The NHL’s 32nd franchise, the Seattle Kraken, have announced their Expansion Draft picks during a live event at Gas Works Park in Seattle. Fans, invited guests, and community groups watched as the names were revealed with six players appearing live on stage.
General Manager Ron Francis, Assistant General Managers Ricky Olczyk and Jason Botterill and Director of Hockey Research and Strategy Alexandra Mandrycky have spent the last two years planning for this moment and the last 72 hours considering the lists of players left exposed by 30 NHL teams (excluding the Vegas Golden Knights.)
“We are proud to announce our expansion draft picks,” said Ron Francis, Seattle Kraken General Manager. “It has been a crazy week and we still have work to do, but we are building a roster of players who will play with passion and determination and be proud to wear the Kraken jersey.”
The line-up includes brothers Haydn Fleury (Anaheim Ducks) and Cale Fleury (Montreal Canadiens). Veteran defenseman Mark Giordano joins after 15 seasons with the Calgary Flames while Alexander True (San Jose Sharks) returns to his roots after spending three seasons with the Seattle Thunderbirds of the Western Hockey League.
The picks were revealed with content from around the Pacific Northwest including a pick from Mt. Rainier and Seattle’s Pike Place Market. Celebrity guests including former Seattle Sounder Brad Evans, Seattle Storm Star and Olympian Sue Bird, Seattle Seahawk Bobby Wagner, and Seattle Sonics legends Lenny Wilkins, Shawn Kemp and Gary Payton announced the picks alongside Francis.
In addition, selections were made by frontline workers from Virginia Mason Franciscan Health and construction workers at Climate Pledge Arena. During the show, hosts Chris Fowler and Dominic Moore announced the team’s inaugural home game which will take place on October 23rd against the Vancouver Canucks with the team starting on the road against the Vegas Golden Knights.
Players showcased the team’s inaugural home and away jerseys for the first time on stage. The jerseys will go on sale beginning September 15th.
“Today is a historic day for the Seattle Kraken organization and I am very proud of the work Ron and his team have done over the past two years to prepare us,” said David Bonderman, majority owner of the Seattle Kraken. “The fans have been incredible throughout this journey, and I am excited for them to have players to root for and for our players to meet our amazing fans. We now look forward to jersey launch, training camp, preseason and then taking on the Canucks at home in October.”
Full selection:
The Seattle Kraken’s inaugural season will begin in October 2021 at Climate Pledge Arena.