Odd choice: Kraken select Quenneville from Blackhawks in expansion draft

  • The Chicago Blackhawks lost forward John Quenneville, above playing for the New Jersey Devils in 2017, to the Seattle Kraken in the NHL expansion draft Wednesday. See which big names the Kraken took as they fill out their roster ahead of the 2021-22 season.

    The Chicago Blackhawks lost forward John Quenneville, above playing for the New Jersey Devils in 2017, to the Seattle Kraken in the NHL expansion draft Wednesday. See which big names the Kraken took as they fill out their roster ahead of the 2021-22 season.

 
 
Updated 7/21/2021 8:50 PM

The Seattle Kraken made some interesting selections in the NHL expansion draft Wednesday.

The forward group includes seven double-digit scorers from last year, including Yanni Gourde off the defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning and Colorado's Joonas Donskoi, who scored 17 goals in just 51 games.

 

Aging veteran Mark Giordano (Calgary), 29-year-old Jamie Oleksiak (Dallas) and Adam Larsson (Edmonton) figure to do their best to lead a young defense corps.

And Florida's Chris Driedger and Washington's Vitek Vanecek are two up-and-coming goaltenders that may be able to backstop the Kraken for years to come.

There were some odd choices, however, and that included 25-year-old John Quenneville from the Blackhawks. The 6-foot-1, 195-pound forward is a former first-round pick of New Jersey, but he's appeared in just 42 NHL games. Only nine of those came with the Hawks as he toiled away in the AHL for most of the last two seasons.

The Kraken stayed away from Hawks defensemen Nikita Zadorov and Calvin de Haan, as well as forwards Vinnie Hinostroza and Adam Gaudette and goalies Collin Delia and Malcolm Subban.

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Some speculated Zadorov would be the Kraken's choice, but the 6-foot-6, 235-pounder hasn't exactly been the picture of consistency during his seven years in the league.

He's also a restricted free agent with arbitration rights and looking for a raise from a contract that carried a $3.2 million cap hit.

Meanwhile, de Haan -- while a solid stay-at-home defender -- carries a $4.55 million cap hit and has struggled to stay healthy.

The Hawks are now left with a glut of defensemen, although it's possible they trade one or two in the next week with the NHL draft coming Friday and Saturday, and free agency opening July 28.

The other notable forwards chosen by Seattle were the Islanders' Jordan Eberle (average of 21.6 goals last eight seasons), Nashville's Calle Jarnkrok (six straight double-digit campaigns), Jared McCann (14 goals in 43 GP for Pittsburgh), the Rangers' Colin Blackwell (12 goals in 47 GP) and Winnipeg's Mason Appleton (12 goals in 56 GP).

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