New York Rangers key dates for Seattle Kraken Expansion Draft

The Seattle Kraken will start to build their hockey team on July 21st. That is the date set for the Expansion Draft. We know that Blueshirts will be exposing Tony DeAngelo for certain but who else will be made available? What other key items and dates do you need to know before Seattle makes it first pick?

Rangers must submit protected list to Kraken 7/17/21

The Blueshirts and all other teams (except the Vegas Golden Knights) will need to submit their list of protected players to the league by 5 PM ET on July 17. What also should be understood is that there will be a trade freeze for every team but the Seattle Kraken.

Starting on July 17th at 3 PM ET until July 22nd, only the Kraken can make trades with any team they want in the NHL. Teams will not be permitted to make deals with one another not involving Seattle.

Finally, on July 18th at 10 AM ET, the league will send out the protected lists to all teams. Here’s what I believe the Rangers list will look like on that day.

rangers expansion draft
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Projected Protected Forwards:

Projected Protected Defensemen and Goalie:

Key Exemption list: Alexis Lafrenière, Kaapo Kakko, Vitali Kravtsov, Adam Fox, K’Andre Miller, and Igor Shesterkin.

Key Projected Exposed list: Tony DeAngelo, Brett Howden, Julian Gauthier, Kevin Rooney, and Keith Kinkaid.

Kraken can sign free agents

On the same day the protected lists are disseminated, Seattle can begin negotiations with any unprotected free agents (except the Golden Knights who are exempt from expansion draft). Ron Francis will also have the ability to offer 8 year deals to all free agents. This runs from 7/18 up until the day of the expansion draft. Note, if the Kraken sign a pending RFA that team will be owed compensation.

Also, if a team’s free agent is signed during this period it will count as the player lost. So if the Kraken decide to sign Brendan Smith who is a UFA to a deal, that’s whom the Rangers would lose in the expansion draft.

Who will the Rangers lose to Seattle

On July 21st, the Seattle Kraken will have filled out their roster by 10 AM ET. Fans will not know the expansion draft picks until 8 PM that evening. The Kraken can also not select a player and buy said selection out until the following year.

When it comes to who Seattle will pick, I believe it will come down to Brett Howden or Julien Gauthier. Each suffered an injury to end their seasons, so I don’t think that will factor in the selection. My initial thought was that Howden would be their choice. He’s a young and responsible defensive center, and pivots are always at a premium. Remember, the Golden Knights selected Oscar Lindberg back in 2017.

julien gauthier
Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

If the Kraken’s first signing is any indication of how they will approach building their team, then the Rangers are most likely to lose Julien Gauthier over Brett Howden.

Gauthier was picked in the first round, 21st overall in 2016. Ron Francis who was Carolina’s GM at that time said, “He is big enough to have an immediate impact. We’ll see how things play out in development camp and training camp. Physically, he’s big enough, and he skates well enough.”

I still think that Howden will be considered by Seattle, but Gauthier is now emerging as the likely choice.

Source for some additional details on dates from The Athletic.

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Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore

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