Winners and losers of the Seattle Kraken expansion draft


The Vegas Golden Knights took a Fleury in the 2017 expansion draft and reached the Stanley Cup Final in their first season.

The Seattle Kraken announced two Fleurys on Wednesday night during the expansion draft for the NHL’s 32nd team.

Of course, brothers Haydn (Anaheim Ducks) and Cale Fleury (Montreal Canadiens) aren’t star goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, but the Kraken did assemble an interesting team when general manager Ron Francis selected 15 forwards, 12 defensemen and three goaltenders.

There’s still an entry draft, free agency and trades to go before the full roster takes shape, but here are the winners and losers from the Kraken’s expansion draft:

Winners

Francis: He said before the expansion draft that salary cap space was his biggest asset and he has assembled a team that according to Capfriendly.com, has nearly $29 million available to spend. He persuaded free agents Chris Driedger, Adam Larsson and Jamie Oleksiak to join the team. He has solid organizational depth on defense and he picked versatile players who can move up and down the forward lineup.

Mark Giordano: The former Calgary Flames captain and Norris Trophy winner will assume a leadership role on the Kraken. And if Seattle doesn’t take off in its first season, he could end up going to a contender as a pending unrestricted free agent.

Defenseman Mark Giordano speaks Wednesday after being introduced by the Seattle Kraken.

Yanni Gourde: Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper started Gourde’s third line in playoff games for a reason. He’s a high-energy player who can chip in key goals. He could become the face of this franchise.

Fans of physical play: Larsson, Oleksiak, Brandon Tanev and Nathan Bastian finished in the top 30 in the NHL in hits last season. Kurtis MacDermid is willing to drop the gloves.

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