Seattle Kraken NHL Expansion Draft appears in line for July

Dec 20, 2020, 6:15 PM | Updated: Dec 22, 2020, 3:57 pm
Seattle Kraken Canucks Golden Knights...
Vegas will be exempt from the Seattle Kraken's expansion draft, but Vancouver won't be. (Getty)

It’s less than a year until the Seattle Kraken are set to begin their first season in the NHL, and it’s about to start feeling real.

How so? The date for their NHL Expansion Draft is set.

Photo gallery: A look at the Seattle Kraken

The league announced Sunday that it will begin a 56-game season on Jan. 13. Bob McKenzie, who covers the NHL for TSN in Canada, tweeted ahead of the announcement Sunday morning that under a tentative agreement for the 2020-21 NHL season, a number of events are lined up for July that will be significant for the Kraken’s roster building.

First up is July 17, which McKenzie reports would be the deadline for the 30 NHL teams Seattle will draft from to submit their lists of protected players.

Next would be July 21, when the expansion draft itself will be held.

On Tuesday, the NHL announced that those two dates are in fact correct.

It will be a busy week, as the annual NHL Entry Draft would then take place July 23-24. Though it is usually held in June, the 2021 draft will be pushed back due to the 2020-21 season starting later than normal as a result of the pandemic.

What you need to know: Seattle Kraken NHL Expansion Draft

The Kraken’s roster will mainly be built through the expansion draft, which will follow the same rules as the Vegas Golden Knights’ draft in 2017. That’s good news for Seattle – the Golden Knights made the Stanley Cup Finals in their inaugural season with a team made up primarily from the expansion draft.

The key details, according to

• The Kraken will pick one player from each NHL team except for Vegas to create a roster that includes at least 14 forwards, nine defensemen and three goaltenders.

• NHL teams can protect seven forwards, three defensemen and one goalie on their roster.

• First- and second-year players are exempt from selection, as well as unsigned draft choices. Those players won’t count toward protection limits.

• Players with no-movement clauses who decide not to waive them must be protected by their teams and will count toward protection limits.

• All teams must expose one defenseman and two forwards who are under contract for 2021-22 and played in at least 40 NHL games in 2020-21 or at least 70 games in the two seasons prior to the draft.

• All teams must expose one goalie who is either under contract for 2021-22 or set to be a restricted free agent. For restricted free agent goalies to meet the requirement, they must receive a qualifying offer before the team submits its protected list.

• Players who have missed over 60 consecutive games due to a potentially career-threatening injury, or have a confirmed career-threatening injury, will not be eligible to count on unprotected lists unless approved by the NHL. These players may also be exempt from being selected by the Kraken.

NHL teams maintain 23-man active rosters, which are cut down to 20 players for each game.

The Kraken will join the Western Conference’s Pacific Division, with the Arizona Coyotes moving to the Central Division beginning in 2021-22 to make two eight-team divisions in the conference. The Pacific’s seven other teams will be Vegas, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, San Jose, Anaheim and Los Angeles.

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Seattle Kraken NHL Expansion Draft appears in line for July