NHL expansion draft: Kraken’s roster coming into focus, led by Mark Giordano

The Seattle Kraken’s inaugural roster is starting to take shape, with sources confirming multiple expansion draft selections prior to Wednesday evening’s official announcement.

Seattle’s blue line will have a veteran presence with sources confirming to The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun that the Kraken have selected Mark Giordano from the Flames and Adam Larsson from the Oilers.

But it was the available players that Seattle didn’t select that made waves earlier on Wednesday, with sources confirming that Seattle wouldn’t pick either Montreal’s Carey Price or Colorado’s pending unrestricted free agent Gabriel Landeskog. Both players were left unprotected by their respective clubs.

Price, 33, waived his no-movement clause over the weekend, but according to sources, the Kraken have decided to instead take defenseman Cale Fleury from Montreal.

Landeskog, who posted 20 goals, 32 assists and 52 points for Colorado this season, will be able to explore free agency on July 28 or re-sign with the Avs.

Up front, the Kraken bolstered their offense by selecting Jordan Eberle from the Islanders. The 31-year-old winger posted 16 goals and 17 assists last season and has three years remaining on his current deal, carrying an annual cap hit of $5.5 million.

Larsson was left unprotected ahead of Wednesday’s expansion draft, giving the Kraken the chance to enter early negotiations for a long-term deal and the two sides were able to agree on a four-year deal with an annual value of $4 million, a source confirmed to LeBrun. The 28-year-old has spent the last five years with the Edmonton Oilers, posting 16 goals, 52 assists and 68 points in 329 games.

After struggling with injuries in 2019, Larsson played in 56 games for the Oilers during the 2020-21 season, averaging just under 20 minutes of ice time.

Calgary will be looking for a new captain now that Giordano is headed to Seattle. The 37-year-old blueliner had 26 points for the Flames last season, tallying nine goals and 17 assists.

A source also confirmed Seattle will select defenseman Jamie Oleksiak from the Stars. Olesiak, 28, had six goals and 14 points in 56 games with Dallas last season.

Later on Wednesday, sources confirmed to The Athletic that Seattle has also selected Cale Fleury’s brother, Haydn, a defenseman from the Ducks. Other picks confirmed include forward Mason Appleton from the Jets and forward Morgan Geekie from the Hurricanes.

For more, follow The Athletic‘s expansion draft live blog and selection tracker.

This is a developing story. More to come.