We are now one month away from the Seattle Kraken expansion draft on Wednesday, July 21st. The Philadelphia Flyers, along with 29 other NHL teams, will lose a player to the Kraken as they draft their inaugural roster.
The player that the Kraken select from the Flyers could have a larger impact than some realize. The Kraken aren’t just taking a player from the Flyers. They’re taking –– or not taking –– a contract. They’re taking –– or not taking –– a top-six option. It’s only one player, but the repercussions could me much larger than that.
The Flyers are in a bit of a bind with the salary cap this offseason and who Seattle selects could have a significant impact on Chuck Fletcher’s plans this offseason. Fletcher and the Flyers will be “creative” to upgrade the roster wherever they can. That creativity level may have to go up or down depending on Seattle’s selection.
Going back to last week’s protected list projection, we see the Flyers likely exposing a few noteworthy players that the Kraken will be able to choose from. Among them are Nicolas Aube-Kubel, Shayne Gostisbehere, James van Riemsdyk, and Jakub Voracek. Seattle could also go with an off-the-wall pick like the Vegas Golden Knights did with Pierre-Edouard Bellemare in 2017.
No matter which player the Kraken decide to take from the Flyers, there will be a domino effect of sorts in Philadelphia. The expansion draft could set off the Flyers in a few different directions depending on who is selected.
Stay tuned. Throughout this week, we’ll dig into each of those players and the expansion draft scenarios involving them.
Flyers could be waiting until expansion draft to make a move
Not only could the expansion draft set off a chain reaction depending on the player selected, but it could also be the opening bell for the Flyers.
Given their current roster construction, the Flyers should be set on protecting 7/3/1 (seven forwards, three defensemen, one goalie) rather than 8/1 (eight skaters, one goalie). Adding a fourth high-quality defenseman before the expansion draft could throw a wrench into things.
With Ivan Provorov, Travis Sanheim, and Philippe Myers as the three defensemen assumed to be protected, there isn’t room for another defenseman just yet. If they added another top-four defenseman before July 21st, they’d be risking exposing one of the three above (or the added defenseman) to Seattle. Or, in more likelihood, the Flyers would be forced to sweeten the deal to nudge Seattle toward a certain player (and away from others).
There have already been several rumors surrounding the Flyers this offseason. We may be hearing them with inaction for another month, but the expansion draft on July 21st should kick off a big offseason for the Flyers.