Four days ago, NHL Insider Luke Fox discussed which players from the Toronto Maple Leafs could be targeted by the Seattle Kraken.
The NHL and the teams within are at least several months away from the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft. Mock drafts alike are merely speculation of what players will be exposed for the Seattle Kraken. However, NHL insiders are continuing to flood the hockey rumor mills about which players they feel the Kraken are circling.
Earlier this week, Luke Fox cited a few Toronto Maple Leafs players. “I think the main guys Seattle could be circling on are Justin Holl and Travis Dermott.” The other name Fox cited was Alexander Kerfoot. “Alternatively, the Leafs could expose a guy like Alexander Kerfoot if he doesn’t have a great season and they maybe want to shed some of his salary.”
Analyzing Those Names
Much of what Fox stated depends on the performance of those players in the 2020-2021 NHL regular season. It is surprising to hear Kerfoot acknowledged as a player who could be available for the Kraken. If the Maple Leafs use the 7/3/1 protection concept, I expect Kerfoot to be one of the players protected. If they use the 8/1 concept, then there is a little bit of room for Kerfoot to be exposed.
Many of the insiders who cover Toronto expect Seattle to select a defenseman. Holl seems to be the popular consensus, but it’s complicated if Dermott is exposed. My guess is that Dermott is protected before Holl, which leads to the general consensus that he may be drafted to the Kraken.
Of those three players Fox hinted towards, Holl may be the odds on favorite for Seattle. Kerfoot’s contract is not a bad one, especially if he proves his value in 2020-2021. He’s set to make $3.5mil this season while playing on a line with Joe Thornton and Jimmy Vesey. On that line, Kerfoot is set to excel. He may be a keeper for the Maple Leafs.
Why Justin Holl?
He is an absolute steal for Seattle. Holl is only receiving $2mil per season through 2022-2023. Last season, he solidified his role as a top-four defenseman in Toronto. With a contract as low as his during the prime of his career, he bolsters the Kraken’s defense immediately. Everything about drafting Holl is friendly to Seattle.
Holl brings a physical brand to the Kraken if he is selected, bodying players 89 times in 2019-2020. Between him and Dermott, Seattle is getting a defenseman with similar skill sets. Dermott is a restricted free agent at the end of 2020-2021, which means there is a possibility he could be more expensive than Holl. Selecting Holl is academic for the Kraken.