in 2016. He signed a two-year contract on June 15. .
Rose analysis: Bastian could fit into a six-bottom role for Kraken. He is a physical striker who led Devils with 136 hits last season and can play center or wing. Bastian has an offensive upside, but is more of an abrasive, third- or fourth-line bruise forward that could contribute to penalty kills. A quality depth choice.
Gavin Bayreuther, D, Columbus Blue Jackets
The 27-year-old, who could become an unlimited free agent on July 28, scored one goal in nine NHL games this season and 12 points (three goals, nine assists) in 14 games with Cleveland of the American Hockey League. Bayreuther was signed as a free agent by the Dallas Stars on March 15, 2017 and has scored six points (three goals, three assists) in 28 NHL games with the Blue Jackets and Stars.
Rose analysis: Bayreuther gives Kraken more organizational depth. He will be a bottom pair or No. 7 defender if he sets Seattle’s opening lineup.
Morgan Geekie, F, Carolina Hurricanes
The 23-year-old scored nine points (three goals, six assists) in 36 games this season and did not score a point in three Stanley Cup Playoff games. He signed a one-year two-way contract on July 16th. Selected by Carolina in the third round (No. 67) of the 2017 NHL draft, Geekie has scored 13 points (six goals, seven assists) in 38 games in the regular season and one assist in 11 playoff games.
Rose analysis: Geekie was drafted by the hurricanes when Kraken CEO Ron Francis was Carolina’s GM. He knows the player well and has seen him grow into a forward who is almost NHL regular. Francis certainly got something from former Carolina colleagues about Geekie’s development. He will be the top nine forward for Seattle.
Jared McCann, F, Toronto Maple Leafs
McCann, who was traded to the Maple Leafs by the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday for forward prospect Filip Hallander and a seventh round in the NHL draft in 2023, scored 32 points (14 goals, 18 assists) in 43 games this season and had an assist in six Stanley Cup Playoff Games. Selected by the Vancouver Canucks in the first round (No. 24) of the 2014 NHL Draft, McCann has scored 155 points (66 goals, 89 assists) in 353 regular-season games with the Penguins, Florida Panthers and Canucks and has three assists in 12 postseason- game. The 25-year-old has one season left on a two-year contract, which he signed with Pittsburgh on September 18, 2020.
Rose analysis: McCann may be the perfect linebacker for striker Yanni Gourde, who was selected by Kraken from Tampa Bay Lightning. Or he may be perfect as the center on another line. The Maple Leafs knew when they acquired McCann that they might lose him to Seattle. Versatile centers are a commodity, and Kraken already has two with Gourde and McCann.
Yanni Gourde, F, Tampa Bay Lightning
The 29-year-old helped Lightning win the Stanley Cup for the second season in a row, scoring seven points (six goals, one assist) in 23 Stanley Cup playoff games. Gourde, who scored 36 points (17 goals, 19 assists) in 56 regular-season games, has four seasons left on a six-year contract, which he signed with Tampa Bay on November 2, 2018. Signed by Lightning as a free agent 10. In March 2014, Gourde scored 187 points (80 goals, 107 assists) in 310 regular season games and 29 points (16 goals, 13 assists) in 69 playoff games.
Rose analysis: If there was an order for the expansion draft, as it is for the NHL draft, Gourde could have been the No. 1 pick. Kraken coach Dave Hakstol will be able to build much of his game plan around Gourde’s versatility. He can play mid or wing. He will play on power play and on penalty kill. He can play with high tensioners or grinders. Gourdes’ game does not change. He is consistent and a winner.
Joey Daccord, G, Ottawa Senators
Daccord was 1-3-1 with a 3.27 goal average and .897 save percentage in eight games (six starts) this season. Selected by Ottawa in the seventh round (No. 199) of the 2015 NHL draft, the 24-year-old is 1-4-1 with a 3.50 GAA and .894 save percentage in nine NHL games (seven starts). Daccord has two seasons left on a three-year contract, which he signed with the senators on October 17, 2020.
Rose analysis: Goal depth matters, and Kraken gets it with Daccord, who has had success in the American Hockey League. If Daccord is Kraken’s No. 3 goalkeeper, he has at least NHL experience, albeit limited. Safe choice.
Cale Fleury, D, Montreal Canadiens
The 22-year-old, who could become a restricted free agent on July 28, spent time in the taxi team but did not play in the NHL this season as he had six assists in 22 games with Laval from the American Hockey League. Selected by Montreal in the third round (No. 87) of the 2017 NHL draft, Fleury has scored a goal in 41 NHL games.
Rose analysis: Fleury gives the Kraken young depth. He is a choice for their future or for a trade. He is not the squirting choice of the Canadians that some hoped for and / or expected Kraken to make. It was goalkeeper Carey Price, but Seattle became conservative and decided to have a defender in Montreal’s system as the way to go. It’s hard to blame them.
Chris Driedger, G, Florida Panthers
Driedger, who could become an unlimited free agent on July 28, was 14-6-3 with a 2.07-goal average, 0.927 save percentage and three shutouts in 23 regular-season games (all starting) this season. Selected by the Ottawa Senators in the third round (No. 76) of the 2012 NHL draft, the 27-year-old is 21-9-4 with a 2.09 GAA, .929 save percentage and four shutouts in 38 games (34 starts) with Panthers and Senators and 0-1 with a 3.70 GAA and .871 save percentage in three Stanley Cup Playoff games (all season this season).
Rose analysis: Driedger gets his chance to be the No. 1 goalkeeper. He showed his potential with the Panthers this season when he outplayed Sergei Bobrovsky. But it’s too early to say that Kraken hit a home run with Driedger. He has never played more than 23 games in any of his five NHL seasons. Next season will be big for him.
Dennis Cholowski, D, Detroit Red Wings
The 23-year-old, who could become a restricted free agent on July 28, scored three points (one goal, two assists) in 16 games this season. He split the time between the active roster, the taxi squad and the American Hockey League, scoring 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in 13 games with the Grand Rapids. Selected by Detroit in the first round (No. 20) of the 2016 NHL draft, Cholowski has scored 27 points (10 goals, 17 assists) in 104 NHL games.
Rose analysis: It’s hard to judge Cholowski’s NHL career fairly because the Red Wings have rebuilt and have not put a playoff caliber team on the ice. He looks like Will Borgen, the Seattle defender selected from the Buffalo Sabers. Each has up but a lot to prove before he can become NHL regular.
Will Borgen, D, Buffalo Sabers
The 24-year-old has no points in 14 NHL games, including 10 games this season, as he spent time in the taxi squad. The castle, selected by Buffalo in the fourth round (No. 92) of the 2015 NHL draft, could become a restricted free agent on July 28th.
Rose analysis: The castle was a bright spot for the Sabers this season until he broke his forearm on February 20 and was out for two months. It is possible, if not likely, that he will start next season with Charlotte from the AHL. This seems like a choice for Kraken’s future, but with an opportunity he could be an important part of the present. He is a risk without risk with upward.
Jeremy Lauzon, D, Boston Bruins
The 24-year-old scored eight points (one goal, seven assists) in an NHL career-high 41 games this season and did not score a point in seven Stanley Cup playoff games. He has one season left on a two-year contract he signed on February 14, 2020. Elected by Boston in the second round (No. 52) of the NHL draft in 2015, Lauzon has scored 11 points (three goals, eight assists) in 76 regular season games and has not scored a point in 13 playoff games.
Rose analysis: Lauzon, who was coached by Kraken assistant Jay Leach with the Providence of the American Hockey League, is sized (6 feet 1, 204 pounds) and can play 20 minutes per game. Fight in more of a shutdown capability. The Kraken gets a defender who can also be a big part of their future. Quality pickup.
Co-author David Satriano contributed to this report