"It's been very frustrating, a lot of people talk about his size," Hardy said. "I think a good thing has happened in scouting over the last decade or so, where people are no longer saying, 'OK, that guy is big, he has potential, we'll take him.' People question it now, because a lot of these big guys are busts. So he's probably been unfairly labeled by some people in that way. But his hockey sense, his desire to compete, and skill level is really incredible for being that young and that big."Boston Bruins
SEATTLE (AP) — When the NHL hit the accelerator on expansion some 30 years ago it brought hockey to untapped markets, warm weather destinations and established a footprint throughout all corners of North America.
The Philadelphia Flyers, Nashville Predators and Vegas Golden Knights made interconnected trades ahead of Saturday's roster freeze for the Seattle expansion draft.St. Louis Blues
Jared McCann, F, Toronto Maple Leafs The situation around McCann is fascinating. Toronto spent very little to acquire the very useful forward from the Penguins, but chose to leave him unprotected. On one hand, if all the Leafs lose in the expansion process is the price of McCann— a mid-level prospect and a seventh-round pick — it seems very palatable. And yet, they have opened themselves up to losing a player who could very well be a difference maker for them next season, while instead protecting a journeyman and asset whose performance falls off the table when not attached at Jake Muzzin's hip in Justin Holl. Seattle takes McCann, because it would be foolish not to, in turn infuriating Leafs fans, despite the team paying a very minimal expansion price all things considered.Minnesota Wild
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Seattle should be able to put a good team together over the next week. Don't be surprised if the Kraken make the playoffs in their first season, similar to the Vegas Golden Knights just a few years ago.
The Kraken could take multiple expansion draft stabs at “the next William Karlsson.” Who’s a skilled player, yet one who hasn’t really done a ton of tangible things to seem like a star? Again, that’s a matter of the scouting staff identifying quality (possibly over-ripe) prospects. Would Tyler Benson be worth a shot? As a fairly recent departure from the Lightning (now with Anaheim), maybe Alexander Volkov could be the next Carter Verhaeghe or Jonathan Marchessault?Dallas Stars
For years, the Panthers blundered through some real mistakes. To be fair, Panthers GM Dale Tallon deserves the occasional bit of credit. Back in 2013, picking Aleksander Barkov ahead of Jonathan Drouin and Seth Jones was mildly shocking. Today, it looks brilliant.
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