The Arizona Coyotes have very intriguing options for the Seattle Kraken expansion draft.
In the lead-up to the Seattle Kraken’s NHL Expansion Draft, we here at the Kraken Chronicle will look at all 30 teams and who could be taken from each. In this edition, we take a look at the Arizona Coyotes.
The Arizona Coyotes finished in the middle of the Honda West division in the 2020-21 season, being a rather disappointing year for the team. Now they must prepare to protect those who they are hoping to keep on the roster in order to not allow the Kraken from swooping in and adding them. The Coyotes are an interesting case as they have a lot of talent but never tend to do much with it.
As we look over the roster, here’s who we believe the Kraken could steal from Arizona for their roster.
G Antti Raanta
Antti Raanta has long been a player who has been seen as a goalie who can be a starter but his health doesn’t like to work with that. In his career, Raanta has a career 2.19 GAA and .919 save percentage. Both are not only great for a season but quite impressive for career totals. As stated, health has never worked out to be in Raanta’s favor especially in recent years. In the last three seasons, he has played a total of 57 games.
In comparison, his best season in 2017-18 saw him play in 47 games. His totals were 21-17-6 with a 2.24 GAA and .930 save percentage. Raanta not only would love to see that again, but if the Kraken believes his health could stay up, he might be the perfect choice for them. At only 32 years old, this could be the selection that makes the most sense for both sides as Raanta would have a real chance to make a splash for Seattle.
C Derick Brassard
It always makes sense for these new expansion teams to look young more than older when entering their drafts, but there is always a need for a veteran presence. Derick Brassard has been around the league and has always proven to be a solid player, giving multiple seasons of 40-plus point outings. He even has a career-high of 60 from his days with the New York Rangers.
This season, Brassard finished with eight goals, 12 assists, and 20 total points in 53 games. None of these are eye-staggering numbers and would be considered a letdown in a full season, but seeing it was not a full season it’s not too bad. Brassard is 33 and could be a great addition to the Kraken, filling in at the center position for the third or fourth lines on the team.
His leadership would not only be a great get but his ability isn’t too bad either. Brassard is one to consider for Seattle.
F Michael Bunting
Michael Bunting could very well be one of the most interesting players available in the entire NHL Expansion Draft. While he will be an unrestricted free agent, the Kraken could see what he did in 21 games as a chance to get a player ready to burst onto the scene — which is what he did this season.
Bunting scored 10 goals in 21 games as the undrafted forward stunned everyone. He instantly made himself a player Arizona not only needs to think about bringing back but maybe even signing before the expansion draft so that they don’t lose out on him. The five-year AHL pro made the splash and now could be the most coveted player on the Coyotes in the expansion draft.
If he is unprotected, the Kraken can talk to him and make this man who came out of nowhere one of the forwards that helps them become a solid team in their first year.
There’s a lot of good talent here that any team would be happy to have, let alone a team like the first-year Kraken. This will be one of the more interesting teams to watch.