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Kraken takes defensemen from Kings, Ducks in NHL expansion draft

Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
 2021-07-22
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Fans take their seats on Wednesday near the stage in a Seattle park before the Seattle Kraken’s NHL expansion draft event. (Ted S. Warren / Associated Press)

SEATTLE — TheSeattle Kraken chose Boston defenseman Jeremy Lauzon with the first pick in their expansion draft Wednesday night.

The Kraken picked two defensemen from the Southern California teams: the Kings’ Kurtis MacDermid, 27, and the Ducks’ Haydn Fleury, 25.

MacDermid had two goals and two assists in 28 games for the Kings last season. Fleury had two goals and an assist in 12 games after he was acquired by the Ducks in a trade April 12.

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Kings’ Kurtis MacDermid during a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs on March 5, 2020 at Staples Center. (Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)
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Ducks’ Haydn Fleury in action against the St. Louis Blues during the first period on May 5 in St. Louis. (Joe Puetz / Associated Press)

The Kraken introduced pending free agent Chris Driedger as their first goaltender and passed on Montreal’s Carey Price. Driedger agreed to terms on a $10.5million, three-year contract to join Seattle. Driedger, the former Florida goalie who became the first player to show off the Kraken’s home jersey, called it a “life-changing moment.”

Price’s cap hit of $10.5 million — annually — for the next five seasons, plus the 34-year-old’s questionable injury history, led to Seattle passing on him.

“Any time you see a name like Carey Price available, you have to consider it,“ Kraken general manager Ron Francis said. “Certainly we did that, we had a lot of discussions. And at the end of the day, we made the decision that we did to go in a different direction.”

The expansion draft unfolded in anticlimactic fashion after all 30 selections leaked out hours before the expansion draft began.

An octopus from the Seattle Aquarium revealed the pick of Detroit defenseman Dennis Cholowski. Toronto forward Jared McCann’s name was written on a piece of paper attached to a fish at Seattle’s legendary Pike Place Market.

“It’s a new challenge,” said winger Jordan Eberle, who was chosen from the New York Islanders.

Seattle had the Stanley Cup once before in 1917 when the city’s team was the Metropolitans.

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