The Seattle Kraken selected Colorado Avalanche forward Joonas Donskoi in the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft, the league revealed on Wednesday in a special broadcast from Seattle, Washington.
Terms of the NHL Expansion Draft stated that every team was required to expose at least two forwards, one defenseman and one goaltender that are under contract for the 2021-22 season and have played a minimum of either 27 NHL games in 2020-21 or 54 NHL contests during the previous two seasons.
The Kraken is the 32nd franchise to join the NHL and the first since the Vegas Golden Knights in 2017-18. The expansion draft rules were the same for Seattle as they were for Vegas.
The Kraken selected one player from each team excluding the Golden Knights and was required to choose a minimum of 14 forwards, nine defensemen and three goalies, plus four additional players.
Donskoi signed a four-year deal with Colorado as a free agent on July 1, 2019. In two seasons with the Avalanche, the Raahe, Finland, native totaled 64 points (33 goals, 31 assists) in 116 games.
In 2020-21, he set new career highs with 17 markers, five power-play goals and a plus-14 rating. Donskoi opened the scoring for the Avs on seven occasions and nine of his goals came in the first stanza, tied for second in the league behind only Auston Matthews' 12 first-period tallies.
He tallied his first career hat trick on Nov. 7, 2019 versus the Nashville Predators and recorded his second on March 31 of this year against the Arizona Coyotes at Ball Arena. In the contest against Arizona, Donskoi lit the lamp three times in a 3:27 span, marking the second-fastest hat trick in franchise history (2:17 by the Quebec Nordiques' Alain Cote on April 1, 1982). His three goals came in the opening 7:31 of the first period, the fastest hat trick to start a game in franchise history.
Video: Thank you, Joonas Donskoi
Prior to joining the Avs, Donskoi spent his first four NHL campaigns with the San Jose Sharks, setting career highs in games (80), points (37), and game-winning goals (four) in 2018-19. Selected by the Florida Panthers in the fourth round (99th overall) of the 2010 NHL Draft, Donskoi played for Karpat in Finland's top professional league (Liiga) from 2009-2015 and helped Karpat win back-to-back league championships in 2013-14 and 2014-15.
In 399 career regular-season games with Colorado and San Jose, the 29-year-old has recorded 186 points (78 goals, 108 assists). He has also skated in 69 Stanley Cup Playoff contests, registering 15 goals and 17 helpers for 32 points.