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The Seattle Kraken pick Yanni Gourde in NHL expansion draft

Posted at 10:57 AM, Jul 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-21 20:50:12-04

Update: The Lightning announced on Twitter that the Kraken chose Yanni Gourde.

The Lightning also posted a touching tribute to the two-time Stanley Cup-winning forward.


The NHL is set to add an expansion team to the league, as the Seattle Kraken will play their inaugural season in 2021-22. But an expansion team means everyone else has to lose a player.

Before you panic, the Tampa Bay Lightning won't be giving up Andrei Vasilevskiy, Nikita Kucherov or any of the top superstars on the roster.

The expansion draft comes with a set of rules and each NHL team has a specific number of players they can protect. This prevents Seattle from just taking the best player on every team.


Teams can submit an eight skater (forwards and defensemen combined), one goaltender protection list or one that features seven forwards, three defensemen and one goalie. All players with no movement clauses at the time of the Expansion Draft, and who decline to waive such clauses, must be protected and count toward their club's protected players. The Lightning have four such players: Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos, Victor Hedman and Andrei Vasilevskiy.

With those parameters in mind, here is Tampa Bay's protected list, which was released by the NHL Sunday morning:

- Nikita Kucherov

- Steven Stamkos

- Victor Hedman

- Andrei Vasilevskiy

- Brayden Point

- Anthony Cirelli

- Mikhail Sergachev

- Ryan McDonagh

- Erik Cernak

That means all of the above players are safe and cannot be selected by the Kraken.


Unfortunately, the Bolts can't protect everyone from their Stanley Cup-winning roster, so some players do have to be left vulnerable to the expansion draft. They are:

Alex Barre-Boulet (F)

Blake Coleman (F)

Ross Colton (F)

Yanni Gourde (F)

Tyler Johnson (F)

Mathieu Joseph (F)

Boris Katchouk (F)

Alex Killorn (F)

Pat Maroon (F)

Boo Nieves (F)

Ondrej Palat (F)

Taylor Raddysh (F)

Gemel Smith (F)

Otto Somppi (F)

Mitchell Stephens (F)

Daniel Walcott (F)

Luke Witkowski (F)

Andreas Borgman (D)

Fredrik Claesson (D)

Sean Day (D)

Cal Foote (D)

Brian Lashoff (D)

Dominik Masin (D)

Jan Rutta (D)

David Savard (D)

Luke Schenn (D)

Ben Thomas (D)

Christopher Gibson (G)

Spencer Martin (G)

Curtis McElhinney (G)

This means there's a good chance the Bolts will lose one of their key forwards like Gourde or Killorn, or possibly a young defenseman like Cal Foote. Lightning fans likely will be upset with whoever gets taken away from the team.

The Kraken's selection of 30 players, one from each NHL Club with the exception of the Vegas Golden Knights, will be revealed live from Seattle in a special 90-minute broadcast on Wednesday, July 21, at 8 p.m. ET.