Seattle’s Potential Targets: Homegrown Talent

Seattle’s expansion draft is still two seasons away but — through the process of conducting three mocks this month — several potential targets have emerged in the present as players of interest for 2021.

These players fall into one or more of the following categories: Familiarity With Francis, Former Thunderbirds, Homegrown Talent, Vegas Veterans, and Projected UFAs.

By analyzing the current NHL rosters — as well as the protected and exposed lists from those aforementioned mocks — Seattle can start to identify their potential targets two years in advance of the actual expansion draft.

In the third of a five-part series, the focus will be on highlighting homegrown talent — players hailing from Washington State and throughout the Pacific Northwest.

T.J. Oshie

Oshie grew up in and around Seattle — in Mount Vernon, Everett and Stanwood to be specific — and played hockey there from the age of five through his freshman year of high school before relocating to Minnesota where his career took off en route to starring for Team USA as a shootout hero at the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Oshie is now a key cog for the Washington Capitals, helping win that franchise’s first Stanley Cup in 2018 and looking like a lock to be protected for the expansion draft as of today. He is locked up through 2024-25 at a $5.75-million average annual value, so a homecoming to Seattle probably won’t be in the cards for Oshie.

Capitals right wing T.J. Oshie
T.J. Oshie of the Washington Capitals. (Stephen R. Sylvanie/USA TODAY)

Dylan Gambrell

Gambrell was born in Bonney Lake and got his hockey start in Kent — located 20 miles south of Seattle and home to the WHL’s Seattle Thunderbirds since 2009 — before moving away at 14 to further chase his hockey dreams in Colorado.

Gambrell went on to become a second-round pick for the San Jose Sharks in 2016 and seems to be playing his way onto their protected list after scoring his first career NHL goal during an impressive playoff performance this spring. Gambrell should become a full-time player for the Sharks this fall — potentially in a top-six role as early as this coming season — so if he continues to develop, it is unlikely that Gambrell would be exposed for the expansion draft.

Dylan Gambrell San Jose Sharks
Dylan Gambrell of the San Jose Sharks. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Seattle may explore trade options to acquire one or both of their hometown boys — Oshie and Gambrell — but Vegas was unsuccessful in bringing Jason Zucker home through that expansion draft after he was protected by Minnesota, so Seattle fans shouldn’t get their hopes too high for that possibility.

Tyler Johnson

These next three forwards hail from Spokane and all starred for their hometown Spokane Chiefs in junior (WHL). Spokane is on the eastern side of Washington State, a four-plus hour drive from Seattle, which is on the west coast surrounded by Puget Sound (an arm of the Pacific Ocean).

These three are more likely to be available for Seattle, with Johnson potentially becoming one of the faces of the franchise for their inaugural season. 

At the time of the expansion draft, Johnson will have three years remaining on his contract at a $5-million average annual value. That should be affordable and even cap-friendly for most teams in 2021 — certainly appealing to Seattle — but Johnson’s current team in Tampa Bay could be shedding salary or exposing him in order to protect a cheaper keeper like Anthony Cirelli.

Tyler Johnson #9, Tampa Bay Lightning
Tyler Johnson of the Tampa Bay Lightning. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

If Tampa Bay deems Johnson expendable, Seattle should have interest in selecting him or acquiring him as part of a trade associated with the expansion draft. Perhaps Seattle could receive a sweetener with Johnson in order to pass on other younger options such as Mathieu Joseph and Erik Cernak.

Reality is, Tampa Bay has some difficult decisions to make over the next two seasons leading up to the expansion draft in order to finalize their protected list and that could result in trading Johnson sooner than later. So he may or may not be exposed and available for Seattle.

Derek Ryan

Ryan has two years left on his contract with Calgary but will be an unrestricted free agent the summer of the expansion draft. So, barring an extension in the meantime, Ryan could be signed by Seattle in free agency.

Ryan isn’t a big name by any means, but he could be a veteran leader for Seattle and a serviceable, versatile depth player on the expansion team.

Derek Ryan, Calgary Flames
Derek Ryan of the Calgary Flames. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Ryan took a long road to the NHL, with Seattle general manager Ron Francis taking a chance on him in Carolina at 28 years old after going undrafted from Spokane and further developing for four seasons in the Canadian university league followed by four more seasons in Europe.

Ryan would be 34, turning 35 during Seattle’s debut season, but don’t rule out a one-year contract based on his familiarity with Francis, who could envision Ryan playing the mentor role of Justin Williams in Carolina.

Kailer Yamamoto

Unlike the other two — Johnson, like Ryan, also went undrafted from Spokane — Yamamoto is a high-profile prospect as a first-round pick in 2017. He’ll celebrate his 21st birthday before the start of this coming season and will be wishing for a healthy campaign when he blows out those candles after struggling with injuries at both the NHL and AHL levels this past season.

Assuming Yamamoto’s wrist is healed, he’ll get a shot at sticking with Edmonton out of training camp again but most expect him to spend more time with AHL Bakersfield since new Oilers GM Ken Holland prefers his prospects overripen in the minors.

Kailer Yamamoto
Kailer Yamamoto of the Edmonton Oilers. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Regardless of that development plan, Yamamoto should be pencilled into Edmonton’s protected list in the present. As long as he continues to progress over the next two seasons, the Oilers will be planning to protect Yamamoto. 

However, if the Oilers opted to protect four defencemen, there is a slight chance that Yamamoto would be exposed for Seattle since Edmonton’s fourth forward spot would likely come down to him or Tyler Benson — behind Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Benson, a high second-round pick hailing from the Edmonton area and a fellow 21-year-old, seemed to surpass Yamamoto on the strength of a stellar rookie pro season in the AHL, so the Oilers might also have a difficult decision to make in 2021.

Future Prospects from Washington State

There are a handful of prospects from Washington State that could have a future in the game and potentially possess NHL upside.

Wyatte Wylie tops that list in the present as a 2018 fifth-round pick of the Philadelphia Flyers who is trending well in starring for his hometown Everett Silvertips. Wylie is an offensive defenceman who produced 47 points (11 goals, 36 assists) during his third WHL season. He’ll turn 20 in November and is eligible to play in the AHL this season but remains unsigned by Philadelphia and seems more likely to return to Everett as a team leader for his over-age season. Wylie will be exempt from the expansion draft regardless of when he signs his first professional contract.

Wyatte Wylie of the Everett Silvertips
Wyatte Wylie of the Everett Silvertips (29) attempts to block a shot by Jaret Anderson-Dolan of the Spokane Chiefs during WHL action. (Chris Mast/Everett Silvertips)

Lukas Svejkovsky is a legit prospect for the 2020 NHL draft, hailing from Point Roberts near the Canadian border and developing in Canada during his formative years with the Delta academy. An undersized forward, Svejkovsky was a second-round pick of the Vancouver Giants in the 2016 bantam draft and is coming off an impressive rookie season in the WHL — finishing strong with 13 points in 22 playoff games — after previously winning a BCHL championship with Wenatchee in 2018.

Alex Bolshakov, from Seattle, is also draft eligible in 2020 and should be playing for the Victoria Royals during his NHL draft year after being selected by them in the fourth round of the 2017 bantam draft. A bigger forward listed at 6-foot-2 and 190 pounds, Bolshakov debuted for Victoria this past season — suiting up for 11 games, including six playoff contests — but is still seeking his first WHL point.

Keiton Klein, from Bellingham, is another 2020 prospect who led the Everett U16 program in scoring this past season and previously had a decent bantam draft year with the Yale academy in Abbotsford, B.C., but doesn’t appear to be listed by a WHL team. Klein’s team for the coming season has yet to be updated on EliteProspects but a good rookie campaign at the junior level could get him on the NHL draft radar.

Mekai Sanders, from Gig Harbor, an hour south of Seattle near Tacoma, isn’t draft eligible until 2021 — an entry draft that Seattle’s NHL team will be participating in for the first time. Sanders has already been drafted by one Seattle team, the WHL’s Thunderbirds in the ninth round of the 2018 bantam draft. Sanders, who has since signed with the T-Birds, spent the past two seasons developing in Detroit with the Compuware program after previously playing two years with the Seattle Junior Hockey Association and two years with the Sno-King Hockey Association.

Undrafted Players from Washington State

There are also a half-dozen players from Washington State that have gone undrafted in recent years but may still have pro aspirations and could become sentimental signings for Seattle — perhaps for their AHL affiliate, which will be based in Palm Springs, Calif.

Keanu Yamamoto is Kailer’s older brother and former teammate with their hometown Spokane Chiefs. Keanu, now 23, is going the Ryan route in making the most of his WHL scholarship and has been enjoying success in the Canadian university league through two seasons with McGill.

Hunter Campbell, from Everett, was passed over in the 2019 NHL draft but will be entering his third WHL season and could take on a bigger role with the Calgary Hitmen, who selected him in the third round of the 2016 bantam draft and are expected to be contenders this coming season.

Dawson Butt, from Buckley, an hour south of Seattle, will also be entering his third full WHL season with the Everett Silvertips after previously developing in their U16 program. Butt will be in his final year of NHL draft eligibility after getting overlooked in 2018 and 2019.

Luke Gallagher, from Mead near Spokane, played parts of three seasons for his hometown Chiefs before finishing this past season with the BCHL’s Trail Smoke Eaters. Like Butt, Gallagher is entering his final year of NHL draft eligibility, but neither of them are expected to be selected in 2020.

Luke Ormsby, from Monroe, an hour northeast of Seattle, is no longer NHL draft eligible and will be an overager in the WHL this coming season. He will be competing for one of three over-age spots with the Moose Jaw Warriors, having finished this past season there after prior stints with the Everett Silvertips and Seattle Thunderbirds.

Matt Dorsey, from Wenatchee, three hours east of Seattle and a little over halfway to Spokane, is coming off a breakout season with his hometown team, the BCHL’s Wenatchee Wild, after playing a combined 41 WHL games with the Calgary Hitmen and Tri-City Americans. Dorsey is also entering his over-age season in the junior ranks and therefore is no longer NHL draft eligible after getting passed over in 2017, 2018 and 2019 like Ormsby.


When thinking of the Pacific Northwest, Oregon is the next state that comes to mind after Washington.

Portland is the biggest city in Oregon — located 3 1/2 hours straight south of Seattle — and is the birthplace of Tampa Bay forward prospect Dennis Yan, a third-round pick from 2015 who has been developing with AHL Syracuse.

Portland is also home to Jacob MacDonald, a late-blooming defenceman who has been lighting up the AHL over the past few seasons but has yet to stick in the NHL at 26 years old. MacDonald is on a two-way contract with the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche and AHL’s Colorado Eagles for this coming season.

Jasper Weatherby, from Ashland, seven hours south of Seattle near the California border, was drafted by the San Jose Sharks in the fourth round in 2018 after starring for BCHL Wenatchee. Weatherby is now developing with one of the NCAA’s top programs at the University of North Dakota.

Oregon also has a couple forward prospects that could get drafted in the next couple years: Gareth Cooper, from Portland, is eligible for 2020; and Tyler Hanson, from Medford near Ashland, is eligible for 2021. Cooper and Hanson have both been developing with academies in British Columbia, Cooper with Shawnigan Lake and Hanson with Delta.


Idaho isn’t a hockey hotbed either — only producing two NHLers over the years and none that you’ve heard of (Pat Shea and Guyle Fielder for those curious) — but this state does boast at least 10 prospects of note in the present.

Luke Mylymok, from Boise, eight hours southeast of Seattle, is a 2020-eligible forward who will be playing for NCAA Minnesota-Duluth during his NHL draft year after a decent showing in the USHL following four developmental seasons at the famed Notre Dame academy in Saskatchewan.

Bear Hughes, from Post Falls, located 4 1/2 hours east of Seattle just across the state line from Spokane, went undrafted in 2019 but could be on the radar for 2020 as a forward for the WHL’s Spokane Chiefs. He scored two goals during his WHL home debut — before going pointless in three playoff contests — after torching the KIJHL (Junior B) with the Spokane Braves to the tune of 66 points (41 goals, 25 assists) in 46 regular-season games and 10 points (six goals, four assists) in seven playoff games this spring.

Boise has also produced a few NCAA players in the 21-22 age group: Bo Hanson, a defenceman for St. Lawrence University; Zach Walker, a forward for Boston College; and Bailey Conger, a forward for Colorado College.

Scouring the state further, there are a few undrafted junior players from Idaho: James Porter, a goaltender for the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets from Bonners Ferry, six hours northeast of Seattle near the Canadian border; John Driscoll, a defenceman for the USHL’s Central Illinois Flying Aces from Eagle, eight hours southeast of Seattle near Boise; and C.J. Walker, a forward for the BCHL’s Langley Rivermen from Boise.

Lastly, there are a couple 2020 draft-eligible prospects of note from Idaho: Teagan McAvoy, a forward developing at the prestigious Shattuck St. Mary’s program in Minnesota but hailing from Hailey, which is 10 hours southeast of Seattle; and Corbin Cockerill, a forward from Post Falls who led his varsity team in scoring this past season at the Compete academy in Coeur d’Alene that plays in the burgeoning Canadian Sport School Hockey League and could be pumping out some decent prospects in the years to come.


Hockey has been booming in California since the ’90s thanks to Wayne Gretzky’s arrival in Los Angeles and the NHL’s expansion to San Jose and then Anaheim. The Mighty Ducks movies by Disney spurred interest in the sport too.

Now the AHL also has a Pacific Division that features five teams across California — from San Jose to San Diego, with Stockton, Ontario and Bakersfield in between. Seattle’s affiliate will join that fold in Palm Springs, so some of these players could end up starring in their home state in a couple years’ time.

It’s a long list of 46 players, not all of whom were born in California but each having spent some of their developmental years in that state. That includes the likes of Bobby Ryan, Alec Martinez, Adam Erne and Matt Tennyson among the more established professional players.

Bobby Ryan Ottawa Senators
Bobby Ryan of the Ottawa Senators. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The homegrown, born-and-raised talents that got their hockey start in California include forwards Matt Nieto (Long Beach), Rocco Grimaldi (Anaheim) and Trevor Moore (Thousand Oaks), defencemen Kevan Miller (Santa Clarita), Chad Ruhwedel (San Diego) and Ian McCoshen (Anaheim), and goaltenders Thatcher Demko (San Diego), Collin Delia (Rancho Cucamonga) and Eric Comrie (Los Angeles).

Former NHLers from California that are still carving out their hockey careers include Emerson Etem (Long Beach), Beau Bennett (Gardena), Brandon Kozun (Los Angeles), Shane Harper (Valencia) and Jonathon Blum (Long Beach).

Other minor-leaguers from California chasing their NHL dreams include Chase De Leo (La Mirada), Mitch Callahan (Whittier), Evan Weinger (Los Angeles), Robby Jackson (Alameda), Keoni Texeira (Fontana) and Merrick Madsen (Acton). Tyler Moy (La Jolla), a Nashville draft pick from 2015, is also going strong overseas in Switzerland.

California is home to 11 promising NHL prospects that have been drafted in recent years: 2019 first-rounders Cam York (Anaheim) and Ryan Johnson (Irvine), second-round brothers Jason Robertson (Arcadia) and Nick Robertson (Arcadia), plus later-round picks displaying nice upside in Sasha Chmelevski (Huntington Beach), Jake McGrew (Orange), Ivan Lodnia (Los Angeles), Cole Guttman (Los Angeles), Jack St. Ivany (Manhattan Beach), Slava Demin (Cypress) and Dustin Wolf (Tustin).

Cam York Flyers Draft
Cam York of the Philadelphia Flyers. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers

California’s undrafted prospects pursuing the goal of playing professionally include NCAAers Patrick Khodorenko (Walnut Creek), Brannon McManus (Newport Beach) and Zak Galambos (Walnut Creek); WHLer Brayden Watts (Bakersfield); and BCHLers Murphy Stratton (Los Angeles), Blake Bargar (Torrance), who also had a stint with the WHL’s Seattle Thunderbirds, and Jackson Niedermayer (Newport Beach).

Yes, that is Scott’s son and he has another of note in 2004-born Joshua Niedermayer (Newport Beach), who could emerge as a top prospect for the 2022 NHL draft after being selected in the second round of this year’s bantam draft by the WHL’s Vancouver Giants. Joshua, a defenceman like his dad, projects as the better brother. The elder 2001-born Jackson is a forward for the BCHL’s Penticton Vees that went undrafted in 2019, and Joshua is now also developing in Penticton with the Okanagan Hockey Academy.

California has a few more prospects to keep an eye on for the 2021 entry draft — in which Seattle will make its first-ever selections — with defenceman Aidan Hreschuk (Long Beach) topping that list as another first-round talent ahead of forwards Paul Minnehan (Cypress) and Arvega Hovsepyan (Los Angeles).

Hreschuk is already committed to Boston College and will be part of the U.S. National Team Development Program for the next couple years. His WHL rights belong to the Prince George Cougars, while Minnehan has been drafted by WHL Tri-City and USHL Muskegon, and Hovsepyan was drafted by WHL Kelowna and spent this past season at Shattuck St. Mary’s.


Hockey is a relatively new phenomenon in Nevada despite the fact the Golden Knights (2017-present) are the 12th professional team to call Vegas home following the Gamblers (1968-71, 1997-99), Outlaws (1971-74), Aces (1992-95), Thunder (1993-99), Flash (1993-94), Ice Dice (1995-96), Coyotes (1998-99), Rattlers (2001-03), Wranglers (2003-2015) and Storm (2014-15).

The Golden Knights were quick to make hockey cool in that desert state and gambling city, so expect more talent to be coming out of Nevada over the next decade.

Jason Zucker, born in Newport Beach, Calif., but raised in Vegas, is Nevada’s lone NHLer to date. The Golden Knights weren’t able to bring him home through the expansion draft, so it would be ironic to see Zucker exposed and selected by Seattle.

Jason Zucker
Jason Zucker of the Minnesota Wild. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Gage Quinney (Las Vegas) is the next closest to the NHL as an undrafted free-agent signing for the hometown Golden Knights who has been enjoying success for their AHL affiliate, the Chicago Wolves. Quinney’s Canadian-born father, Ken, starred for the Las Vegas Thunder from 1993-98 and stayed there for his post-playing career as a firefighter.

The next two were born in Las Vegas but raised elsewhere and haven’t played much (if any) hockey there.

Dylan St. Cyr is the son of Manon Rhéaume, the famous first and only woman to play in an NHL game — making preseason appearances for Tampa Bay in 1992 and 1993. Manon was also a brief teammate of Ken Quinney with the Thunder in 1994-95. Dylan, a goaltender like his mom, is undersized and went undrafted as a result but has been standing tall for the University of Notre Dame (NCAA) after spending most of his developmental years in Michigan.

Graham McPhee, the son of Golden Knights president of hockey operations George McPhee, was born in Sin City during the offseason of George’s first year as general manager of the Washington Capitals in 1998. Now 21, Graham is a fourth-year forward for Boston College (NCAA) and a fifth-round NHL draft pick of the Edmonton Oilers in 2016. Graham grew up in Washington, D.C., which borders the states of Maryland and Virginia, and went to Shattuck St. Mary’s in Minnesota before making his way to Michigan to join the U.S. National Team Development Program.

Las Vegas is home to a few forward prospects for upcoming NHL drafts: Erik Atchison, eligible in 2020, will be a sophomore for WHL Spokane; JoJo Heinzelman, also eligible in 2020, spent this past season developing in the Hartford Jr. Wolfpack program; and Matthew Gross, eligible in 2021, has been drafted by WHL Prince Albert and USHL Tri-City after starring for the Phoenix Jr. Coyotes program.


Auston Matthews is the poster boy for hockey in Arizona. The Toronto Maple Leafs superstar and first overall pick from the 2016 NHL draft was born in San Ramon, Calif., but raised in Scottsdale.

Toronto Maple Leafs Auston Matthews
Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press)

Mark Kastelic, from Phoenix, could be the next Arizona product to make the NHL. He is coming off a breakout season with the WHL’s Calgary Hitmen that got him drafted by the Ottawa Senators in the fifth round this year.

Arizona is also home for a trio of undrafted NCAA forwards in Erik Middendorf (Scottsdale, Colorado College), Phil Knies (Phoenix, Miami University-Ohio), and Ryan Savage (Phoenix), the son of former NHLer Brian Savage who split this past season between USHL Omaha and Muskegon and is now bound for Miami University-Ohio — his father’s alma mater — where he will become teammates with third-year player Knies. Savage’s WHL rights belong to the Everett Silvertips as a fourth-round pick from 2015.

Brian Savage played for the then-Phoenix Coyotes from 2002-04 and a few of his NHL teammates from that time also have sons climbing the ranks in Arizona.

Josh Doan (Scottsdale) is Shane’s son and a 2020 forward prospect committed to Arizona State University (NCAA) for 2021-22 but also drafted by the WHL’s Kamloops Blazers — his dad’s old junior team, for which Shane now has an ownership share — as well as the USHL’s Chicago Steel. Josh is thus far following in his father’s footsteps and has been developing in that Phoenix Jr. Coyotes program through this past season.

Ty Nash (Scottsdale) is Tyson’s son and a 2021 forward prospect who led the U15 Coyotes in scoring as a teammate of the Nevada-born Gross. Ty has been drafted by the WHL’s Lethbridge Hurricanes.

Colton Langkow (Scottsdale) is Daymond’s son and a 2022 forward prospect who was selected in the fifth round of this year’s bantam draft by the WHL’s Vancouver Giants.

There are four other forward prospects from Phoenix without famous fathers: Riley Stuart, a 2020 eligible drafted by WHL Tri-City, USHL Omaha and NAHL Jamestown; Matthew Michael Knies, the younger brother of Phil and a 2021 eligible who led the U16 Coyotes in scoring ahead of Josh Doan while being drafted by USHL Tri-City and already committing to the University of Minnesota (NCAA); David Hymovitch, another 2021 eligible drafted by WHL Calgary and USHL Sioux City; and Oren Shtrom, a third-round pick for WHL Medicine Hat who isn’t NHL draft eligible until 2023.

British Columbia

British Columbia may be in another country but parts of that Canadian province — specifically Vancouver and the Lower Mainland — are closer to Seattle than Spokane or Portland, especially for those with NEXUS passes to cross the border in a timely fashion. That drive varies from two to three hours depending on traffic and border congestion, but there could also be a high-speed rail connecting Vancouver to Seattle in the not-too-distant future, which would help fuel the regional rivalry between NHL teams once the Emerald City franchise starts facing off against B.C.’s beloved Canucks.

British Columbia is home to no fewer than 50 current NHL players — not to mention the hundreds of prospects — so Seattle’s roster is almost certain to have some B.C. flavour and that might be by design to maintain sellout crowds. But attendance shouldn’t be a problem with or without B.C. players since Seattle already has 32,000 season ticket deposit holders and another 25,000 on a waiting list.

Sticking to NHLers from B.C., the stars include forwards Jamie Benn, Matt Barzal, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Ryan Johansen, defencemen Shea Weber, Tyson Barrie and Morgan Rielly, and goaltender Carey Price. None of those eight are expected to be exposed for Seattle, and the likes of Sam Reinhart and Shea Theodore probably won’t be available either.

New York Islanders Mathew Barzal
Matt Barzal of the New York Islanders. (Greg Thompson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Scratching those 10 names off the list of candidates for Seattle, that leaves forwards Kyle Turris (New Westminster), Evander Kane (Vancouver), Alex Kerfoot (Vancouver) and Danton Heinen (Langley), plus netminder Martin Jones (North Vancouver) as the next wave of talent that could perhaps be exposed for Seattle.

The Canucks might have to expose one or both of their hometown boys in forward Jake Virtanen (New Westminster) and defenceman Troy Stecher (Richmond).

Detroit will likely be able to protect both Michael Rasmussen (Vancouver) and Dennis Cholowski (Langley), but Montreal might have a decision to make on Noah Juulsen (Surrey), who starred for Everett during his junior days.

Some teams may also attempt to offload their expensive veterans onto Seattle such as Chicago’s Brent Seabrook (Richmond), Calgary’s Milan Lucic (Vancouver) and the Islanders’ Andrew Ladd (Maple Ridge).

Those 13 players all grew up in the Vancouver area, all within three hours of Seattle.

Going further down the list but staying in the Lower Mainland, Colton Sissons (North Vancouver) will likely be protected by Nashville based on his new seven-year, $20-million contract and Devon Toews (Abbotsford) is working his way onto the Islanders’ list.

Brenden Dillon (Surrey) is a former Seattle Thunderbirds captain (2010-11) and spent his entire four-year junior career there, spanning the move from KeyArena to Kent.

Two fellow Surrey products Jujhar Khaira and Parker Wotherspoon also starred in the WHL’s U.S. Division, Khaira with the Everett Silvertips and Wotherspoon with the Tri-City Americans.

Those three could be of significant interest to Seattle.

Brenden Dillon Sharks
Brenden Dillon of the San Jose Sharks. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Rounding out the Lower Mainland contingent of potential interest are forwards Nic Petan (Delta) and Jordan Weal (North Vancouver), defenceman Griffin Reinhart (West Vancouver), who went through the expansion experience with Vegas, and goaltenders Laurent Brossoit (Cloverdale) and Tristan Jarry (Surrey).

Looking outside the Lower Mainland, Seattle could find appeal in Justin Schultz (West Kelowna), Brett Connolly (Prince George), Curtis Lazar (Vernon), Joe Hicketts (Kamloops) and Jordie Benn (Victoria).

Beyond that, there is a group of B.C. products that could be retired before the expansion draft in Troy Brouwer, Dan Hamhuis, Karl Alzner, Brandon Manning and Cody Franson. And there is another group of fringe players that won’t entice Seattle in Derek Grant, Matt Irwin, Brad Hunt, Dryden Hunt, Curtis McKenzie, Corban Knight, Ben Street, Patrick Wiercioch, Stefan Elliott and Tyler Wotherspoon.

That could be forgetting a few, perhaps some entry-level prospects that will need to be protected, but Seattle will have plenty of B.C. players to pick through and pluck as they see fit.