Carolina Hurricanes Possible Losses in the NHL 2021 Expansion Draft

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The Carolina Hurricanes’ possible losses include a magnitude of players, including potentially losing a starting goalie due to their depth in the position in question. In a previous article, the players who were named as the most likely to be protected were listed with a few reasons why, this list will thus exclude those players, and look to give the most likely Hurricanes possible loss to the expansion draft.

Hurricanes Possible Losses: Top Candidates

Warren Foegele: Foegele is the youngest player that is unlikely to be protected by the Hurricanes. At just 25-years old, the player still has time left in which he can develop, and currently makes for a solid top-nine forward. If the Seattle Kracken is looking for a team of players with solid potential, Foegele would definitely make a solid acquisition for them. The player put up 20 points this past season and put up two points in the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

As for how this possible Hurricanes loss may affect the team, they would be losing a solid forward option, which would see a free spot amongst their bottom two lines. This gives the potential for a new player to break into the team, including rookie Seth Jarvis, who has looked strong in the past for both the Portland Winterhawks and the Chicago Wolves.

Brady Skjei: Skjei is a top-four defenseman, and is probably the largest Hurricanes possible loss as a skater. The player has done fairly well in his past seasons with the Hurricanes and at 27-years old he still has a fair bit left to his playing career. The player in question has managed a positive plus-minus score this past season but had looked a little inconsistent in his prior season. He does not currently hold seniority with the team, as he only arrived from the New York Rangers in the 2019-2020 season.

Overall, this departure would see the Hurricanes have to shuffle their defense and break up a solid defensive pairing of Skjei and Pesce. The departure seems fairly likely, as Skjei can make for a solid defenseman when paired with the proper partner. As well, the player has experience in the league, while still having time left in his playing career. The only real drawback is his contract size, $5.25 million which is a sizeable amount, especially for a newly entered team.

Petr Mrazek: Overall, Mrazek seems like he will be the most likely Hurricanes possible loss. The player in question is a veteran goalie with playoff experience and a clear starting talent. For the newly started Kraken, the goalie would make a solid starter and is a top talent from what may be available. The goalie is 29-years old and has won more than half of the games he started in the NHL and played fairly consistently. He has also shown that he can perform wherever he is put, being implemented as a starter in three different teams across his career.

The possible drawbacks to this choice for the Kraken can be seen through the player’s history of injury, being out for most of the 2020-21 season due to an injury of his thumb that required surgery. However, upon his return to the Hurricanes, the goalie still made a solid showing and winning a few games for the team from the back, winning six out of 12 of the games he started. The goalie would seem to be a solid choice for the new team to the league and gives him an opportunity to earn back a starting position.

Hurricanes Possible Losses: Also Available

James Reimer: Reimer is a true veteran in his position. At 33-years old, he has seen a lot of playing time and a lot of time in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Overall, he is a solid goalie, making positional saves well and shutting down breakaway plays fairly efficiently. It is less likely that the Kraken will select the goalie, due to his contract being larger than that of Mrazek’s, as well as having less time left in his career, however, he is still likely to be available for selection, and does make a case for himself as a possible starter for the new organization.

Jake Gardiner: Gardiner is a veteran defenseman, who has played well with the Hurricanes, but saw his spot in the roster become in question with young breakout Jake Bean moving into the scene. The talented defenseman makes an argument for being a likely Hurricanes possible loss, as he still has a fair bit of skill, and would help contribute some defensive depth to the new startup Kraken.

Jesper Fast: Fast has only been with the Hurricanes organization for one year and seems fairly settled into a position on the third line alongside captain Jordan Staal rather effectively. However, this forward makes a solid contribution to the depth of any team, and was a solid contributor to any playoff run, putting up three points from the third line during the 2021 Stanley Cup playoffs. While he does not hold seniority in the Hurricanes roster, he could still be a rather impactful Hurricanes possible loss.

Cedric Paquette: Paquette is one of the players on the Hurricanes’ possible loss list that does not hold seniority, but has performed well in his first season with the team. As well, the forward came to the team has already won a cup with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Due to his playoff experience, the player could make a solid acquisition for the Kraken as they will look to move straight into cup contention, as the last expansion team, the Las Vegas Golden Knights did.

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