The Seattle Kraken are already giving a glimpse into what their roster will look like ahead of Wednesday night's expansion draft.
According to Frank Seravelli of Daily Faceoff, the league’s 32nd team will be selecting and signing pending free agent defensemen Adam Larsson from the Edmonton Oilers and Jamie Oleksiak from the Dallas Stars.
Larsson and Oleksiak will join pending free agent goaltender Chris Driedger of the Florida Panthers as the first players on the roster.
For Larsson, he will reportedly be signing a four-year deal that carries an annual cap hit of $4 million. It's a slight pay cut from his previous contract that paid him an average salary of $4.166 million, but the term and security starting with a brand new franchise might have been worth it for the former Oiler. The contract details for Oleksiak have not been reported as of Wednesday morning.
Selecting these two players might signal a certain philosophy for the Kraken’s first season: defense first. Larsson has been one of the league’s better defenders of the blue line for some time now and Oleksiak’s 6-foot-7 frame is able to put fear in any forechecker’s heart.
Losing Larsson is a tough pill to swallow for the Oilers, who brought in Duncan Keith last week in a questionable trade that looks much worse now that they weren't able to come to terms with Larsson. But it appears Larsson was looking for a fresh start, anyways, according to TSN's Ryan Rishaug.
Whether that trend continues into Wednesday night as the picks are unveiled is still to be determined, but there’s at least a foundation there to build upon and allow GM Ron Francis to take some riskier players later.
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