Nearly 20 new players declared exempt from Kraken Expansion Draft next month

This changes everything! Some teams are REALLY getting off the hook here.


This just in, the NHL has released a list of 18 additional players deemed "exempt" from the July 21st NHL Expansion Draft.

The 2021 Expansion Draft, of course, is being held for the benefit of the NHL's newest team the Seattle Kraken. And while the Kraken were likely to always be in tough to match the 2017 Expansion Draft in which the Vegas Golden Knights were formed, today's update to the league's exemption list might make things even more difficult for the Kraken.

A majority of these new players deemed exempt have "No Movement Clauses" meaning that their teams were going to be forced to protect them in the draft and use up a spot on an injured player rather than on a roster player. For example, there's little chance that Ryan Kesler ever plays for the Anaheim Ducks again, but under the old rules the team would be forced to protect him and potentially expose a young player like Troy Terry or Sam Steel. Now though, Kesler can be exposed.

Here are all 18 players:

  Kesler, Marian Hossa, Brandon Dubinsky, Brent Seabrook, Henrik Zetterberg, Corey Crawford, Alex Steen, Marian Gaborik, Michael Ferland, Bryan Little... these are all guys on big ticket deals who, frankly, look like they'll never play in the NHL again. Hell, in the cases of Hossa and Gaborik these guys aren't even with their original teams anymore. There's no chance that they ever play again, so this was always a bit of a sideshow even before this new ruling.

I have to say though, these new exemptions will take some pretty significant players out of the picture for the Kraken. Had the Blue Jackets been forced to protect Dubinsky, there was a real chance that Max Domi or Jack Roslovic could be available. No dice now. Ditto for the New York Islanders as it looked like either Thomas Hickey or Ryan Pulock could be on the table for Seattle. The Tampa Bay Lightning and Chicago Blackhawks both get two players exempt... something that will surely help players like Dylan Strome and Alex Killorn to sleep at night.

In any case, the clock is ticking and it's only one month until the Kraken officially form their roster.