The Florida Panthers have a number of solid 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 Florida Panthers.
The Panthers were a force this past regular season before being knocked out of the playoffs by eventual Stanley Cup Champions, the Tampa Bay Lightning. A lot of that dominance came at the hands of a quality lineup from top to bottom and great goaltending. With all these factors in play, it could be the perfect time for the Kraken to strike with veterans, scorers, and a solid goalie being on the market.
G Chris Driedger
Chris Driedger had a tremendous regular season between the pipes for the Panthers. The 27-year-old looked like a franchise goalie in his play and his stats back that up. Driedger went 14-6-3 with a 2.07 goals-against average and .927 save percentage.
These stats would make you think he’s a must keep for the Panthers but with Sergei Bobrovsky having a no-move clause and Spencer Knight being the goalie of the future, Driedger will be the odd man out. He is going to be an unrestricted free agent but after this season, could be everything the Kraken wants in their goalie of the present and future.
Of course, the Kraken must be convinced that this season is not an outlier of sorts. His play in the playoffs was spotty at best which could put the warning up that he may not be exactly what they want for their team. That being said, there’s a good chance they will at least consider it. Driedger is worth talking to as he can very well be the goalie they need to start off their franchise.
F Anthony Duclair
Anthony Duclair has the talent to be a top-six forward for the Kraken. In his first season with Florida, Duclair totaled 32 points in 43 games before oddly falling out of favor and ending the season on the fourth line. Duclair’s talent has always come with his shot as many believe he could be a consistent 20-plus goal scorer if given the opportunity.
He is set to be a restricted free agent this offseason which would allow the Kraken to take him and sign him to a deal. Duclair makes a lot of sense seeing that it’s going to be tough getting goals based on some of their options, so it only seems right that they add him to the team to help provide that.
The 25-year-old has not been afraid of switching teams by any means, as he has already been on six teams in his career. If all goes right and the Kraken takes him, maybe both sides can make that Duclair’s home for the foreseeable future.
D Radko Gudas
Radko Gudas is not the “sexy” name Kraken fans are hoping for in this draft, but what he would be for the Kraken is solid. That’s the best way to describe Gudas’ career as he has always been a solid player for the teams he’s played for and after a solid season with the Panthers, this may be worth the investment by Seattle.
Gudas is signed for the next two seasons with a $2.5 million cap hit, which is not too much considering other options around the league. The defensive defenseman would not only fit right in on the penalty kill but be a key part of what this team is trying to create — overall great hockey.
It’s not the name recognition that some hope for but he’s worth a look if you’re Seattle.