Seattle was granted an NHL expansion franchise in December 2019. Although the team is yet unnamed, it has been announced they will play in the Pacific Division forcing the Arizona Coyotes to move over to the Central Division.
The 2021 NHL Expansion Draft will be under the same rules for Seattle as the Vegas Golden Knights in 2017.
Expansion Draft Rules
Seattle will select one player from each team excluding the Golden Knights for a total of 30 (14 forwards, nine defensemen and three goalies) not including additional players who may be acquired as the result of violations of the Expansion Draft rules.
Seattle must choose a minimum of 20 players under contract for the 2021-22 regular season and those with an aggregate Expansion Draft value that is between 60-100 percent of the prior season’s upper limit for the salary cap.
Seattle cannot buy out players chosen in the Expansion Draft earlier than the summer following its first season.
Current NHL teams can protect seven forwards, three defensemen and one goalie, or eight skaters (forwards/defensemen) and one goalie, under the following conditions.
* All players with no movement clauses at the time of the draft, and who decline to waive those clauses, must be protected and will be counted toward their team’s applicable protection limits.
* All first- and second-year NHL players, and all unsigned draft choices, will be exempt from selection (and will not be counted toward protection limits.
In addition, all NHL teams must meet the following minimum requirements regarding players exposed for selection in the draft:
* One defenseman who is a) under contract in 2021-22 and b) played in at least 40 NHL games the prior season or played in at least 70 NHL games in the prior two seasons.
* Two forwards who are a) under contract in 2021-22 and b) played at least 40 NHL games the prior season or played in at least 70 NHL games in the prior two seasons.
* One goalie who is under contract in 2021-22 or will be a restricted free agent at the end of his current contract immediately prior to 2021-22. If a team elects to make a restricted free agent goalie available to meet this requirement, that goalie must have received his qualifying offer prior to the submission of the team’s protected list.
* Players with potential career-ending injuries who have missed more than the previous 60 consecutive games (or who otherwise have been confirmed to have a career-threatening injury) may not be used to satisfy a team’s player exposure requirements unless approval is received from the NHL. Such players also may be deemed exempt from selection.
Team Name Rumours
What will the team be called? There’s plenty of speculation as to what the team will be named. Some of the names rumoured are:
Totems, Emeralds, Rainiers, Sockeyes, Renegades, Sea Lions, Seals, Evergreens, Whales, Cougars, Eagles and Firebirds also made the list of 13 potential names the Seattle ownership group registered for the city’s latest expansion team.
There is a name that looks like it will be the final chosen one, Seattle Kraken.
Now there is no links with Seattle, rum or giant mythical sea creatures to make this a legitimate name in my opinion but it’s the leading name at the minute.
Personally I would like to see Totems make a return as Seattle had a team called the Seattle Totems who operated between 1945-75.
The 2021 expansion draft looks to be a exciting experience just like it was a few years ago when Vegas got their team.
Currently there is no rumours of any players heading to Seattle but they have recently sign their first GM Ron Frances, who played 23 seasons in the NHL.