The Seattle Kraken will have to make a tough decision on which player to select from the Carolina Hurricanes roster during the upcoming expansion draft. Based on the roster as it currently stands, it looks like the choice will be between Warren Foegele and Jake Bean. A trade could occur, which will allow Carolina to protect one or both of these players, but for this exercise, we assume both are available. Seattle general manager Ron Francis should know both these players pretty well, as each was drafted by the Hurricanes when he was involved in Carolina’s hockey operations department. Here are the pros and cons to selecting each player:
The 6-foot-1, 189-pound left-shot defenceman was selected 13th overall in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft. After a few years of development in the WHL and AHL, Jake Bean has shown he can play at a high level in the NHL. He is part of the Hurricanes young core and is tracking to become a top-four defenceman who can contribute on the power play.
Despite playing sheltered minutes, Bean proved he belongs in the NHL. He had a Corsi for percentage (CF%) of 53.9% during the regular season and followed it up with a 54.1% in the playoffs. What should excite the Kraken about his play is his use on the power play. This is a rookie who was playing on the power play during the postseason.
He had 11 assists during the regular season, with six of them coming as a primary, which means he can generate offence, and he was strong in his own defensive zone. Bea was partnered most of the season with Haydn Fleury before he was moved to the Ducks. Bean is a good gamble and if developed properly, could become the Shea Theodore of the Kraken.
The main issue with Bean is he struggled in the second round of the playoffs. He averaged 16:22 TOI during their series against the Nashville Predators in the first round, but that dropped to 12:03 during the second round versus the Tampa Bay Lightning. His ice time was very inconsistent throughout the season. Only two of his 15 top ice times came against Florida and Tampa, so that could equate to the team monitoring his minutes against top teams to help with development.
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The other issue was his shooting. He can create offence, but can’t seem to score goals. He has a career shooting percentage of 1.8%, and tracked at a 2.8 expected goals pace for the season. He does possess the ability to score, as proven by his junior stats in the WHL. He just needs to find a way to get more pucks on the net in the NHL if he wants to develop into a top-four defenceman who is a threat from the point.
Warren Foegele was a third-round pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. The 6-foot-2, 198-pound left-winger brings speed and energy to the Hurricanes lineup. Like Bean, he only needed one year in the AHL before making the jump to the NHL. With the right development and deployment, Foegele could compete for a second-line position in the future.
Foegele has developed into a great middle-six player that can kill penalties if needed and is not afraid to throw the body. He can drive to the net and his speed allows him to get in on the forecheck and cause problems for the opposition. His relentless forecheck even caused him to draw eight more penalty minutes than he took this season. One part of Foegele’s offensive game that’s very promising is his shot accuracy. He had a 58.7% shots through percentage this season, which means he does not waste opportunities.
He also can create rebound and second-chance opportunities, as 8.7% of his shots generated a rebound shot on goal. Only 3 of his 20 points were secondary assists, meaning he can directly generate offence and his 13.8 expected goals show he is taking smart shots that generally result in goals. He is a good player who is worthy of consideration during the expansion draft.
The biggest question about Foegele is can you find a similar player on the market for cheaper. His career comparables in adjusted point shares are Adam Gaudette and Launce Bouma, so based on his career, he has played like a stable third-liner. There is also the argument of playing better due to linemates – how is he going to play without Jordan Staal as his center? He’s played with Staal his entire career, with Andrei Svechnikov on the other wing. Those are two offensively gifted players that can increase a player’s overall statistics. Foegele is a good player, but there are questions on what the effect will be if a change in scenery and linemates occurs.
Despite Foegele being a more established player, Seattle should select Bean if both are available. The potential of Bean is higher than Foegele’s and offensive left-shot defencemen are very difficult to acquire in the NHL. He also provides better value in trades down the line. Vegas turned Erik Brännström into Mark Stone and Montreal turned Simon Bourque into Joel Armia. Having a young defenceman could allow you to get that piece needed to make your team a contender. Regardless of potential future trades, Bean is the better selection, as there are not many left-shot defencemen with his level of potential that will be available in the expansion draft.
Adam is excited to be joining The Hockey Writers as part of the Seattle Kraken team. His work can also be found at dubnetwork.ca where he covers the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League. Adam is excited to be part of the Kraken’s inaugural season and ready to bring you in depth coverage of the NHL’s 32nd team.