Seattle Kraken Selects Capitals Goalkeeper Vitek Vanecek in Draft Expansion: Report

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According to a. Goalkeeper Vitek Vanecek selected by the Capitals report by Frank Seravalli, who left Washington without a goalkeeper who won 21 games in his rookie season.

Of the players the Capitals made available to the Kraken, Vanecek was possibly the best pick for the NHL’s newest franchise to begin this season. According to Spotrac, a website that tracks contract data, Vanecek’s cap hit for the next season is $ 716,667. The 25-year-old also performed well in his first NHL season, which has given Seattle a capable backup.

The pick will be officially announced at 8 p.m., but Seattle’s pick was due at 10 a.m. on Tuesday. Several names have been leaked since then, including a confirmation that the Kraken didn’t pick goalkeeper Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens, but chose Vanecek, Florida’s Chris Driedger and Ottowa’s Joey Daccord.

Washington could only protect a goalkeeper who entered the draft expansion under the rules of the league. The team selected Ilya Samsonov, who is a restricted free agent this off-season. The former first-round draft pick has shown promise but is struggling with consistency, especially when it comes to staying on the ice.

Samsonov played 19 games last season and scored a save percentage of 0.902 with 2.69 goals over average. In three playoff games, his save percentage was 0.899 and he allowed 2.99 goals per game, despite making 43 saves in one of those matches with the Boston Bruins.

But the 24-year-old spent two stops on the list of coronavirus protocols, which gave Vanecek the opportunity to play for a considerable amount of time. Vanecek finished the regular season with 37 games under his belt and 21 wins, with a save percentage of 0.908 and 2.69 goals against the average. However, he suffered an injury early in the playoffs that excluded him from the remainder of the series with Boston.

Still, Vanecek appears to be a reliable number 2 for Seattle unless the new team decides to make a subsequent trade in other assets. Driedger joins the Kraken and appears poised to take on the first few roles, having had a season where he scored 2.07 goals per game with a savings rate of 0.927.

Seattle could have chosen from a handful Washington’s player, though Vanecek’s cap hit was the lowest. Defenders Brenden Dillon and Justin Schultz could have been fascinating options, both seasoned blueliners, to help start a new franchise. However, Dillon is under contract for two more seasons with an average annual value of $ 3.9 million. Schultz has a year left for a deal averaging $ 4 million. Those contracts could have led the Kraken to Vanecek, who will become an unrestricted free agent after the 2021-22 season.

However, the choice of Vanecek complicates matters for the capitals. First, the organization needs to find another goalkeeper who can team up with Samsonov. You could look at Pheonix Copley internally. Craig Anderson came into the group late and could be re-signed. Henrik Lundqvist, who missed a heart operation last season, could also be taken on at short notice if he was healthy.

Second, Washington has to navigate the off-season with little wiggle room for the off-season, which will likely lead to a salary dumping deal on the horizon. The Capitals have yet to sign new contracts with Samsonov and Alex Ovechkin.

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