Sask. NHLers headline Seattle Kraken expansion draft picks
REGINA -- Forward Jordan Eberle headlines a group of Saskatchewan-born NHL players selected by the Seattle Kraken in the 2021 expansion draft.
Regina-born Eberle, Carlyle’s Haydn and Cale Fleury and Kole Lind from Swift Current officially became a part of the Kraken’s inaugural roster on Wednesday night.
Eberle and Fleury were on hand at the draft event in Seattle, showcasing the Kraken’s white away jerseys.
"You don't get many opportunities to be part of a new franchise," Eberle said. "Any time you get that opportunity to bring the Cup to a city that's never had it before, it's pretty special."
The Regina Pats alumni spent his past four NHL seasons as a member of the New York Islanders.
An 11-year NHL veteran, Eberle has recorded 241 goals and 310 assists throughout his career with the Islanders and Edmonton Oilers.
Curtis Hunt, who coached Eberle during his time with the Pats and currently serves as the general manager of the Prince Albert Raiders, said he anticipates the 31-year-old to step into a prominent role on the team.
"He’s a gifted goalscorer, he’s got tremendous hockey sense, he’s got tremendous skill. He’ll run the power play, he’ll probably play on their top line," Hunt said. "I think Jordan can be the guy there and be the carrier and hopefully they get an opportunity to get into the postseason in that first year."
Haydn Fleury, a 25-year-old defenceman, heads to Seattle from the Anaheim Ducks, after being traded by the Carolina Hurricanes earlier this season. The 2014 first round draft pick has played in 179 games since joining the league in 2017.
Haydn’s brother Cale, a third round pick in 2017, has 41 NHL games under his belt and has spent the past two seasons with Montreal’s farm team the Laval Rocket.
Lind played in his first seven NHL games late in 2020-21. The 22-year-old right wing was originally drafted by the Canucks in the second round of the 2017 rookie draft.
The Kraken will play their first home opener against the Canucks on Oct. 23.
With files from the Associated Press