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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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)
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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)
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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)
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
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
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
- Vegas Mock Expansion Draft: Summer Before Edition (July 15, 2016)
- Vegas Mock Expansion Draft: Christmas Edition (December 15, 2016)
- Vegas Mock Expansion Draft: Easter Edition (May 7, 2017)
- Vegas Mock Expansion Draft: Tweaked With Fan Feedback (May 18, 2017)
- Vegas Mock Expansion Draft: Best Players Available (June 18, 2017)
- Vegas Mock Expansion Draft: Best Contracts Available (June 19, 2017)
Larry Fisher is a senior writer and head scout for The Hockey Writers, having been an at-large contributor for THW since August 2014. Fisher covers both the NHL and the WHL, specializing in prospects and NHL draft content, including his annual mock drafts that date back to 2012. Fisher has also been a beat writer for the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets since 2008, formerly working as a sports reporter/editor for The Daily Courier in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada from 2008-2019. Follow him on Twitter: @LarryFisher_KDC.