NHL.com senior writer Dan Rosen will be providing a closer look and analysis for each player selected.
The players will be announced alphabetically by team and by division, starting with the Atlantic Division, followed by the Metropolitan, Central and Pacific. They will be presented here in reverse order.
Vitek Vanecek, G, Washington Capitals
The 25-year-old was 21-10-4 with a 2.69 goals-against average, .908 save percentage and five shutouts in 37 games (36 starts) this season, his first the NHL, and led rookies in wins. He played in one Stanley Cup Playoff game before he was injured and missed the remainder of the postseason. Selected by Washington in the second round (No. 39) of the 2014 NHL Draft, Vanecek has one season remaining on a three-year contract he signed with Washington on July 1, 2019.
Rosen analysis: Vanecek should join Chris Driedger as the Kraken’s top two goalies for next season. Seattle certainly could do worse, especially when you figure Vanecek is on his entry-level contract for one more season.
Brandon Tanev, F, Pittsburgh Penguins
The physical forward was limited to 32 games this season because of injury, scoring 16 points (seven goals, nine assists), but led the Penguins in hits (139). Signed by the Winnipeg Jets as a free agent March 20, 2016, Tanev has scored 92 points (42 goals, 50 assists) in 295 regular-season games with the Penguins and Jets, and 10 points (six goals, four assists) in 32 Stanley Cup Playoff games. He also ranks fourth in the NHL in hits (849) since the 2017-18 season. The 29-year-old has four seasons remaining on a six-year contract he agreed to with Pittsburgh on July 1, 2019.
Rosen analysis: Aggressiveness, energy and sandpaper define Tanev’s game. He’s an all-out type of forward. He could be an ideal fit on a line with Yanni Gourde, Seattle’s choice from the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Kraken could be trying to recreate what the Lightning had with their third line of Gourde, Blake Coleman and Barclay Goodrow.
Carsen Twarynski, F, Philadelphia Flyers
The 23-year-old, who can become a restricted free agent July 28, did not score a point in seven NHL games this season, spending time on the taxi squad. He did not score a point in two games with Lehigh Valley of the American Hockey League. Selected by Philadelphia in the third round (No. 82) of the 2016 NHL Draft, Twarynski has scored one goal in 22 NHL games.
Rosen analysis: Kraken coach Dave Hakstol should have some familiarity with Twarynski. Hakstol was the Flyers coach when Twarynski was playing with Lehigh Valley, Philadelphia’s AHL affiliate. Twarynski was selected instead of veteran forwards Jakub Voracek and James van Riemsdyk, and this pick gives the Kraken more flexibility with the NHL salary cap.
Colin Blackwell, F, New York Rangers
The 28-year-old had NHL career highs in goals (12), assists (10), points (22) and games played (47) this season. Selected by the San Jose Sharks in the seventh round (No. 194) of the 2011 NHL Draft, Blackwell has scored 32 points (15 goals, 17 assists) in 80 NHL games with the Predators and Rangers. He has one season remaining on a two-year contract he signed with New York on Oct. 9, 2020.
Rosen analysis: Blackwell is a solid pick. He’s more of a bottom-six forward but can jump up and play in a top-six role for a stretch of games if necessary. He played well with the Rangers last season, is energetic and strong on the forecheck.
Jordan Eberle, F, New York Islanders
Eberle scored 33 points (16 goals, 17 assists) in 55 regular-season games with the Islanders this season and 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in 19 Stanley Cup Playoff games. The 31-year-old has scored at least 20 goals six times in his 11 NHL seasons. Selected by the Edmonton Oilers in the first round (No. 22) of the 2008 NHL Draft, Eberle has scored 551 points (241 goals, 310 assists) in 779 regular-season games and 36 points (13 goals, 23 assists) in 62 playoff games with the Islanders and Oilers. He has three seasons remaining on a five-year contract he signed with New York on June 14, 2019.
Rosen analysis: Here’s Seattle’s first- or second-line right wing depending on the chemistry he develops with a center, which at this point could be Yanni Gourde or Jared McCann. The Kraken should be looking for 20-plus goals and 50-plus points from Eberle. His value is based on his production. He has to deliver.
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 the Devils in the second round (No. 41) of the 2016 NHL Draft. He signed a two-year contract June 15.
Rosen analysis: Bastian could fit into a bottom-six role for the Kraken. He is a physical forward who led the Devils with 136 hits last season and can play center or wing. Bastian has some offensive upside but is more of a grinding, bruising third- or fourth-line forward who can contribute on the penalty kill. A quality depth selection.
Gavin Bayreuther, D, Columbus Blue Jackets
The 27-year-old, who can become an unrestricted free agent 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. Signed as a free agent by the Dallas Stars on March 15, 2017, Bayreuther has scored six points (three goals, three assists) in 28 NHL games with the Blue Jackets and Stars.
Rosen analysis: Bayreuther gives the Kraken more organizational depth. He’ll be a bottom-pair or No. 7 defenseman if he makes Seattle’s opening night lineup.
Morgan Geekie, F, Carolina Hurricanes
The 23-year-old scored nine points (three goals, six assists) in 36 regular-season games this season and did not score a point in three Stanley Cup Playoff games. He signed a one-year, two-way contract July 16. 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 regular-season games and one assist in 11 playoff games.
Rosen analysis: Geekie was drafted by the Hurricanes when Kraken general manager Ron Francis was Carolina’s GM. He knows the player well and has seen him grow into a forward who is almost an NHL regular. Surely Francis got some intel from former Carolina colleagues about Geekie’s development. He’ll be a 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 pick in the 2023 NHL Draft, scored 32 points (14 goals, 18 assists) in 43 games this season and had one 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 games. The 25-year-old has one season remaining on a two-year contract he signed with Pittsburgh on Sept. 18, 2020.
Rosen analysis: McCann might be the perfect linemate for forward Yanni Gourde, who was selected by the Kraken from the Tampa Bay Lightning. Or he might 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 the Kraken already have two with Gourde and McCann.
Yanni Gourde, F, Tampa Bay Lightning
The 29-year-old helped the Lightning win the Stanley Cup for the second straight season, 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 remaining on a six-year contract he signed with Tampa Bay on Nov. 2, 2018. Signed by the Lightning as a free agent March 10, 2014, Gourde has scored 187 points (80 goals, 107 assists) in 310 regular-season games and 29 points (16 goals, 13 assists) in 69 playoff games.
Rosen analysis: If there were an order to the expansion draft the way there is to the NHL Draft, Gourde could have been the No. 1 pick. Kraken coach Dave Hakstol will be able to build a lot of his game plan around Gourde’s versatility. He can play center or wing. He will play on the power play and on the penalty kill. He can play with high-level forwards or grinders. Gourde’s game doesn’t change. He’s consistent and a winner.
Joey Daccord, G, Ottawa Senators
Daccord was 1-3-1 with a 3.27 goals-against 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 remaining on a three-year contract he signed with the Senators on Oct. 17, 2020.
Rosen analysis: Goalie depth matters, and the Kraken get it with Daccord, who has had success in the American Hockey League. If Daccord is the Kraken’s No. 3 goalie, at least he has NHL experience, albeit limited. Safe pick.
Cale Fleury, D, Montreal Canadiens
The 22-year-old, who can become a restricted free agent July 28, spent time on the taxi squad but did not play in the NHL this season, when he had six assists in 22 games with Laval of the American Hockey League. Selected by Montreal in the third round (No. 87) of the 2017 NHL Draft, Fleury has scored one goal in 41 NHL games.
Rosen analysis: Fleury gives the Kraken young depth. He is a pick for their future or for a trade. He’s not the splashy pick from the Canadiens some were hoping for and/or expecting the Kraken to make. That was goalie Carey Price, but Seattle went conservative and decided getting a defenseman in Montreal’s system was the way to go. It’s hard to fault them.
Chris Driedger, G, Florida Panthers
Driedger, who can become an unrestricted free agent July 28, was 14-6-3 with a 2.07 goals-against average, .927 save percentage and three shutouts in 23 regular-season games (all starts) 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 the Panthers and Senators, and 0-1 with a 3.70 GAA and .871 save percentage in three Stanley Cup Playoff games (all this season).
Rosen analysis: Driedger will get his chance to be a No. 1 goalie. He showed his potential with the Panthers this season when he outplayed Sergei Bobrovsky. But it’s too soon to say the Kraken hit a home run with Driedger. He’s never played in 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 can become a restricted free agent July 28, scored three points (one goal, two assists) in 16 games this season. He split time between the active roster, taxi squad and American Hockey League, where he scored 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in 13 games with 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.
Rosen analysis: It’s hard to fairly judge Cholowski’s NHL career because the Red Wings have been rebuilding and haven’t put a playoff-caliber team on the ice. He’s similar to Will Borgen, the defenseman Seattle selected from the Buffalo Sabres. Each has upside but a lot to prove before he can become an NHL regular.
Will Borgen, D, Buffalo Sabres
The 24-year-old has no points in 14 NHL games, including 10 games this season, when he spent time on the taxi squad. Borgen, who was selected by Buffalo in the fourth round (No. 92) of the 2015 NHL Draft, can become a restricted free agent July 28.
Rosen analysis: Borgen was a bright spot for the Sabres this season until he fractured his forearm Feb. 20 and was out two months. It’s possible, if not likely, that he’ll start next season with Charlotte of the AHL. This seems like a pick for the Kraken’s future, but with an opportunity he could be an important part of the present. He’s a no-risk selection with upside.
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 remaining on a two-year contract he signed Feb. 14, 2020. Selected by Boston in the second round (No. 52) of the 2015 NHL Draft, Lauzon has scored 11 points (three goals, eight assists) in 76 regular-season games and has not scored a point in 13 playoff games.
Rosen analysis: Lauzon, who was coached by Kraken assistant Jay Leach with Providence of the American Hockey League, has size (6-foot-1, 204 pounds) and can play 20 minutes per game in more of a shutdown capacity. The Kraken are getting a defenseman who could be a big part of their future too. Quality pickup.
Staff writer David Satriano contributed to this report