The NHL’s 32nd team will begin play in the 2021-22 season. With the team’s expansion draft set for sometime next year, who from the Blackhawks will be selected to join them?
When the Seattle Kraken begin NHL play around a year from now, they will have a roster made up of players from the other teams. While their expansion draft doesn’t have an official date yet, we saw a similar process just a few years ago when the Vegas Golden Knights held their draft.
When Vegas drafted, the Chicago Blackhawks were in a much different situation than they’re in currently, and most now gear up to have another player taken from them. It would seem from the outside looking in that the Blackhawks are in a full-scale rebuild mode, although recent moves would say otherwise.
Call this current Blackhawks squad whatever you want, but the fact is that GM Stan Bowman will have to choose wisely when deciding what players to protect from being picked by Seattle. Vegas selected Trevor van Riemsdyk from Chicago in 2017, a somewhat inconsequential pick, but this time around, with the Hawks in a transition phase, the pick could mean much more.
Teams are allowed to protect seven forwards, three defensemen, and a goaltender or eight total skaters and a goaltender. With the Blackhawks’ goaltending situation up for grabs right now, it is likely that they will want to protect the netminder they deem has the strongest future.
In terms of skaters, making sure to protect a combination of established talent and decent players of the future will be key. One important note is that there are two types of players that are exempt from being selected. These include rookies that have played under 2 years and players with no-movement clauses like Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews.
With all of that being said, here are three Blackhawks players that are likely to be selected by the Seattle Kraken in the expansion draft.