For the second time in four years, the NHL will be adding a new team to the mix, with the Seattle Kraken primed to become the 32nd team in the league. Just like back in 2017, they will kick things off with an expansion draft on Wednesday night, where they will select one player from 30 teams, with only Vegas (the most recently added team) being exempt from the process. And just like last time, there are a few Boston College alumni that could end up on a new team by the time this process is over. So before the draft actually gets underway, here’s a quick rundown of the BC players that are and are not available to be drafted by Seattle.
A number of BC alumni were protected by their NHL teams ahead of the expansion draft, thanks either to their high level of play or because of some form of no movement clauses in their contract. Johnny Gaudreau, Kevin Hayes, Cam Atkinson, Chris Kreider, Noah Hanifin, Brian Dumoulin, MIke Matheson, Miles Wood, Colin White, and Thatcher Demko were all protected by their respective teams.
Spencer Knight, Mike Hardman, Alex Newhook, Oliver Wahlstrom are all exempt from this process due since they are still relatively new to the league while Alex Tuch and Patrick Brown are safe as members of the Vegas Golden Knights.
Nathan Gerbe (Columbus Blue Jackets) - Gerbe has been a fringe NHLer for the past few seasons and only played nine games with the Blue Jackets last season, putting up a goal and two assists in that time. At 33 years old and with his best playing days likely behind him, it’s unlikely that Seattle would take him. If they did, he has just one year and a $750,000 cap hit remaining on his contract.
Steve Santini (St. Louis Blues) - Santini has bounced around the league a bit in the past few seasons, moving from New Jersey to Nashville and finally to St. Louis since the 2017 season. Unfortunately for him, he hasn’t really stuck anywhere in that time, and he’s played in just five regular season games over the past two seasons. Santini is only 26 and teams are always looking for right handed defensemen, but Seattle will have much better options to select from St. Louis, so Santini feels like another guy who will probably stay put.
Zach Sanford (St. Louis Blues) - One of those better options from St. Louis is another form Eagle in Zach Sanford. Sanford has carved himself out a role with the Blues in the past two seasons, scoring 26 goals to go along with 20 assists in 110 games in that time. Not exactly super star numbers, but Sanford could be an interesting target for Seattle’s bottom six if they really wanted to. Sanford is an RFA this offseason so he’ll need a new contract if they take him, but again, there are some players available from St. Louis that probably make more sense in the draft. This one at least feels somewhat possible if Seattle really liked what they’ve seen from Sanford, but it’s still much more likely that he stays with St. Louis,