With the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft looming ever closer, fans are left wondering who will be joining the newly-created Seattle Kraken, and a huge part of that is who their starting goalie may be. With each team only being able to protect one goalie, the Kraken is at no shortage for possible options in the net.
Brayden Holtby – Vancouver Canucks – Salary: $4.3 million
Holtby is an overall amazing goalie, having won a Stanley Cup with Washington Capitals and a Vezina and a Jennings trophy throughout his career. While he is arguable an elite player, the Canucks organization has another elite netminder in Thatcher Demko, who is also six years younger than the veteran goalie.
The veteran goalie has made some truly amazing saves throughout his career, such as his impossible-looking kick save for the Canucks against the Toronto Maple Leafs. This amazing save and many more are just one of the reasons why this veteran makes a great starter and would make an amazing option for the Kraken.
Overall, the goalie is likely one of the more expensive options that the Kraken may have, but his playoff experience and skill level make him a worthwhile pick for the team, but certainly not their only option.
Frederik Andersen – Toronto Maple Leafs – Salary: $5.0 million (UFA)
Andersen is the first of the players on this list with an expiring contract, meaning that if the Kraken were to choose him, they would negotiate a contract that is to both of their likings. The goalie has had a rough time recently, having taken an injury that saw his season have only 24 starts, and only winning 13 of them. However, the goalie is largely considered as an elite goalie, who has backstopped his way through many team victories in the past.
Overall if paired with a solid defense, this goalie could help make a winning team. This was made clear from his time with the Anaheim Ducks as well as the majority of his time with the Leafs. In his final season with the Ducks, the goalie won the Jennings trophy for the least goals against. With an overall great performance that was able to show enough drive to interest the Leafs and see the player sign an astounding contract.
All in all, the Kraken would have a solid started if they were to choose this goalie, although, he will likely need a few games to regain his form given that he was benched for the playoffs due to his recovery from injuries. Regardless, the ability to negotiate a new contract would see this goalie as a viable option financially, and potentially being cap-friendly.
Petr Mrazek – Carolina Hurricanes – Salary: $3.75 million (UFA)
Before this season Mrazek was a no-brainer for a starting goalie position, however, with the combination of his injury, and rising star Alex Nedeljkovic, the goalie has fallen from his usual starting spot. He had some amazing saves in seasons prior, playing for Carolina, the Philadelphia Flyers, and the Detroit Red Wings. The Czech goalie is the youngest of the top three available goalies.
As well, the goalie had the lowest contract value of the bunch, which may be due to his lack of personal awards and his young age. This low contract value sees the goalie become a better option, as when combined with his younger age, it is highly likely that the player would be a good option for the Kraken, as this player likely has the most longevity to his playing career.
Overall, the Kraken would have a solid long-standing goalie if they were to choose Mrazek, as he has already had time back in the NHL from his injuries, as well as his team making it past the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs this year, sees the goalie as the only player on this list to make it out of the first round. As well, the Kraken would likely be able to negotiate a cap-friendly contract with the player, seeing him as one of the top three goalie options for the Kraken.
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