Experts project Libor Hajek to be selected by the Seattle Kraken in expansion draft

Libor Hajek
Libor Hajek (NHLI via Getty Images)

The Seattle Kraken are being projected to pick 22 year-old defenseman, Libor Hajek of the New York Rangers. In making the determination, The Athletic noted that it would come down to a choice between Hajek and Brendan Lemieux.

As to the reason why they believe it will be Hajek:

Hajek is two years younger than Lemieux, he’s still on his entry-level contract and probably has a higher ceiling. I actually had Lemieux here as my original choice, but flip-flopped at the 11th hour, determining that I was deep enough at forward that I could afford to add another piece on my increasingly crowded blue line.

The Athletic

Libor Hajek could be outside looking in anyway

Libor Hajek, made quite an impression during the 2018-19 season where he played 5 games and scored a great goal before having his season end early due to a separated shoulder.

Coming into this last season, Libor made the team out of camp and was partnered on left defense with Adam Fox. The two rookies had some puck management issues and were separated with Hajek finding himself playing mostly with Jacob Trouba.

libor hajek
Libor Hajek (Getty Images)

In 28 games he tallied 5 assists but struggled at times. He was eventually sent down to Hartford to continue his development. He picked up 3 points playing for the Wolf Pack in 23 games.

It’s expected the Rangers will give him a legit chance to earn a spot this upcoming season. Word from inside the organization is they are still high on him but he’s going to find it harder to make the starting lineup.

Tarmo Reunanen could surpass Hajek on the depth chart

The Rangers are flirting with the idea of moving Tony DeAngelo to his off-side on left defense. They also signed Jack Johnson to a one year deal, but the rise of Tarmo Reunanen in Finland could press Hajek hard this training camp.

Reunanen dominated TUTO, Finland’s second tier league with 9 points in 7 games. Now the 22 year-old rearguard has worked out a deal with HPK in Liiga which is the top league in Finland.

Reunanen was playing #1 defenseman minutes for HPK. Prior to Finland postponing all their games due to COVID-19, he was flashing signs that he’s ready to fight for starting job with the Rangers.

RELATED: Tarmo Reunanen looking like a starter for NYR

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