The Seattle Kraken expansion draft should be interesting when it comes to the Pittsburgh Penguins’ options.
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 Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Pittsburgh Penguins finished first in the East Division this past season but were axed by the New York Islanders in the first round. As one of the teams with many top-tier talents delivering them the majority of their production, it will be interesting to see who the Kraken are intrigued by in the NHL Expansion Draft.
There are some pretty solid options that will likely be available to them come Wednesday night.
F Brandon Tanev
If Brandon Tanev is left unprotected, he makes a lot of sense to be who the Kraken takes from the Penguins. Gritty doesn’t even begin to describe the style Tanev displays with his game as he is always willing to get into the dirty areas and be a plus for his team. One of the better players available in the entire NHL Expansion Draft for what he will bring to the table, this could be the pick that helps the Kraken establish the type of play they bring to the table.
Tanev totaled seven goals and nine assists for 16 points in 32 games this season while also being a plus-12 on the year. Everything about Tanev shows that he should be protected by the Penguins, but there’s no guarantee of that which should allow the Kraken to strike.
His contract has a $3.5 million cap hit for the next four seasons, which could be the only thing keeping Seattle from taking Tanev if they think that is simply too long to bring him in.
F Jason Zucker
Jason Zucker has not fit into the Penguins like they had hoped when they went out to get him during the 2019-20 season. It has not been good for either side which will lead to him being available in the draft. If the Kraken is looking for a veteran presence, Zucker would be a great choice.
His stats this season were underwhelming to say the very least. Zucker scored nine goals to go along with nine assists in 38 games. Not bad on the surface as 18 points are good for many players, but they had to be expecting more. We’re confident that he will be available to the Kraken and if Tanev is not, this seems to be the pick.
G Casey DeSmith or Tristan Jarry
The Penguins traded Matt Murray and have been looking for their signature starting goaltender since then. Both Casey DeSmith and Tristan Jarry have shown signs of being that, but neither have firmly answered the call as they’d hope. It’s likely that DeSmith, not Jarry, is the one protected. That being said, whoever is not should at least receive a look from the Kraken.
Jarry, 26, would be an interesting addition as he could still have his prime ahead of him which also means his best hockey as well. DeSmith had the better season by a slight margin when you look at the save percentage and goal against average and his track record is more trustworthy at this stage.
Time will tell who the Penguins want to keep moving forward, but anything is possible with Jarry potentially being the pick if he is made available with his potential still high at this point.