The Seattle Kraken’s expansion draft happens today. Alexander Kerfoot of the Toronto Maple Leafs will reportedly not be selected. Kerfoot scored eight goals and added 15 assists for a total of 23 points in 56 games played during the 2020-2021 NHL season.
Kerfoot was acquired by the Maple Leafs along with Tyson Barrie from the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for Nazem Kadri and Calle Rosen in 2019. In a roster that is loaded with offensive talent, Kerfoot is a very capable second-line center behind superstar Auston Matthews.
The Seattle Kraken will instead reportedly select Jared McCann from the Toronto Maple Leafs. This means that Toronto essentially traded their prospect Filip Hallander and a seventh-round draft pick to protect their roster from the Kraken. This is smart roster management from the general manager of the Maple Leafs Kyle Dubas. Unfortunately for Dubas, the Toronto Maple Leafs once again struggled in the playoffs, losing in seven games to the Montreal Canadiens.
This was a shocking loss for a team with such high expectations as the Maple Leafs. Players like Alexander Kerfoot and Auston Matthews need to step up in the playoffs in order for the team to be successful. The Maple Leafs franchise has not won a Stanley Cup since 1967. The 2020-2021 NHL season was perfectly set up for the team to have such success because the Canadian teams played each other in the regular season as the Canadian border was closed to American citizens due to the coronavirus.
That is not to say that the 26-year-old center from Vancouver, British Columbia was the reason that the Toronto Maple Leafs did not win in the playoffs. The Seattle Kraken’s general manager Ron Francis needs to select the right mix of talented and hard-working players. The most recent example of an expansion team having success early in their NHL tenure is the Vegas Golden Knights, who lost to the Washington Capitals in the Stanley Cup finals in their first season in the league in the 2017-2018 season.
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