Tampa Bay Lightning
**8 Skaters 1 G**
S: Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos, Brayden Point, Anthony Cirelli
D: Victor Hedman, Mikhail Sergachev, Erik Cernak, Ryan McDonaugh
G: Andrei Vasilevskiy
Notable exposed: Ondrej Palat, Alex Killorn Mathieu Joseph, Tyler Johnson, Boris Katchouk
Selection: Ondrej Palat
Ondrej Palat gives the Seattle Kraken a gift wrapped top-6 forward whom could they could use to electrify their games right off the bat. He has the big game experience, 2 Cups under his belt and has been an overall force over the last two season for Tampa Bay.
Some consideration was made for Alex Killorn, but I felt that Palat offers the best possible package for them and would leave Tampa in a good spot Cap-wise, as they try to restructure.
Toronto Maple Leafs
**8 Skaters – 1 Goalie**
S: Auston Matthews, John Tavares, Mitchell Marner, William Nylander, Jake Muzzin, Rielly Morgan, TJ Brodie, Justin Holl
G: Jack Campbell
Notable exposed: Alex Kerfoot, Travis Dermott, Wayne Simmonds, Nic Petan, Jared McCann
Selection: Alex Kerfoot
The Leafs likely look to protect their top-4 D as they look to maximize their value, and add Rasmus Sandin to the equation. However, by choosing the 8-1 method, they leave Alex Kerfoot and McCann exposed, one of which Seattle will gracefully scoop up without question.
With Tavares and Matthews as their top-2 centres, the Leafs could afford to let Kerfoot and his 3.5M Cap hit go and replace him with newly acquired McCann or promote Jason Spezza to 3rd line minutes.
Meanwhile, Kerfoot finally gets his shot at being a top-6 C on a new team, a role he found significant success in Colorado, as well as in the playoffs for Toronto once Tavares went down with an injury.
F: Brock Boeser, Bo Horvat, JT Miller, Elias Pettersson, Jason Dickinson, Tanner Pearson, Tyler Motte
D: Tyler Myers, Olli Juolevi, Nate Schmidt
G: Thatcher Demko
Notable exposed: Madison Bowey, Loui Eriksson, Matthew Highmore, Braden Holtby, Jake Virtanen, Kole Lind
Selection: Braden Holtby
It seemed like this was a move that people saw coming last year when the Canucks signed Braden Holtby for only 2 years without any trade protection. I think he offers Seattle a great insurance policy for their 1st season in the league, while the younger goalies selected in this Expansion Draft continue to develop into full-time NHL goalies.
Given his experience, Holtby would be a perfect guy to help steer the ship and keep things balanced in the crease with Chris Driedger and I believe they’ll form a solid tandem.
F: Nicklas Backstrom, Evgeny Kusnetsov, TJ Oshie, Anthony Mantha, Tom Wilson, Lars Eller, Daniel Sprong
D: John Carlson, Justin Schultz, Dimitry Orlov
G: Ilya Samsonov
Notable exposed: Conor Sheary, Michal Kempny, Nick Jensen, Carl Hagelin, Vitek Vanecek
Selection: Vitek Vanecek
Vanecek can come in eventually as your 1A/1B tandem, and it’s exactly what the doctor ordered for Seattle. Vanecek helped keep the Caps in the playoff hunt when Samsonov went down at multiple times last season.
He has stewed long enough in the minors and looks primed to be able to ease into a shared starter role for the time being. However, make no mistake about it, Vanecek could be one of the best value picks in this Expansion Draft.
F: Blake Wheeler, Kyle Connor, Mark Scheifele, Nikolaj Ehlers, Pierre-Luc Dubois, Andrew Copp, Adam Lowry
D: Josh Morrissey, Dylan DeMelo, Neal Pionk
G: Connor Hellebuyck
Notable exposed: Nathan Beaulieu, Mark Dano, Logan Stanley
Selection: Logan Stanley
Logan Stanley had a pretty solid 2020-2021 and looked like the meanest player on the ice for the Winnipeg Jets during the playoffs. The young defenseman could thrive in Seattle developing into a stay-at-home top-4 D-man under Dave Hakstol.