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Seattle Kraken Make Their Picks

Get to know the newest players in Seattle's lineup

by Bob Condor / @ByBobCondor /

Meet the players the Seattle Kraken select in the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft.



From Boston: JEREMY LAUZON, Defenseman 

What to know: Full-time with Bruins this season, appearing in 41 games, effectively doubling his NHL experience. Broke his hand twice, worked through it during playoffs, getting ice time on first, second, and third pairs. Shuttled between AHL Providence and Boston the previous two seasons, the 6-1, 204-pound D-man playing for Kraken assistant coach Jay Leach. Selected by Bruins in the second round (52nd overall) of 2015 NHL Draft after his second season with Rouyn-Noranda of the QMJHL, where he notched 36 points (15 goals, 21 assists) in 60 games. 

Say what: "Jeremy is a great player for us. He's out there competing and working his butt off." -teammate Brad Marchand about young D-man during 2021 playoffs. 

Fun facts: Pronounced "LOH-zawn." Quebec native won 2017 World Juniors silver in 2017. 


From Buffalo: WILL BORGEN, Defenseman

What to know: The 24-year-old, 6-3, 205-pound defenseman played 10 games this past season for Sabres. Drafted by Buffalo in the fourth round (92nd overall) in the 2015 NHL Draft. Selected for the 2018 U.S. Olympics team. Three seasons at NCAA Division I St. Cloud State, earning conference "Defensive Defenseman of Year" awards. 

Say what: "Will enjoys competing for more than the actual sport of hockey. He's most comfortable on the ice. That's where he shows emotion." -Jon Ammerman, Moorhead, MN, youth coach.

Fun facts: Pronounced "BOHR-guhn." Wore number 20 at St. Cloud State to honor grandpa's favorite digits. Notified 12 hours before NHL debut in March 2019, drove five hours, played third-pair defense. Assistant coach/ex-NHLer Steve Smith provided a crash course on the BUF system. 


From Detroit: DENNIS CHOLOWSKI, Defenseman

What to know: Appeared in 104 games for Red Wings since being drafted 20th overall during the first round of the 2016 NHL Draft. Started 2018-19 season red-hot, notching eight points in the first 11 games as an offensive-minded defender. Since, shuttled between NHL and AHL, stabilizing in Wings lineup this past season. In AHL play, he quarterbacks the power play and boosted the offense at even strength too, adding his own heavy shot. Elite upside as powerplay QB. 

Fun facts: Pronounced "chuh-LOW-skee." Scored his first NHL goal at age 20 in his league debut Oct. 4, 2018. At 6-2, 200 pounds, Cholowski is an elite skater for his size and weight. 


From Florida: CHRIS DRIEDGER, Goaltender

What to know: Posted top-five numbers among all NHL goalies for save percentage (.927) and goals-against-average (2.07) during the 2021-22 season. After seven seasons in AHL and ECHL, 27-year-old (May birthday) broke through with Florida last two years with a 21-8-4 record. Fits goalie prototype for today's NHL: 6-4, 208 pounds with a low center of gravity and efficient movement.

Say what: "Driegs was composed, patient, waiting on the puck. He was smooth, meaning no rebounds. Over the course of the season, you get 'goalie wins.' Tonight was one of them."-Florida coach Joel Quenneville after an important win over Dallas in late March

Fun facts: Pronounced "DREE-guhr. Fan of creative goalie masks-his late 2020 model was a tribute to Disney+ Emmy-winning"The Mandalorian," the first live-action TV series of the Star Wars franchise. The mask depicts "The Child" and bounty hunter Din Djarin on opposite sides. 


From Montreal: CALE FLEURY, Defenseman 

What to know: Selected 87th overall by Canadiens in 2017 NHL Draft, signed a three-year entry-level contract in October. Two years later, he made the Canadiens' opening night roster and faced his brother, Haydn, and Carolina in his first game. He earned his first NHL point in November, scoring a goal during a 3-4 overtime loss against New Jersey. He split the 2019-20 season between the NHL and AHL Laval Rocket. He has played 41 NHL games. 

Say what: "I don't like to lose, so I never took it easy on him by any means. I didn't like to lose, he didn't like to lose, but he lost a lot more than I did."-Haydn discussing brother before his first game. 

Fun facts: Logged 14:52 of ice time, nearly scored on a breakaway, and did not look out of place on the ice. 


From Ottawa: JOEY DACCORD, Goaltender

What to know: Daccord is a 23-year-old Swiss-American goalie who was drafted by Ottawa after three outstanding seasons with Arizona State's NCAA Division I hockey program. Pause to celebrate an NHL franchise in Ontario, Canada's most populated province, drafting a first=ever player from the U.S. Southwest. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman's vision is coming true.

Fun facts: Pronounced "da-KOHRD." On March 14, 2021, Daccord was forced to start a game against Toronto followed by an injury to regular Senators goalie Matt Murray, who suffered an injury during warmups; Daccord made 33 saves in a 4-3 win over the Maple Leafs for his first career NHL victory.


From Tampa Bay: YANNI GOURDE, Forward

What to know: Playoffs standout for the back-to-back Stanley Cup champion Lightning. Scored six goals in this year's Cup run, including series-winning shorthanded goal in 1-0 Game shutout. Notched seven goals in the 2020 playoffs, including two game-winning goals. Undrafted from juniors despite a final season with 37 goals and 87 assists in 68 games. Shuttled between AHL and ECHL teams, called up for good for last 20 games of 2016-17 season. 

Say what: "Gordo's always got that kind of dog-on-a-bone mentality on the ice... certain players come in, have success and get comfortable. He works extremely hard every time. It's amazing to see."-Steven Stamkos, Lightning captain told Tampa Bay Tribune in early July. 

Fun facts: Favorite player growing up outside Montreal was Martin St. Louis, who won a Stanley Cup with Tampa Bay in 2004. Nicknamed "Energizer Bunny" on skates. 


From Toronto: JARED MCCANN, Forward 

What to know: The 31-year-old, left-handed center from Stratford, Ont., was originally a 2014 first-round pick of the Vancouver Canucks. He was later traded to the Florida Panthers where he spent three seasons prior to a trade to the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2019. McCann enjoyed his most productive years with the Penguins, scoring 39 goals during his time in Pittsburgh. He was traded to the Maple Leafs July 17 but never played a game with Toronto. 

Fun facts: He's no stranger to wearing the red, white and black of Team Canada. Represented his home country in the 2013 Ivan Hlinka Cup, 2014 U18 World Championships and 2019 World Championship. Played junior hockey in Ontario Hockey League for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, the same junior franchise for which Kraken general manager Ron Francis played.



From Carolina: MORGAN GEEKIE, Forward

What to know: The 23-year-old was drafted by Ron Francis and Carolina during the third round of the 2017 entry draft. Played junior hockey in Kennewick, WA, with the Tri-City Americans from 2014-2018. Spent two seasons with the AHL's Charlotte Checkers, big part of the Checkers Calder Cup victory in 2019, scoring eight goals and 18 points in the playoffs. Scored three goals in his first two NHL games before spending the bulk of last season with the Hurricanes. 

Say what: "Morgan played well in his first full NHL season this year. We're excited for him to take the next steps in his development." -- Carolina president and GM Don Waddel.

Fun facts: Younger brother Conor was the second overall pick of the WHL Draft in 2019. He played last season with the Winnipeg ICE and is eligible for the 2022 NHL Draft. 


From Columbus: GAVIN BAYREUTHER, Defenseman 

What to know: Grew up in New Hampshire, played four seasons at St. Lawrence University, where he was named to NCAA East Second All-American Team and ECAC First All-Team during his junior and senior seasons. Signed with Dallas as an undrafted free agent in March 2017, played for AHL Texas Stars, then debuted in NHL Nov. 15 2018. Scored his first NHL goal eight days later in a 6-4 win over Ottawa. Signed one-year, two-way contract with Columbus in October 2020. The 27-year-old has played 28 NHL games, scoring three goals and three assists. 

Fun facts: His cousin is NHL defenseman Ben Lovejoy. 


From New Jersey: NATHAN BASTIAN, Forward 

What to know: Kitchener, Ont. native played his Ontario League Hockey for the Mississauga Steelheads. The 23-year-old forward was drafted by the Devils in the second round (41st overall) of the 2016 NHL Draft, signing a three-year entry-level contract that October. Played for AHL Binghamton before debuting with New Jersey in January 2019, which included his first fight. The one-game call-up was short-lived due to the All-Star break, so he didn't notch his NHL goal until Feb. 25. Played 41 games in the 2020-21 season, notching three goals and seven assists in the bottom-six role played by many young forwards. 

Say what: If you need to see Bastian's moves, here's a sample: Tweet from @BingDevils: NATHAN. BASTIAN. 😍😍😍#TORvsBNG

Fun facts: Pronounced "bash-T'YEHN."


From New York Islanders: JORDAN EBERLE, Forward

What to know: During the 2020-21 season, the 11-season veteran was on the ice for 40 NYI goals vs. 27 against. Four-season line mate with former Seattle Thunderbirds star Mathew Barzal. Drafted first round (22nd overall) by Edmonton in 2008. Led Oilers in scoring as rookie, named NHL All-Star, notched a career-high 34 goals in his second season. The 31-year-old has scored 16 or more goals every year, including six seasons of 20-plus goals.

Say what: "Ebs has become one of my best friends," Barzal said. "It helps me being a young guy playing with veterans."-Mathew Barzal, Islanders center, during his rookie year

Fun facts: Prounced "EH-buhr-lee." Starred for hometown Regina, Sask, major juniors team. Met his wife, Lauren Rodych-Eberle, in a high school math as 10th graders. She is a piano and voice teacher; Eberle took up guitar when she gave him one for his birthday several years ago.


From New York Rangers: COLIN BLACKWELL, Forward

What to know: Played 33 NHL games over two seasons with Nashville, then signed with NYR in October 2020. Collected a formidable 10 goals and 12 assists in 47 Rangers games this past season, at times skating alongside star Artemi Panarin. Drafted in the seventh round of the 2011 NHL Draft, the 5-9 prospect opted to play at Harvard in his home state. He sat put due to concussion junior season and much of senior year, returning to help win the conference championship.  

Say what: "There's definitely a couple of times I've bounced around. I've learned from it. I would have given up a heck of a long time ago if I didn't believe in myself."-C.B. 

Fun facts: cored a career-high two goals against Washington. He became the eighth Ranger to enjoy a multi-goal game on his birthday, the first player since former captain Ryan Callahan did it on March 21, 2009. Blackwell wore number 43 in New York, same as Callahan. 


From Philadelphia: CARSEN TWARYNSKI, Forward 

What to know: Made his NHL debut in October 2019 in Prague where Flyers were starting the season as part of the league's international series. Appeared to date in 22 games with Philly over the last two seasons. The 6-2, 200-pound self-described "power forward good on both ends" had the scoring touch in major juniors with WHL Kelowna, scoring 45 goals and 72 points in 68 games during his draft year. In fact, he and fellow Kraken expansion draftee, Kole Lind (Vancouver) teamed up as a potent 1-2 punch. Lind notched 95 points (39 G, 56A) that season. 

Say what: His parents surprised him, flying to Prague from Alberta for the debut: "Carsen's always been that underdog," says his mom, Kim. "There's always a guy everybody talks about. He's never been that guy. He's out there to prove it to himself that he can do it." 

Fun facts: Pronounced "twawr-IHN-skee."


From Pittsburgh: BRANDON TANEV, Forward

What to know: Fan favorite in knowledgeable hockey town-goes all out every shift at both ends of the ice. Signed with Winnipeg as an undrafted free agent, played 51 NHL games in his first full pro season. Top penalty-killer for PIT. Career high of .5 points per game average last season. 

Say what: "Determined. Ultrafit!"-Gary Roberts, 21-year NHLer and now Kraken sports science/performance consultant, when asked in 2019 about training with Tanev. 

Fun facts: Pronounced "TA-nehv." Scored the game-winning goal against Boston U to win Providence's first-ever NCAA national title in 2016. Older brother Chris is a Calgary defenseman, making Brandon the second Tanev to become teammates with new Kraken defenseman Mark Giordano. Nicknamed "Turbo" for his skating speed and aggressive physical style.


From Washington: VITEK VANECEK, Goaltender 

What to know: Czech Republic-born goalie was a second-round pick (39th overall) in the 2014 NHL, followed then-Capitals goalie and countryman Michal Neuvirth (2006, 34th overall).  Made NHL debut Jan. 15, 2021, making 30 saves in a 2-1 win against Buffalo. His first shutout also came against the Sabres, on March 15. His 21 wins in 2020-21 led NHL rookies. Signed a three-year, entry-level contract in 2014, played that season in the Czech Republic. He starred for Czech Extraliga, the country's top professional league, the made the All-Star squad in the AHL. 

Fun facts: Pronounced "VIH-tehk VA-nih-chehk." After his first NHL win, he joined a Zoom call with reporters. "The dream came true," Vanecek said, using the English he learned as an AHL rookie. Teammate Tom Wilson pied the goalie in the process (shaving cream, no crust).



From Arizona: TYLER PITLICK, Forward

What to know: Played 2020-21 for the Coyotes, after two seasons in Dallas and his first three NHL seasons in Edmonton, who drafted him in the second round (31st overall) of the 2010 NHL Draft. He spent six seasons with the EDM organization, including three stints with the Oilers before signing a three-year contract with the Dallas Stars. Made the most of regular ice time with the Stars in 2017-18 when he scored 27 points (14 goals, 13 assists) in 80 games. Knows the NHL drill for transactions: Signed as a free agent by Dallas in 2017; traded to Philadelphia by Dallas for Ryan Hartman in 2019; signed as a free agent by Arizona, October 9, 2020. 

Fun facts: Born in Plymouth, MN. Uncle, Lance, was a U of Minnesota captain who went on to play eight years in the NHL with Ottawa and Florida. 


From Chicago: JOHN QUENNEVILLE, Forward 

What to know: The 25-year-old was drafted by the New Jersey Devils in the first round (30th overall) of the 2014 NHL Draft. Quenneville signed a three-year entry-level contract with NJD and eventually joined AHL Albany in 2016. Debuted against Chicago Dec. 1, 2016, a team to which he was later traded in exchange for forward John Hayden. He played 42 NHL games (2 goals, 3 assists) for NJD and Chicago, serving as a reserve and checking forward who shuttled between NHL and AHL. 

Fun facts: Lots of family connections to the sport. If the last sounds familiar, three-time Cup-winning NHL coach Joel Quenneville is his first cousin, once removed. His older brother, Peter, was drafted in the seventh round by Columbus in the 2013 NHL Draft. NHL Johnny Boychuk is his uncle by marriage. 


From Colorado: JOONAS DONSKOI, Forward 

What to know: Began NHL career with the San Jose Sharks in 2015. Right-handed shooter played 283 games with the Sharks while scoring 45 goals and 122 points. In July 2019, signed a free-agent contract with the Colorado Avalanche where he's played the last two seasons. With the Avalanche he tallied 33 goals - including a career-high 17 in 2021. 

Say what: "He's a 200-foot player you can put in different spots in your lineup. He competes and coaches are going to love the kind of game he's going to bring." - Avs GM Joe Sakic to the Denver Post in July 2019. 

Fun facts: An avid skateboarder, the 29-year-old Donskoi paid off the debt on a friend's skateboarding park in Finland after the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs. 


From Dallas: JAMIE OLEKSIAK, Defenseman

What to know: After averaging about 16 minutes during the Stars' 2019-20 Western Conference championship season, Oleksiak zoomed past 20 minutes of average time on ice this past season, playing top-four minutes alongside young star Miro Heiskanen. The 6-7, 255-pound D-man, just 28 years old despite being a nine-season NHLer, upped his number of hits and overall physical approach upon returning from parts of two seasons with Pittsburgh. Scored a late game-winning goal against Calgary during the 2020 run to the Stanley Cup final.

Fun facts: Pronounced "oh-LEHK-see-ak." Sister, Penny, is a Canadian swimmer who at 16 won a gold, a silver and two bronze medals at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, setting records for youngest Canadian gold medalist and most medals won by a Canadian at a single Games. She is swimming in five events at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.  


From Minnesota: CARSON SOUCY, Defenseman 

What to know: Drafted in the fifth round of 2013 NHL Draft prior to a four-year career playing college hockey with the University of Minnesota-Duluth. The 26-year-old left shooting blueliner hails from Viking, Alberta, and is listed at a physical 6-foot-5 and 211 pounds. Just completed his second full season with the Wild. 

Say what: "That physical part of it is where I'm going to find my spot in the lineup, and I've got to utilize it.'' -Soucy to the Star Tribune in October 2019. 

Fun facts: Represented Canada as an outfielder during the 2012 International Softball Federation World Junior Championship. 


From Nashville: CALLE JARNKROK, Forward

What to know: The reliable Swedish-born center will turn 30 in September. In Predators lineup for seven-plus seasons, averaging about 30 points (roughly 50-50 goals and assists) per season. Signed a six-year contract is 2016 that ends after the upcoming season. Drafted by Detroit in the second round (51st overall) in the 2010 NHL Draft, the Red Wings traded him to Nashville in 2014, debuting with the Preds that spring.

Say what: "He has terrific hockey sense, great hands. He's a really good skater and competitor."-Nashville general manager David Poile upon announcing the 2014 trade.  

Fun facts: Pronounced "KAL-ee YARN-mahrk." Member of Swedish national team that won gold at 2013 IIHF World Championship. Also won world gold at World Juniors in 2011 and Swedish pro league title in 2012. His nickname, "Ironhook" is a direct English translation of his last name.


From St Louis: VINCE DUNN, Defenseman

What to know: A puck-moving defenseman, was a second-round pick by the Blues during the 2015 NHL Draft. The 24-year-old had his best offensive season in 2018-2019 when he scored 12 goals and 35 points with the Blues' Stanley Cup Championship team. Dunn just completed his fourth full NHL season, has 267 games under his belt with 32 goals, 70 assists, and 102 points. 

Say what: "For me at such a young age, it's very special. You kind of take things for granted when you're younger, but now you really take it in." - Dunn on winning the Stanley Cup 

Fun facts: In May of 2020, along with two Blues teammates, Dunn won $100,000 for charity by placing first in the Fortnite NHLPA Open. 


From Winnipeg: MASON APPLETON, Forward 

What to know: Hails from Green Bay, Wis. The 25-year-old and stands 6-foot-2. A physical center had his best pro season in 2021 when he appeared in 56 games or the Jets and scored 12 goals, 13 assists, for 25 points. Originally a 2015 sixth-round pick by Winnipeg in the NHL Draft he played two seasons of NCAA hockey with Michigan State University. 

Fun facts: Playing for the AHL's Manitoba Moose, set a franchise record for assists and points by a rookie. He represented the Moose in the AHL all-star game in 2018 and won Dudley 'Red' Garrett Memorial Award as AHL Rookie of The Year.



From Anaheim: HAYDN FLEURY, Defenseman

What to know: Drafted No. 7 overall in 2014 NHL Draft during Ron Francis' first year as Carolina GM. Traded to Anaheim at the 2021 Trade Deadline, gaining more ice time and pairing with veteran Kevin Shattenkirk. Key member 2019 AHL champion Charlotte, a team featuring Francis-drafted and acquired players who scored 80 percent of playoff goals. The 25-year-old, 6-3, 208-pound D-man has played 179 NHL games. He arrives with top-four potential on defense. 

Say what: "He's a very big, mobile defenseman with a lot of upside. We were pleased that he was sitting there at seven." -Ron Francis to media after the 2014 NHL Draft first round

Fun facts: Pronounced "HAY-duhn FLUH-ree." Younger brother, Cale, was drafted in the third round (87th overall) by Montreal in 2017 and has appeared in 41 NHL games. Grew up in Carlyle, Sask., same town as 13-season NHLer who as a teen babysat the Fleury brothers. 


From Calgary: MARK GIORDANO, Defenseman

What to know: Undrafted out of juniors, AHL Lowell (MA) in 2004. Signed with Calgary, debuted in NHL in 2006 then took the unorthodox step of playing a year with Moscow Dynamo of KHL before returning to Flames for 13 straight stellar seasons. At 35, won the 2018-19 Norris Trophy as best defenseman with 17 goals, 57 assists, and 38 plus-minus rating.

Say what: "In my opinion, in order to be a star, you need to be a leader as well."-M.G.

Fun facts: Pronounced "jee-ohr-DAN-oh." Replaced Hall of Famer Jarome Iginla as Calgary captain in 2013. Won NHL's Mark Messier Leadership Award in 2020. With wife, Lauren, founded Team Giordano to support 1,900-plus high-needs students at four Calgary schools. Provides computers, supplies, "Gio Journals" to significantly upgrade reading levels. 


From Edmonton: ADAM LARSSON, Defenseman

What to know: Larson is an unrestricted free agent who has reportedly been talking with the Oilers about a new contract since February. The 28-year-old arrived in a 2016 trade that sent Taylor Hall to the New Jersey Devils. Hall went on to win 2017-18 league MVP honors while Larsson adjusted to his new team with strong seasons in 2019-20 and 2020-21. He is a superb protector against goals, shots on goal, and high-danger scoring chances ranked 11 percent about average among NHL D-men. 

Fun facts: Selected 4th overall by New Jersey in the 2011 NHL Draft. The Swede ranked No. 1 among all European skaters by NHL Central Scouting. His father, Robert, was drafted by Los Angeles in the 1988 NHL Draft but chose to play professionally in Sweden. 


From Los Angeles: KURTIS MACDERMID, Defenseman 

What to know: An undrafted free agent in 2012, played 118 NHL games over the last four seasons with the Kings, splitting time with OHL Ontario. He made his NHL debut with Los Angeles on opening night in a 2-0 victory over Philadelphia on October 5, 2017 and scored his first goal on October 26, 2017. After two seasons as a regular on the blue line with the Reign, and having made positive progress at the conclusion of his rookie contract, re-signed a one-year, two-way contract extension in July 2017. 

Fun facts: MacDermid is the son of former NHL player Paul MacDermid and was born in Quebec City during his father's stint with the Quebec Nordiques (now Colorado Avalanche). Older brother, Lane, played in the NHL for Boston, Dallas, and Calgary.


From San Jose: ALEXANDER TRUE, Forward 

What to know: The 6-foot-5, 205-pound forward from Copenhagen, Denmark, played three seasons with the local WHL Seattle Thunderbirds, racking up 45 goals over three seasons from 2014 through 2017. He moved on the AHL San Jose Barracuda, where he recorded 28 points in his first pro season. He played 12 games for Sharks in 2019-20 and another seven this season. 

Fun facts: Has represented his home country in five world championship tournaments, including three consecutive seasons at the World Junior Championship. True was named the Captain for the 2017 tournament and earned the WJC Top-3 Player award in back-to-back seasons from 2016-17. 


From Vancouver: KOLE LIND, Forward

What to know: If Kraken fans are looking for a bit of a sleeper success story, this might be just the ticket. The 22-year-old right-winger has improved, at times explosively, at each developmental level of elite hockey. In his last two seasons with WHL Kelowna major juniors, he racked 87 points (30 G, 57 A) in 70 games, then 95 points (39 goals, 56 A) in 56 games. Similar jump from his first AHL season to the second, doubling his point total. A severely broken nose derailed the pandemic-affected 2020-21 season, which he finished on Vancouver's taxi squad.

Say what: Admitted to "joyful tears" anticipating his NHL debut on April 29: "I talked to the family as soon as everything got confirmed," said Lind, who grew up in Swift Current, Sask. "There were a lot of emotions running through all of us. I come from a really big hockey family, both my sisters play university and my little brother's in the WHL [Kalan, with Red Deer]."

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