Seattle Mock Expansion Draft: Best Players Available

Whenever it is draft time — be it entry or expansion — the phrase ‘best player available’ becomes cliché.

Every team claims to be taking the BPA approach and it would be in Seattle’s best interests to practice what they preach.

At the entry draft, BPA means the most skilled player with the highest ceiling regardless of position. But when it comes to the expansion draft, there are so many more factors in determining BPA.

Talent level still tops the list and upside is taken into account here too, but Seattle has to consider contracts — salary, term and status — as well as age, marketability and roster fit since these players will be plug-and-play for the most part instead of draft and develop.

This is a team for today, not a team for tomorrow, which is the case with the entry draft. But Seattle’s goal for this mock is to ice a competitive team in the present that also has some staying power. Therefore, this BPA team is something of a hybrid between the previously mocked win-now and future teams.

This is the third and final part of a series conducting mock expansion drafts for Seattle, with this team executing a plan to pick the best players available from each franchise based on all the aforementioned factors.

Ron Francis
Ron Francis, formerly of the Carolina Hurricanes, is expected to be named Seattle’s first general manager in charge of overseeing the expansion draft and selecting the players that will form this yet-to-be named team for their inaugural season in 2021-22. (AP Photo)

Setting Stage for Mock Series

To clarify, this series of mocks will be pretending that the expansion draft is today, with Seattle starting play this coming season, and that CapFriendly’s tool applies to 2019-20.

In reality, that tool is prorated for 2021-22, so there are some discrepancies for young players on entry-level contracts that would be exempt in 2019 but eligible in 2021 — these mocks assume those players are eligible in the present. And also with some no-move clauses that are in effect for 2019 but expired for 2021 — these mocks assume those NMCs are nonexistent in the present.

A tad confusing, but pretend the 2021 eligibility rules apply to 2019. Or pretend it is currently 2021 and Seattle is debuting this fall. Either way, apply CapFriendly’s tool to today.

Note that the same protected and exposed lists were utilized for each of these three mocks to maintain consistency in the selection process and were based on NHL rosters as of July 15.

Also note that Vegas is exempt from this expansion draft — as will still be the case in 2021.

Anaheim Ducks

Protected Forwards: Ryan Getzlaf, Rickard Rakell, Jakob Silfverberg, Troy Terry, Sam Steel, Isac Lundestrom, Max Jones

Protected Defencemen: Hampus Lindholm, Cam Fowler, Brendan Guhle

Protected Goaltender: John Gibson

Exposed Forwards: Adam Henrique, Ondrej Kase, Nick Ritchie, Daniel Sprong, Devin Shore, Kiefer Sherwood

Exposed Defencemen: Josh Manson, Jacob Larsson, Josh Mahura

Exposed Goaltenders: Ryan Miller, Anthony Stolarz, Kevin Boyle

SELECTION: Adam Henrique, LC, $5.825M for five seasons

Adam Henrique #14 of the Anaheim Ducks
Adam Henrique of the Anaheim Ducks. (Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images)

ANALYSIS: Let the debating begin right off the hop, with Henrique getting selected over Manson (win-now team) and Kase (future team). Those three could all be considered the best player available from Anaheim, but Henrique is still in his prime at 29 years old on a reasonable contract for a middle-six centre that should produce 20 goals and 45 points for the foreseeable future.

Arizona Coyotes

Protected Forwards: Phil Kessel (NMC), Clayton Keller, Nick Schmaltz, Derek Stepan, Christian Dvorak, Christian Fischer, Nick Merkley

Protected Defencemen: Oliver Ekman-Larsson (NMC), Jakob Chychrun, Kyle Capobianco

Protected Goaltender: Antti Raanta

Exposed Forwards: Carl Soderberg, Michael Grabner, Vinnie Hinostroza, Lawson Crouse, Conor Garland, Tyler Steenbergen

Exposed Defencemen: Alex Goligoski, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Jason Demers, Jordan Oesterle, Cam Dineen

Exposed Goaltenders: Darcy Kuemper, Adin Hill, Merrick Madsen

SELECTION: Vinnie Hinostroza, RW, $1.5M pending RFA

Vinny Hinostroza Arizona Coyotes
Vinnie Hinostroza of the Arizona Coyotes celebrates a goal against the Edmonton Oilers. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press)

ANALYSIS: Hinostroza is another new selection for Seattle after previously picking Kuemper (win-now team) and Garland (future team). Hinostroza took a big step as a full-time NHLer in 2018-19, netting 16 goals and 39 points over 72 games in his first season with Arizona. Like Henrique, Hinostroza should be a good bet for 20 goals and 45 points going forward.

Cases could also be made for a couple of veteran defenders in Hjalmarsson and Goligoski as the best player available from Arizona, but they will be trending down while Hinostroza is still on the rise.

Boston Bruins

Protected Forwards: Patrice Bergeron (NMC), Brad Marchand (NMC), David Pastrnak, David Krejci, Jake DeBrusk, Charlie Coyle, Danton Heinen

Protected Defencemen: Charlie McAvoy, Torey Krug, Brandon Carlo

Protected Goaltender: Tuukka Rask

Exposed Forwards: David Backes, Sean Kuraly, Karson Kuhlman, Anders Bjork, Trent Frederic, Zach Senyshyn, Chris Wagner, Joakim Nordstrom, Brett Ritchie, Peter Cehlarik, Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson 

Exposed Defencemen: Zdeno Chara, Matt Grzelcyk, Connor Clifton, Jakub Zboril, Jeremy Lauzon, John Moore, Kevan Miller

Exposed Goaltenders: Jaroslav Halak, Daniel Vladar

SELECTION: Matt Grzelcyk, LD, $1.4M pending RFA

Matt Grzelcyk - Bruins
Matt Grzelcyk of the Boston Bruins. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

ANALYSIS: Make it three newbies in a row for Seattle, with Grzelcyk hitting his stride in this year’s playoffs — contributing eight points (four goals, four assists) over 20 games in helping Boston to the Stanley Cup Final before falling to St. Louis.

Seattle had previously selected Kuraly (win-now team) and Zboril (future team), not daring to touch Chara despite Boston’s 42-year-old captain being exposed. 

Buffalo Sabres

Protected Forwards: Jeff Skinner (NMC), Jack Eichel, Sam Reinhart, Casey Mittelstadt

Protected Defencemen: Rasmus Dahlin, Henri Jokiharju, Brandon Montour, Rasmus Ristolainen

Protected Goaltender: Linus Ullmark

Exposed Forwards: Marcus Johansson, Kyle Okposo, Conor Sheary, Jimmy Vesey, Evan Rodrigues, Tage Thompson, Victor Olofsson, Rasmus Asplund, Zemgus Girgensons, Vladimir Sobotka

Exposed Defencemen: Colin Miller, Lawrence Pilut, Zach Bogosian, Jake McCabe, Marco Scandella, Casey Nelson, John Gilmour, Brandon Hickey, Will Borgen, Devante Stephens 

Exposed Goaltenders: Carter Hutton, Jonas Johansson, Andrew Hammond

SELECTION: Colin Miller, RD, $3.875M for three seasons

Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Colin Miller
Colin Miller, now of the Buffalo Sabres, seen here as a member of the Vegas Golden Knights. (Stephen R. Sylvanie/USA TODAY)

ANALYSIS: Finally a familiar face, with Miller also getting selected for Seattle’s win-now team ahead of Marcus Johansson. Thompson was taken for Seattle’s future team, but Miller emerged as the best player available from Buffalo thanks in part to his expansion experience from Vegas.

Johansson could have been a good fit for this BPA team — based solely on skill — but Miller checked that extra box for Seattle.

Calgary Flames

Protected Forwards: Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, Elias Lindholm, Matthew Tkachuk, Dillon Dube, Sam Bennett, Mikael Backlund

Protected Defencemen: Mark Giordano, Noah Hanifin, Juuso Valimaki

Protected Goaltender: David Rittich

Exposed Forwards: James Neal, Michael Frolik, Derek Ryan, Mark Jankowski, Andrew Mangiapane, Austin Czarnik, Glenn Gawdin, Matthew Phillips, Spencer Foo

Exposed Defencemen: T.J. Brodie, Travis Hamonic, Rasmus Andersson, Oliver Kylington, Michael Stone, Andrew Nielsen

Exposed Goaltenders: Cam Talbot, Jon Gillies, Tyler Parsons

SELECTION: Rasmus Andersson, RD, $755,833 pending RFA

Flames defenseman Rasmus Andersson
Rasmus Andersson of the Calgary Flames. (Candice Ward/USA TODAY)

ANALYSIS: Andersson is another repeat pick for Seattle after previously getting selected for the future team. It was between him and Brodie, from the win-now team, for Calgary’s best player available, but Andersson’s upside trumped Brodie’s track record to date in another controversial decision for Seattle.

Carolina Hurricanes

Protected Forwards: Jordan Staal (NMC), Sebastian Aho, Andrei Svechnikov, Teuvo Teravainen, Nino Niederreiter, Julien Gauthier, Morgan Geekie

Protected Defencemen: Jaccob Slavin, Dougie Hamilton, Jake Bean

Protected Goaltender: Petr Mrazek

Exposed Forwards: Erik Haula, Ryan Dzingel, Warren Foegele, Janne Kuokkanen, Lucas Wallmark, Jordan Martinook, Saku Maenalanen, Brock McGinn

Exposed Defencemen: Justin Faulk, Brett Pesce, Haydn Fleury, Gustav Forsling, Trevor Carrick, Roland McKeown, Trevor van Riemsdyk

Exposed Goaltenders: James Reimer, Alex Nedeljkovic, Anton Forsberg, Jeremy Helvig, Callum Booth

SELECTION: Erik Haula, LW/LC, $2.75M pending UFA

Golden Knights left wing Erik Haula
Erik Haula was traded from Vegas to Carolina this offseason. (Stephen R. Sylvanie/USA TODAY)

ANALYSIS: Haula was also on Seattle’s win-now team as another veteran of the Vegas expansion and his name got called again ahead of Nedeljkovic from the future team as well as top-four defenders Pesce and Faulk.

Pesce would have been a more popular pick as Carolina’s best player available, but the Hurricanes swung a trade to prevent Seattle from selecting Pesce or Bean regardless of who they exposed between those two.

Chicago Blackhawks

Protected Forwards: Jonathan Toews (NMC), Patrick Kane (NMC), Alex DeBrincat, Dylan Strome, Alex Nylander, Andrew Shaw, Dylan Sikura

Protected Defencemen: Duncan Keith (NMC), Brent Seabrook (NMC), Erik Gustafsson

Protected Goaltender: Robin Lehner

Exposed Forwards: Brandon Saad, Artem Anisimov, Brendan Perlini, Drake Caggiula, David Kampf, John Quenneville, Aleksi Saarela, Alexandre Fortin, Matthew Highmore, Victor Ejdsell

Exposed Defencemen: Connor Murphy, Olli Maatta, Calvin de Haan, Slater Koekkoek, Dennis Gilbert, Carl Dahlstrom

Exposed Goaltenders: Corey Crawford, Collin Delia, Kevin Lankinen

SELECTION: Corey Crawford, G, $6M pending UFA

Corey Crawford Blackhawks
Corey Crawford of the Chicago Blackhawks. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

ANALYSIS: Crawford, at 34 years young, was previously tabbed to backstop the future team as a Stanley Cup-winning goaltender and he edged out Saad, from the win-now team, for Seattle’s best player available from Chicago. The hope is that Crawford can be to Seattle what Marc-Andre Fleury has been to Vegas.

Colorado Avalanche

Protected Forwards: Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, Gabriel Landeskog, Nazem Kadri, Tyson Jost, J.T. Compher, Andre Burakovsky

Protected Defencemen: Erik Johnson (NMC), Samuel Girard, Cale Makar

Protected Goaltender: Philipp Grubauer

Exposed Forwards: Joonas Donskoi, Colin Wilson, Vladislav Kamenev, Matt Nieto, Matt Calvert, A.J. Greer, Ty Lewis, Igor Shvyryov, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare

Exposed Defencemen: Nikita Zadorov, Calle Rosen, Nicolas Meloche, Josh Anderson, Ian Cole, Kevin Connauton, Mark Barberio, Jacob MacDonald, Ryan Graves, Mark Alt, Anton Lindholm

Exposed Goaltender: Pavel Francouz

SELECTION: Nikita Zadorov, LD, $3.2M pending RFA

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Nikita Zadorov
Nikita Zadorov of the Colorado Avalanche. (David Zalubowski/AP Photo)

ANALYSIS: Zadorov was the unanimous choice from Colorado, getting selected for all three Seattle teams — win now, future, and best player available. The Avs didn’t expose any serious challengers to Zadorov for this BPA team. The closest anybody came was Kamenev for the future team, but he wasn’t all that close either. 

Columbus Blue Jackets

Protected Forwards: Cam Atkinson, Nick Foligno, Pierre-Luc Dubois, Josh Anderson, Gustav Nyquist, Boone Jenner, Oliver Bjorkstrand 

Protected Defencemen: Seth Jones, Zach Werenski, Ryan Murray

Protected Goaltender: Joonas Korpisalo

Exposed Forwards: Alexander Wennberg, Brandon Dubinsky, Riley Nash, Sonny Milano, Lukas Sedlak, Kole Sherwood, Calvin Thurkauf, Paul Bittner, Markus Hannikainen

Exposed Defencemen: David Savard, Markus Nutivaara, Gabriel Carlsson, Scott Harrington, Dean Kukan, Adam Clendening

Exposed Goaltender: Matiss Kivlenieks

SELECTION: David Savard, RD, $4.25M for two seasons

Blue Jackets defenseman David Savard
David Savard of the Columbus Blue Jackets. (Tom Szczerbowski/USA TODAY)

ANALYSIS: Savard didn’t get selected in the two previous mocks — Wennberg was named to the win-now team and Milano was taken for the future team — but it’s tough to argue against Savard being the best player available from Columbus. In fact, Nutivaara might be ahead of Wennberg and Milano in that BPA conversation, but Savard is a very solid defender that gets overshadowed by Jones and Werenski with the Blue Jackets.

Dallas Stars

Protected Forwards: Jamie Benn (NMC), Tyler Seguin (NMC), Alex Radulov (NMC), Joe Pavelski, Roope Hintz, Jason Dickinson, Denis Gurianov 

Protected Defencemen: John Klingberg, Miro Heiskanen, Esa Lindell

Protected Goaltender: Ben Bishop (NMC)

Exposed Forwards: Radek Faksa, Mattias Janmark, Andrew Cogliano, Corey Perry, Joel L’Esperance, Blake Comeau, Justin Dowling, Adam Mascherin, Nick Caamano

Exposed Defencemen: Stephen Johns, Jamie Oleksiak, Julius Honka, Andrej Sekera, Ben Gleason, Gavin Bayreuther, Dillon Heatherington, Taylor Fedun, Roman Polak, Niklas Hansson, John Nyberg

Exposed Goaltenders: Anton Khudobin, Colton Point, Landon Bow

SELECTION: Radek Faksa, LC, $2.2M pending RFA

Radek Faksa, Dallas Stars
Radek Faksa of the Dallas Stars. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

ANALYSIS: Faksa was also twice passed over — in favour of Perry (win-now team) and Honka (future team) — but, all things considered, Faksa is the best player available from Dallas. He would be the perfect third-line centre for Seattle’s BPA team.

Detroit Red Wings

Protected Forwards: Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha, Andreas Athanasiou, Tyler Bertuzzi, Michael Rasmussen, Evgeny Svechnikov, Givani Smith

Protected Defencemen: Filip Hronek, Dennis Cholowski, Gustav Lindstrom

Protected Goaltender: Jimmy Howard

Exposed Forwards: Frans Nielsen, Justin Abdelkader, Darren Helm, Valtteri Filppula, Luke Glendening, Jacob De La Rose, Christoffer Ehn, Dominic Turgeon, David Pope

Exposed Defencemen: Mike Green, Danny DeKeyser, Trevor Daley, Patrik Nemeth, Madison Bowey, Joe Hicketts, Vili Saarijarvi

Exposed Goaltenders: Jonathan Bernier, Calvin Pickard, Kaden Fulcher, Patrik Rybar

SELECTION: Madison Bowey, RD, $1M pending RFA

Madison Bowey played 84 games for the Washington Capitals before getting traded to the Detroit Red Wings. (Sammi Silber/THW)

ANALYSIS: Detroit doesn’t have much to offer Seattle, with Green being overpriced ($5.375M) and injury-prone as the best player available. So Bowey, from the win-now team, got the nod over Hicketts, from the future team, among two younger defenders for Seattle’s BPA team.

Edmonton Oilers

Protected Forwards: Milan Lucic (NMC), Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Tyler Benson, Kailer Yamamoto, Jesse Puljujarvi

Protected Defencemen: Oscar Klefbom, Darnell Nurse, Caleb Jones

Protected Goaltender: Stuart Skinner

Exposed Forwards: Sam Gagner, Alex Chiasson, Zack Kassian, Markus Granlund, Jujhar Khaira, Cooper Marody, Joe Gambardella, Colby Cave, Patrick Russell, Josh Currie, Cameron Hebig

Exposed Defencemen: Adam Larsson, Matt Benning, Ethan Bear, William Lagesson, Joel Persson, Kris Russell

Exposed Goaltenders: Mikko Koskinen, Mike Smith, Shane Starrett, Dylan Wells

SELECTION: Adam Larsson, RD, $4.167M for two seasons

Adam Larsson of the Edmonton Oilers. (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY)

ANALYSIS: Larsson was on the win-now team and is clearly the best player available from Edmonton should he actually be exposed instead of Caleb Jones. If Larsson had been protected, then Bear, from the future team, could have landed on Seattle’s BPA team ahead of Jones for sentimental reasons in bringing Bear’s young career full circle after starring for the WHL’s Seattle Thunderbirds in junior.

Florida Panthers

Protected Forwards: Jonathan Huberdeau (NMC), Aleksander Barkov, Vincent Trocheck, Evgeni Dadonov, Henrik Borgstrom, Mike Hoffman, Frank Vatrano

Protected Defencemen: Keith Yandle (NMC), Aaron Ekblad, Mike Matheson

Protected Goaltender: Sergei Bobrovsky (NMC)

Exposed Forwards: Brett Connolly, Jayce Hawryluk, Denis Malgin, Noel Acciari, Colton Sceviour, Patrick Bajkov, Cliff Pu, Jonathan Ang, Juho Lammikko, Dryden Hunt, Anthony Greco, Sebastian Repo, Kevin Roy, Maxim Mamin, Dominic Toninato

Exposed Defencemen: Mark Pysyk, Anton Stralman, MacKenzie Weegar, Ian McCoshen

Exposed Goaltenders: Sam Montembeault, Philippe Desrosiers

SELECTION: Brett Connolly, RW, $3.5M for four seasons

Brett Connolly Washington Capitals
Brett Connolly had a good run with Washington before signing with Florida. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

ANALYSIS: Connolly also comes from the win-now team, a fairly easy decision for Seattle’s BPA team ahead of Hawryluk, from the future team, as well as steady defenders Pysyk and Stralman. Connolly’s ability to score 15-plus goals in a third-line role was attractive to Seattle and he’s more of a sure thing than Hawryluk going forward.

Los Angeles Kings

Protected Forwards: Anze Kopitar, Jeff Carter, Tyler Toffoli, Adrian Kempe, Alex Iafallo, Michael Amadio, Carl Grundstrom

Protected Defencemen: Drew Doughty (NMC), Alec Martinez, Kale Clague

Protected Goaltender: Jonathan Quick

Exposed Forwards: Ilya Kovalchuk, Dustin Brown, Trevor Lewis, Kyle Clifford, Austin Wagner, Mikey Eyssimont, Sheldon Rempal, Martin Frk, Mario Kempe, Drake Rymsha, Brad Morrison

Exposed Defencemen: Derek Forbort, Paul LaDue, Sean Walker, Daniel Brickley, Joakim Ryan, Jacob Moverare, Austin Strand, Chaz Reddekopp, Kurtis MacDermid, Matt Roy

Exposed Goaltenders: Jack Campbell, Cal Petersen, Cole Kehler

SELECTION: Jack Campbell, G, $675,000 pending UFA

Kings goalie Jack Campbell
Jack Campbell of the Los Angeles Kings. (Matt Kartozian/USA TODAY)

ANALYSIS: Campbell joined Zadorov as a unanimous selection for Seattle, with Kovalchuk and Brown proving too pricey for what they would bring as the best players available from Los Angeles. So Campbell became the fallback for Seattle’s BPA team after previously getting picked for both the win-now and future teams.

Minnesota Wild

Protected Forwards: Zach Parise (NMC), Mats Zuccarello (NMC), Kevin Fiala, Joel Eriksson Ek, Jordan Greenway, Luke Kunin, Ryan Donato

Protected Defencemen: Ryan Suter (NMC), Matt Dumba, Jared Spurgeon

Protected Goaltender: Devan Dubnyk

Exposed Forwards: Eric Staal, Mikko Koivu, Jason Zucker, Victor Rask, Marcus Foligno, Ryan Hartman, Mason Shaw, Will Bitten, Dmitry Sokolov, Kyle Rau, Sam Anas, J.T. Brown

Exposed Defencemen: Jonas Brodin, Louis Belpedio, Brennan Menell, Greg Pateryn, Nick Seeler, Brad Hunt 

Exposed Goaltenders: Alex Stalock, Kaapo Kahkonen

SELECTION: Jonas Brodin, LD, $4.167M for two seasons

Jonas Brodin of the Minnesota Wild. (Brace Hemmelgarn/USA TODAY)

ANALYSIS: Brodin is another new face for Seattle, selected to the BPA team ahead of Staal (win-now team) and Zucker (future team). Brodin was a better fit for this lineup and he is arguably a better overall player than those other two. Brodin isn’t a flashy defender, but he’s very efficient and effective for Minnesota.

Montreal Canadiens

Protected Forwards: Brendan Gallagher, Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Max Domi, Jonathan Drouin, Tomas Tatar, Phillip Danault, Artturi Lehkonen

Protected Defencemen: Shea Weber, Victor Mete, Noah Juulsen

Protected Goaltender: Carey Price (NMC)

Exposed Forwards: Paul Byron, Joel Armia, Jordan Weal, Charles Hudon, Matthew Peca, Nick Cousins, Nate Thompson, Michael McCarron, Jake Evans, Riley Barber, Lukas Vejdemo

Exposed Defencemen: Jeff Petry, Ben Chiarot, Brett Kulak, Mike Reilly, Christian Folin, Xavier Ouellet, Gustav Olofsson, Cale Fleury, Karl Alzner

Exposed Goaltenders: Keith Kinkaid, Charlie Lindgren, Michael McNiven

SELECTION: Jeff Petry, RD, $5.5M for two seasons

Canadiens defenceman Jeff Petry
Jeff Petry of the Montreal Canadiens. (David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

ANALYSIS: Petry was on the win-now team and is a no-brainer as the best player available from Montreal, though the Canadiens may have preferred to protect Petry over Juulsen in hindsight. 

If that were the case, Kulak might have stuck on the BPA team after previously getting selected for the future team. Armia and a healthy Byron would also get consideration for Seattle’s BPA team, along with Juulsen if Petry wasn’t exposed.

Nashville Predators

Protected Forwards: Matt Duchene, Ryan Johansen, Filip Forsberg, Mikael Granlund, Viktor Arvidsson, Craig Smith, Calle Jarnkrok

Protected Defencemen: Roman Josi, Ryan Ellis, Mattias Ekholm

Protected Goaltender: Pekka Rinne

Exposed Forwards: Kyle Turris, Colton Sissons, Austin Watson, Miikka Salomaki, Rocco Grimaldi, Daniel Carr, Yakov Trenin

Exposed Defencemen: Dan Hamhuis, Steven Santini, Alexandre Carrier, Frederic Allard, Yannick Weber, Matt Irwin

Exposed Goaltenders: Juuse Saros, Connor Ingram

SELECTION: Kyle Turris, RC, $6M for five seasons

Nashville Predators center Kyle Turris
Kyle Turris of the Nashville Predators. (Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY)

ANALYSIS: Turris was taken to be a leader — and likely captain — for Seattle’s future team, and he’s the clear best player available from Nashville despite slumping for much of last season. Sissons was on the win-now team and Saros also deserves consideration, but Turris has accomplished enough in his career to solidify his spot on Seattle’s BPA team.

New Jersey Devils

Protected Forwards: Taylor Hall, Nico Hischier, Kyle Palmieri, Jesper Bratt, Pavel Zacha, Michael McLeod, Joey Anderson

Protected Defencemen: P.K. Subban, Damon Severson, Will Butcher

Protected Goaltender: Mackenzie Blackwood

Exposed Forwards: Travis Zajac, Wayne Simmonds, Miles Wood, Blake Coleman, John Hayden, Brett Seney, Nathan Bastian, Blake Speers, Yegor Sharangovich, Marian Studenic, Brandon Gignac

Exposed Defencemen: Sami Vatanen, Andy Greene, Mirco Mueller, Connor Carrick, Matt Tennyson, Josh Jacobs, Colton White, Colby Sissons

Exposed Goaltender: Cory Schneider

SELECTION: Miles Wood, LW, $2.75M for three seasons

Miles Wood #44, New Jersey Devils
Miles Wood of the New Jersey Devils. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

ANALYSIS: Wood was also on the future team but gets bumped down a line for this BPA team — from the second line to the third. Seattle took Simmonds for the win-now team, but when factoring in their contracts, ages, and everything else, Wood emerged as the best player available from New Jersey ahead of Simmonds, Vatanen, Schneider, Zajac and Greene.

New York Islanders

Protected Forwards: Anders Lee, Matt Barzal, Josh Bailey, Brock Nelson, Jordan Eberle, Anthony Beauvillier, Kieffer Bellows

Protected Defencemen: Ryan Pulock, Devon Toews, Adam Pelech

Protected Goaltender: Semyon Varlamov

Exposed Forwards: Casey Cizikas, Cal Clutterbuck, Andrew Ladd, Josh Ho-Sang, Michael Dal Colle, Tanner Fritz, Scott Eansor, Otto Koivula, Leo Komarov, Tom Kuhnhackl, Matt Martin

Exposed Defencemen: Johnny Boychuk, Nick Leddy, Thomas Hickey, Scott Mayfield, Sebastian Aho, Parker Wotherspoon, Mitch Vande Sompel, David Quenneville, Seth Helgeson

Exposed Goaltenders: Thomas Greiss, Linus Soderstrom, Christopher Gibson, Jared Coreau

SELECTION: Nick Leddy, LD, $5.5M for three seasons

Nick Leddy Islanders
Nick Leddy of the New York Islanders. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

ANALYSIS: Leddy is new to Seattle, replacing a very familiar face from the Islanders in Hickey, whose junior heroics for the WHL’s Seattle Thunderbirds helped get him selected to the win-now team. Ho-Sang was granted a change of scenery by Seattle’s future team, but he wasn’t really in consideration for this BPA team. 

Hickey was in the mix again as a fan favourite and Cizikas was also ahead of Ho-Sang on Seattle’s short-list, but Leddy was too good to pass up this time as the best player available from the Islanders.

New York Rangers

Protected Forwards: Artemi Panarin (NMC), Mika Zibanejad (NMC), Chris Kreider, Pavel Buchnevich, Filip Chytil, Lias Andersson, Brett Howden

Protected Defencemen: Jacob Trouba, Brady Skjei, Libor Hajek

Protected Goaltender: Henrik Lundqvist

Exposed Forwards: Vladislav Namestnikov, Ryan Strome, Jesper Fast, Brendan Lemieux, Boo Nieves, Vinni Lettieri, Ville Meskanen, Ryan Gropp, Tim Gettinger, Dawson Leedahl, Ty Ronning, Greg McKegg, Matt Beleskey, Steven Fogarty, Danny O’Regan

Exposed Defencemen: Kevin Shattenkirk, Tony DeAngelo, Ryan Lindgren, Marc Staal, Brendan Smith, Brandon Crawley, Sean Day, Darren Raddysh

Exposed Goaltender: Alexandar Georgiev

SELECTION: Tony DeAngelo, RD, RFA ($863,333 in 2018-19, approximately $2M for 2019-20)

Rangers defenseman Tony DeAngelo
Tony DeAngelo of the New York Rangers. (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY)

ANALYSIS: DeAngelo is going to get a decent raise this summer after producing 30 points over 61 games during a breakout 2018-19 season for the Rangers. That performance also moved DeAngelo’s name to the top of the list for Seattle’s BPA team — ahead of Strome, from the win-now team, and Lemieux, from the future team, as well as Shattenkirk, who proved too expensive despite still making a case as the best player available from the Rangers.

Ottawa Senators

Protected Forwards: Brady Tkachuk, Colin White, Chris Tierney, Logan Brown, Drake Batherson, Rudolfs Balcers, Vitaly Abramov

Protected Defencemen: Thomas Chabot, Dylan DeMelo, Max Lajoie

Protected Goaltender: Filip Gustavsson

Exposed Forwards: Bobby Ryan, Mikkel Boedker, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Zack Smith, Connor Brown, Anthony Duclair, Tyler Ennis, Jonathan Davidsson, Filip Chlapik, Nick Paul, Morgan Klimchuk, Jack Rodewald

Exposed Defencemen: Nikita Zaitsev, Ron Hainsey, Christian Wolanin, Christian Jaros, Mark Borowiecki, Cody Goloubef, Andreas Englund

Exposed Goaltenders: Craig Anderson, Anders Nilsson, Marcus Hogberg, Mike Condon

SELECTION: Anthony Duclair, RW/LW, $1.65M pending RFA

Senators left wing Anthony Duclair
Anthony Duclair of the Ottawa Senators. (Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

ANALYSIS: Duclair was on the win-now team and his relatively low salary and low-risk contract helped him stay on Seattle’s BPA team. Ryan’s high cap hit helped the future team reach the floor, but that is no longer needed for the BPA team — quite the opposite, in fact, which made Duclair the best player available from Ottawa. 

Anderson and Zaitsev might have been better options than Ryan as well, but their salaries were also deemed cost-prohibitive for Seattle’s BPA team.

Philadelphia Flyers

Protected Forwards: Claude Giroux (NMC), Kevin Hayes (NMC), Jakub Voracek, James van Riemsdyk, Sean Couturier, Nolan Patrick, Travis Konecny

Protected Defencemen: Ivan Provorov, Travis Sanheim, Shayne Gostisbehere

Protected Goaltender: Carter Hart

Exposed Forwards: Scott Laughton, Oskar Lindblom, Michael Raffl, Tyler Pitlick, Mikhail Vorobyov, German Rubtsov, Nicolas Aube-Kubel, Carsen Twarynski, Pascal Laberge, David Kase, Andy Andreoff

Exposed Defencemen: Matt Niskanen, Justin Braun, Robert Hagg, Philippe Myers, Sam Morin, Andy Welinski, Chris Bigras, T.J. Brennan, Tyler Wotherspoon

Exposed Goaltenders: Brian Elliott, Alex Lyon, Felix Sandstrom, Jean-Francois Berube

SELECTION: Philippe Myers, RD, $678,889 pending RFA

Philippe Myers Flyers
Philippe Myers of the Philadelphia Flyers. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

ANALYSIS: Myers was partnered with Zadorov on the top pairing for Seattle’s future team, but he’ll be slotted further down the defence depth chart on this BPA team. Nevertheless, Myers managed to make the cut again — ahead of Lindblom, from the win-now team, as well as veteran top-four defender Niskanen, whose salary ($5.75M) kept him off the BPA team.

Pittsburgh Penguins

Protected Forwards: Sidney Crosby (NMC), Evgeni Malkin (NMC), Jake Guentzel, Alex Galchenyuk, Jared McCann, Nick Bjugstad, Patric Hornqvist

Protected Defencemen: Kris Letang (NMC), Brian Dumoulin, Marcus Pettersson

Protected Goaltender: Matt Murray

Exposed Forwards: Brandon Tanev, Bryan Rust, Dominik Kahun, Dominik Simon, Teddy Blueger, Zach Aston-Reese, Adam Johnson

Exposed Defencemen: Justin Schultz, Erik Gudbranson, Jack Johnson, Juuso Riikola, Chad Ruhwedel

Exposed Goaltenders: Casey DeSmith, Tristan Jarry

SELECTION: Dominik Kahun, LW, $925,000 pending RFA

Dominik Kahun
Dominik Kahun did well in his lone season with the Chicago Blackhawks. (Jenae Anderson / The Hockey Writers)

ANALYSIS: Like Duclair, Kahun’s contract also worked in his favour as a cap-friendly option for Seattle’s BPA team in comparison to Rust ($3.5M), from the win-now team. Kahun is a repeat pick from the future team, but Schultz would have beat him out as the best player available from Pittsburgh if not for his salary ($5.5M).

San Jose Sharks

Protected Forwards: Logan Couture, Evander Kane, Timo Meier, Tomas Hertl, Kevin Labanc, Dylan Gambrell, Marcus Sorensen

Protected Defencemen: Erik Karlsson (NMC), Marc-Edouard Vlasic (NMC), Brent Burns

Protected Goaltender: Martin Jones

Exposed Forwards: Melker Karlsson, Barclay Goodrow, Lukas Radil, Antti Suomela, Jonny Brodzinski, Jonathan Dahlen, Jayden Halbgewachs, Alex True, Manuel Wiederer, Max Letunov

Exposed Defencemen: Brenden Dillon, Tim Heed, Jeremy Roy, Kyle Wood, Radim Simek, Nick DeSimone

Exposed Goaltenders: Aaron Dell, Josef Korenar, Antoine Bibeau

SELECTION: Alex True, LC, $763,333 for two seasons

San Jose Sharks Alexander True
Alex True (70) in preseason action with the San Jose Sharks. (Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY)

ANALYSIS: True was one of two former T-Birds selected by Seattle from San Jose, along with Dillon for the win-now team. True was taken for the future team and he comes cheap enough for the BPA team too. But Seattle isn’t just cheaping out, with True trending up as the leading scorer in both goals (24) and points (55) for San Jose’s AHL affiliate in 2018-19.

St. Louis Blues

Protected Forwards: Ryan O’Reilly, Vladimir Tarasenko, Jaden Schwartz, Brayden Schenn, Tyler Bozak, Robert Thomas, Jordan Kyrou

Protected Defencemen: Alex Pietrangelo, Colton Parayko, Vince Dunn

Protected Goaltender: Jordan Binnington

Exposed Forwards: Alex Steen, David Perron, Ivan Barbashev, Robby Fabbri, Sammy Blais, Oskar Sundqvist, Zach Sanford, Nolan Stevens, Tanner Kaspick

Exposed Defencemen: Jay Bouwmeester, Joel Edmundson, Carl Gunnarsson, Robert Bortuzzo, Jordan Schmaltz, Jake Walman, Mitch Reinke, Derrick Pouliot, Jake Dotchin, Joey LaLeggia

Exposed Goaltenders: Jake Allen, Ville Husso, Evan Fitzpatrick

SELECTION: Ivan Barbashev, LC, RFA ($741,667 in 2018-19, approximately $1.25M for 2019-20)

Ivan Barbashev, St. Louis Blues
Ivan Barbashev of the St. Louis Blues. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

ANALYSIS: Barbashev is another holdover from Seattle’s future team, but it’s debatable whether he belongs on this BPA team. Perron, from the win-now team, was just as worthy, and Allen came into consideration as a goaltender.

Steen and Fabbri, as fellow forwards, and Edmundson and Bouwmeester, as defencemen, were also on Seattle’s radar among the best players available from St. Louis, but Barbashev’s upside and affordability combined to win over Seattle.

Tampa Bay Lightning

Protected Forwards: Steven Stamkos (NMC), Nikita Kucherov (NMC), Brayden Point, Tyler Johnson

Protected Defencemen: Victor Hedman (NMC), Ryan McDonagh, Mikhail Sergachev, Cal Foote

Protected Goaltender: Andrei Vasilevskiy

Exposed Forwards: Yanni Gourde, Ondrej Palat, Anthony Cirelli, Mathieu Joseph, Alex Killorn, Mitchell Stephens, Alex Barre-Boulet, Cedric Paquette, Adam Erne, Alexander Volkov, Taylor Raddysh, Boris Katchouk, Dennis Yan, Danick Martel

Exposed Defencemen: Erik Cernak, Braydon Coburn, Jan Rutta, Luke Schenn, Oleg Sosunov

Exposed Goaltenders: Louis Domingue, Curtis McElhinney, Scott Wedgewood, Spencer Martin, Marek Mazanec

SELECTION: Tyler Johnson, RC, $5M for five seasons

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

ANALYSIS: Despite being protected by Tampa Bay, Johnson was acquired by Seattle for the future team through a mutual agreement not to take Cirelli again after selecting him for the win-now team. That deal remained in effect for Seattle’s BPA team, with Johnson an appealing target as one of the few NHLers from Washington State.

From Tampa Bay’s exposed list, Cirelli might have been the best player available, but Gourde, Palat and Cernak would have also warranted consideration had the Lightning not been willing to part with Johnson.

Toronto Maple Leafs

Protected Forwards: John Tavares (NMC), Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, William Nylander, Kasperi Kapanen, Andreas Johnsson, Alex Kerfoot

Protected Defencemen: Morgan Rielly, Tyson Barrie, Jake Muzzin

Protected Goaltender: Frederik Andersen

Exposed Forwards: Zach Hyman, Jason Spezza, Trevor Moore, Jeremy Bracco, Nic Petan, Frederik Gauthier, Adam Brooks, Dmytro Timashov, Pierre Engvall, Mason Marchment, Aaron Luchuk, Kenny Agostino

Exposed Defencemen: Cody Ceci, Travis Dermott, Justin Holl, Andreas Borgman, Jesper Lindgren, Ben Harpur, Kevin Gravel, Martin Marincin

Exposed Goaltenders: Garret Sparks, Michael Hutchinson, Kasimir Kaskisuo

SELECTION: Travis Dermott, LD, $863,333 pending RFA

Travis Dermott #23 of the Toronto Maple Leafs
Travis Dermott of the Toronto Maple Leafs. (Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

ANALYSIS: Dermott continues the run of players from Seattle’s future team that managed to stick on the BPA team. Hyman, from the win-now team, was Dermott’s biggest challenger here, followed by one of the newest Leafs in Ceci. But Dermott might be just scratching the surface of his potential as the best player available from Toronto and could be a terrific fit for Seattle once he recovers from shoulder surgery.

Vancouver Canucks

Protected Forwards: Elias Pettersson, Brock Boeser, Bo Horvat, J.T. Miller, Micheal Ferland, Jake Virtanen, Adam Gaudette

Protected Defencemen: Tyler Myers, Alex Edler, Olli Juolevi

Protected Goaltender: Jacob Markstrom

Exposed Forwards: Brandon Sutter, Tanner Pearson, Sven Baertschi, Nikolay Goldobin, Josh Leivo, Tyler Motte, Kole Lind, Zack MacEwen, Jonah Gadjovich, Petrus Palmu, Lukas Jasek, Loui Eriksson, Antoine Roussel, Jay Beagle, Tim Schaller 

Exposed Defencemen: Troy Stecher, Chris Tanev, Jordie Benn, Oscar Fantenberg, Alex Biega, Guillaume Brisebois, Jalen Chatfield, Ashton Sautner

Exposed Goaltenders: Thatcher Demko, Zane McIntyre, Richard Bachman

SELECTION: Sven Baertschi, LW, $3.367M for two seasons

Sven Baertschi Canucks
Sven Baertschi of the Vancouver Canucks. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

ANALYSIS: After taking two younger talents from Vancouver in the previous mocks — those being Demko (win now) and Lind (future) — Seattle selected Baertschi as the best player available ahead of Goldobin, Pearson and Sutter as forwards.

Stecher and Tanev, as defenders, were also considered for the BPA team, and Demko probably would have been picked again as a goaltender if the Canucks hadn’t convinced Seattle to pass on him by shipping a 2020 second-round pick across the border to their new regional rival.

Washington Capitals

Protected Forwards: Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Nick Backstrom, T.J. Oshie, Jakub Vrana, Tom Wilson, Lars Eller

Protected Defencemen: John Carlson, Dmitry Orlov, Jonas Siegenthaler

Protected Goaltender: Braden Holtby

Exposed Forwards: Richard Panik, Carl Hagelin, Garnet Hathaway, Brendan Leipsic, Chandler Stephenson, Travis Boyd, Nic Dowd, Shane Gersich, Garrett Pilon, Axel Jonsson-Fjallby

Exposed Defencemen: Michal Kempny, Radko Gudas, Nick Jensen, Christian Djoos, Lucas Johansen, Connor Hobbs

Exposed Goaltenders: Ilya Samsonov, Pheonix Copley, Vitek Vanecek

SELECTION: Ilya Samsonov, G, $925,000 for two seasons

Ilya Samsonov of the Washington Capitals. (Sammi Silber/THW)

ANALYSIS: Washington was twice successful in preventing Seattle from picking Samsonov — through trades similar to that of Vancouver — but when the asking price rose to a 2020 first-round pick to avoid him a third time for the BPA team, the Capitals balked and bid farewell to their prized goaltending prospect.

Seattle had settled for Johansen in both the win-now and future mocks but couldn’t justify overlooking Samsonov again as the clear best player available from Washington — and at the same salary as Johansen. 

Winnipeg Jets

Protected Forwards: Blake Wheeler (NMC), Mark Scheifele, Patrik Laine, Kyle Connor, Nik Ehlers, Bryan Little, Jack Roslovic

Protected Defencemen: Dustin Byfuglien, Josh Morrissey, Sami Niku

Protected Goaltender: Connor Hellebuyck

Exposed Forwards: Mathieu Perreault, Adam Lowry, Andrew Copp, Mason Appleton, Jansen Harkins, Michael Spacek, Skyler McKenzie, J.C. Lipon

Exposed Defencemen: Neal Pionk, Nathan Beaulieu, Dmitry Kulikov, Tucker Poolman, Logan Stanley, Luke Green, Nelson Nogier, Anthony Bitetto

Exposed Goaltenders: Laurent Brossoit, Eric Comrie, Mikhail Berdin

SELECTION: Mason Appleton, RW, $741,667 pending RFA

Mason Appleton Winnipeg Jets
Mason Appleton of the Winnipeg Jets. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

ANALYSIS: At the start of this exercise, it would have been difficult to envision Appleton as a unanimous selection — one of only three, along with Zadorov and Campbell — but Appleton wound up getting picked by Seattle in all three mocks. No, he is not related to the Seattle owners. Nor does he have any known ties to the city or state.

So that was surprising since Lowry, Copp, Perreault and Pionk were seemingly better fits for both the win-now team and this BPA team. Appleton made perfect sense for the future team, but he made dollars-and-cents for the other two thanks to his relatively cheap salary.

BPA Team (Approximately $81M)

Forwards (14)

Sven Baertschi-Kyle Turris-Tyler Johnson

Erik Haula-Adam Henrique-Vinnie Hinostroza

Miles Wood-Radek Faksa-Brett Connolly 

Dominik Kahun-Ivan Barbashev-Anthony Duclair

Mason Appleton/Alex True

Defencemen (13)

Nikita Zadorov-Jeff Petry

Nick Leddy-David Savard

Jonas Brodin-Adam Larsson

Matt Grzelcyk-Colin Miller

Travis Dermott-Anthony DeAngelo

Rasmus Andersson/Philippe Myers/Madison Bowey

Goaltenders (3)

Corey Crawford

Jack Campbell

Ilya Samsonov

Roster Thoughts


That top line has the potential to be quite dynamic, with Turris between Baertschi and Johnson, who could also centre the second line at times.

If Johnson dropped down, that would ruin a really good nickname — the Triple H line, comprised of Haula, Henrique and Hinostroza. That trio also works well together on paper.

The third line looks strong too, with Faksa centering Wood and Connolly. That is a nice combination of size, scoring ability, physicality and defensive acumen. They would be hard on the forecheck and tough to contain on the cycle.

The fourth line could also contribute at both ends, with Barbashev between Kahun and Duclair. Appleton could sub in for Duclair when he inevitably goes cold as a streaky player, while True likely spends another season in the AHL. 


The top three pairings are pretty much interchangeable, but Zadorov and Petry get the top billing in the depth chart. They could match up against the opposition’s top forward lines on any given night and hold their own.

Leddy and Savard, on the second pairing, would thrive with more offensive-zone starts and some softer minutes.

Brodin and Larsson, on the third pairing, could take on any hard minutes that Zadorov and Petry couldn’t handle. These Swedes might even form a better shutdown tandem.

There is a little familiarity on the fourth pairing, with Miller and Grzelcyk both being in Boston’s organization during the 2016-17 campaign — though Grzelcyk only got into two NHL games, while Miller established himself as a full-time NHLer that season before moving on to Vegas and now Buffalo.

The fifth pairing could become the best of the bunch for Seattle, with Dermott and DeAngelo both possessing significant upside. It would be exciting to see them together once Dermott returned around Christmas.

Even the three extras are NHL-ready, with Andersson, Myers and Bowey all on the verge of breaking out in 2019-20. They are also all right-handed, which makes them a valuable commodity should Seattle decide to trade from a position of strength.


Crawford would be the veteran starter with two Stanley Cups on his resume from 2015 and 2013. He’s capable of handling a heavy workload when healthy, but Seattle might want to manage his crease time to keep him fresh should the BPA team make the playoffs.

Campbell could spell off Crawford on a fairly regular basis as an above-average backup in the present with starter potential for the future.

Samsonov is a stud prospect still adapting to the North American game in the AHL, but he could overtake Campbell as Crawford’s eventual successor.


There is lots to like about this best-player-available roster, including the fact that Seattle’s top three forwards are all locked up for five seasons in Turris, Johnson and Henrique.

Seattle loaded up on defencemen much like Vegas did in their expansion draft — taking three more in this mock than the other two, while subsequently taking three fewer forwards for the BPA team in comparison to the win-now and future teams.

That defence is rock solid and legitimately 13 deep, while the goaltending should also be in good hands and the least of Seattle’s worries.

Is this BPA roster a playoff team for 2019-20 in the Pacific Division and Western Conference? Yeah, it certainly looks like a lineup capable of qualifying for the postseason and perhaps challenging some of the expansion records set by Vegas. It wouldn’t be wise to bet against this Seattle team.

Fisher’s Mocking History