What New York Rangers fans need to know about Seattle Expansion Draft on July 21

By Forever Blueshirts
Seattle expansion draft (Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

The Seattle Kraken Expansion Draft is taking place on July 21st. One of the bigger names the New York Rangers will leave unprotected is Tony DeAngelo. Although it isn’t out of the realm of possibility for Ron Francis to select the exiled Blueshirts. That’s because Francis’ likes to build his team’s from the blue-line out.

Here’ some other key items and dates you need to know before Seattle makes its first selection.

Rangers must submit protected list by 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. Recently, the Nashville Predators tried to make a deal with the Kraken but it is believed Ron Francis asking price for any trade starts with a first round pick.

This led to Nashville sending Viktor Arvidsson to the L.A. Kings for two draft picks, neither of which was a first rounder. “I had a couple of conversations with Seattle, if Viktor Arvidsson was not protected that’s who we would’ve lost,” he admitted to Darren, Daunic, and Chase of 102.5 FM. “Two picks is better than losing Viktor for nothing.”

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.

Projected Protected Forwards:

  • Pavel Buchnevich
  • Ryan Strome
  • Filip Chytil
  • Colin Blackwell
  • Mika Zibanejad (NMC)
  • Artemi Panarin (NMC)
  • Chris Kreider (NMC)

Projected Protected Defensemen and Goalie:

  • Jacob Trouba (NMC)
  • Ryan Lindgren
  • Libor Hajek
  • Alexandar Georgiev

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.

Note: In order to protect Blackwell, the Rangers will need to have Brett Howden signed to meet expansion requirements for forwards. Howden is an RFA.

SEATTLE EXPANSION
Jan 28, 2021; Buffalo, New York, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Riley Sheahan (15) and New York Rangers center Brett Howden (21) reach for the puck in the second period at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

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.

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.”

As noted before, the Rangers will need to sign Howden to a deal or else they will expose Colin Blackwell. If that’s the case, I see Francis going with him over ay other Blueshirt.

Source for some additional details on dates from The Athletic.

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Note: Portions of this article have been previously published on Forever Blueshirts.