NHL Power Rankings after Week 9: Potential expansion picks for Seattle – ESPN

7:20 AM ET

Emily KaplanESPN

This week, we learned that the NHL will officially welcome Seattle as its 32nd franchise, but not until 2021-22. That’s plenty of time for teams to prepare and shape their rosters for yet another expansion draft. What if the draft were this summer, though? For this week’s power rankings — voted, as always, by ESPN’s panel of experts — we considered which player might get plucked if Seattle got to choose this June, using the same rules as Vegas in 2017.

It’s all imaginary, of course. But it’s also an interesting peek into current roster constructions.

Previous ranking: 2

Here’s where being one of the deepest teams in the league presents a problem. With so many talented players to protect, important middle-six forwards such as Tyler Johnson or Alex Killorn might have to be exposed.

Previous ranking: 1

Juuse Saros is supposed to be the goalie of the future in Nashville. But thanks to Pekka Rinne‘s longevity (and no-movement clause), the 23-year-old Finn could be the goalie of the much-sooner future in Seattle.

Previous ranking: 3

The Leafs are strapped by tough future contract decisions. Stocked with forward talent, perhaps it’s best for a center such as Frederik Gauthier to leave and see what he can do with a larger opportunity.

With two months in the books, the races for the big awards in the NHL are shaping up.

We’re through about one-third of the campaign, and some teams’ good (or bad) starts are misleading. Here’s who will turn things around.

When will they start playing? What will they be called? How is the NHL going to realign? We answer the key questions after the big announcement.

2 Related

Previous ranking: 5

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