The 10 biggest names exposed in the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft.
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The 10 biggest names exposed in the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft.

Some huge names left exposed.



No one knows just what the Seattle Kraken's roster will look like coming into the 2021 - 2022 National Hockey League season, but with some of the decisions made by the league's teams and general managers on Saturday night there is a good chance that it could feature more than a few NHL stars.

Some truly outstanding players have been left exposed this time around in the expansion draft and there's no doubt some of them will be headed to Seattle come Wednesday when the Kraken unveil their selections for the Expansion Draft. Today will look at the biggest names and biggest stars that have been left exposed to this year's draft, many of which may surprise you.

#1 Carey Price - Montreal Canadiens.

There's no question that the biggest shock of the day today was the revelation that superstar goaltender Carey Price had been left exposed in the draft. Price has just come off a heroic performance in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, one in which many felt he propelled his Montreal Canadiens to the Stanley Cup Final before faltering against the Stanley Cup Champions, the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Canadiens are betting on the fact that Seattle won't want to take on Price's hefty cap hit of $10.5 million for 5 more years, but there have been some reports today indicating that the Kraken are contemplating the move.

#2 Vladimir Tarasenko - St. Louis Blues.

The St. Louis Blues superstar forward has reportedly had a major falling out with the Blues organization and now finds himself exposed in the expansion draft much to everyone's shock. Tarasenko has struggled with serious injuries over the past two seasons and his cap hit of $7.5 million for 2 more seasons may make him too pricey an option, but the chance to get a bonafide superstar forward for absolutely nothing may also prove too tempting to resist for the Kraken.

#3 Alexander Ovechkin - Washington Capitals.

No one believes the captain of the Capitals would sign anywhere other than Washington, but the Capitals have technically left the window open for the Kraken to come in and snatch their captain. Ovechkin is a pending unrestricted free agent (UFA) but the Kraken will have the option to negotiate new deals with pending UFAs during their exclusive window. Signing a pending free agent in such a way counts as the Kraken's pick against that team, but if it means acquiring a player like Ovechkin it surely would be worth it.

#4 Gabriel Landeskog - Colorado Avalanche.

Like Ovechkin, the Colorado Avalanche's captain is a pending UFA but unlike Ovechkin it feels like there is a chance this one actually happens. Landeskog could immediately step in and become captain of the Kraken's new franchise if signed to a new deal and the Kraken have the financial muscle at this time to make him an offer the Avalanche simply could not contend with. At just 28 years of age the Kraken could even bring him in on a long term deal with the intention of making him the face of their franchise for the foreseeable future.

#5 Mark Giordano - Calgary Flames.

The captain of the Calgary Flames is also up for grabs in the expansion draft and it's not everyday that you have the option to get a former Norris trophy winning defenseman for absolutely nothing. Like many of the names on this list Giordano comes at a big price tag with a cap hit of $6.75 million, but his deal only runs for one more season before it expires. That number may be too big for the Kraken to stomach, or they may prefer to select a player that comes with more control, but there's no question that they will be getting an excellent player with all the intangibles they're looking for if they do select Giordano.

#6 Jakub Voracek - Philadelphia Flyers.

There were reports earlier this month that indicated both Voracek and the Philadelphia Flyers were looking to move on from one another so it came as relatively little surprise to see Voracek exposed on Sunday morning. The former first round pick remains a productive forward at 31 years of age collecting 43 points (9 goals and 34 assists) over 53 games for the Flyers this season. His cap hit of $8.25 million and the fact that his contract runs for 3 more seasons could prove to be a deterrent however.

#7 Matt Duchene - Nashville Predators.

The former first round pick (3rd overall) has largely failed to deliver on his salary cap hit of $8 million since arriving in Nashville and I suspect that this played a very large role in keeping him off of the Predators protected list this time around. Duchene is a big name, has shown 30 goal potential during his career and on top of that is one of the few notable centerman up for grabs in the draft. Despite all that I think the combination of his recent performances, his cap hit, and the 5 years remaining on his current deal will be enough to convince the Kraken to look elsewhere.

#8 Ryan Johansen - Nashville Predators.

Everything that was said about Matt Duchene could be said about Johansen, and like Duchene it is no doubt why he was left unprotected by the Predators. Johansen produced just 22 points (7 goals and 15 assists) this season over 48 games with the Predators and although he is a centerman his cap hit of $8 million for four more seasons will likely keep the Kraken at bay.

#9 James van Riemsdyk - Philadelphia Flyers.

JVR is coming off another solid season at 32 years of age and at a cap hit of just $7 million for two more seasons he is relatively affordable compared to some of the other names on the list. In his most recent campaign with the Flyers he had 17 goals and 26 assists for 43 points over 56 games, and remains a very productive forward on the wing.

#10 P.K. Subban - New Jersey Devils.

It's not everyday you get the chance to get a Norris trophy winning defenseman for absolutely nothing in return, and it's even rarer to have the chance to do it twice in the same day. Subban's massive cap hit of $9 million is almost certain to keep the Kraken away, but if they have the room to accommodate him this season it could happen with Subban only having 1 year remaining on his contract. 

The reality is that despite their big names and hockey pedigree, there are many young and much cheaper options that will be available in this week's draft. Although I don't doubt we could see a few of these names end up in Seattle, the reality is that the majority of them are unlikely to make the Kraken's cut.