Seattle Kraken draft initial roster, including Moorhead's Will Borgen

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·4 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Jul. 22—Dave Hakstol made a trip to the Space Needle on Wednesday morning.

He zipped up to the very top and raised a Seattle Kraken flag high over the city.

"It's absolutely gorgeous up here," said Hakstol, the former UND coach and inaugural Seattle Kraken coach.

When the flag reached the top, Hakstol looked away and said, "Let's go!"

It was, indeed, time to go for the Kraken on Wednesday as they finally selected their initial roster during a 90-minute, made-for-TV NHL Expansion Draft.

All 30 picks — one player from each NHL team except the Vegas Golden Knights — were revealed during an event at Gas Works Park adjacent to Lake Union in Seattle.

The themes were clear: Seattle went heavy on defense (they selected 15 forwards, 12 defensemen and three goalies) and they left themselves a ton of salary cap space to allow for future maneuvering.

"To see this board fill up really brings it into focus for a lot of us," Hakstol said at the event. "I can't wait to get going."

The Kraken picked 10 former college players but none from UND.

Former UND alternate captain Troy Stecher was left unprotected by the Detroit Red Wings, but Seattle passed on Stecher to take former first-round draft pick Dennis Cholowski, who played a year at St. Cloud State.

The Kraken did select one area player.

Former Moorhead High defenseman Will Borgen, who played college hockey at St. Cloud State, was Seattle's pick from the Buffalo Sabres.

Borgen has mainly played in the American Hockey League during his three professional seasons. He has played 14 NHL games for the Sabres, including 10 last season.

Seattle's marquee picks were forward Yanni Gourde from the Stanley Cup-champion Tampa Bay Lightning, forward Jared McCann from the Toronto Maple Leafs, forward Jordan Eberle from the New York Islanders, defenseman Mark Giordano from the Calgary Flames, defenseman Adam Larsson from the Edmonton Oilers and goaltender Chris Dreidger from the Florida Panthers.

Gourde recently had shoulder surgery and will miss the start of the season, though.

Seattle notably has almost $30 million left in salary cap space, so there's still lots of opportunity to make trades or additions through free agency before the team gathers at training camp in September.

Several former UND players will be unrestricted free agents next week, including Zach Parise, Travis Zajac, Tucker Poolman, Carter Rowney, Derek Forbort, Aaron Dell, Austin Poganski, Drake Caggiula, Luke Johnson and Paul LaDue.

The Kraken also have the No. 2 overall pick in this weekend's NHL Entry Draft.

"We want to have a group of guys who know what it is to be a great teammate," Hakstol said, "know what it is to be a competitive teammate and push one another to be at their very best. We want to have a bunch of selfless guys in our locker room that know how to go out, play hard together and win together."

Seattle's first-ever game will be at the Vegas Golden Knights, the most recent NHL expansion team. Its first home game will be Oct. 23 against the Vancouver Canucks.

The NHL schedule is set to be released during the 5 p.m. ESPN SportsCenter show Thursday.

Seattle Kraken Expansion Draft roster


Yanni Gourde, Tampa Bay Lightning

Jared McCann, Toronto Maple Leafs

Morgan Geekie, Carolina Hurricanes

Nathan Bastian, New Jersey Devils

Jordan Eberle, New York Islanders

Colin Blackwell, New York Rangers (Harvard)

Carsen Twarynski, Philadelphia Flyers

Brandon Tanev, Pittsburgh Penguins (Providence)

Tyler Pitlick, Arizona Coyotes (Minnesota State-Mankato)

John Quenneville, Chicago Blackhawks

Joonas Donskoi, Colorado Avalanche

Calle Jarnkrok, Nashville Predators

Mason Appleton, Winnipeg Jets (Michigan State)

Alexander True, San Jose Sharks

Kole Lind, Vancouver Canucks


Jeremy Lauzon, Boston Bruins

Will Borgen, Buffalo Sabres (St. Cloud State)

Dennis Cholowski, Detroit Red Wings (St. Cloud State)

Cale Fleury, Montreal Canadiens

Gavin Bayreuther, Columbus Blue Jackets (St. Lawrence)

Jamie Oleksiak, Dallas Stars (Northeastern)

Carson Soucy, Minnesota Wild (Minnesota Duluth)

Vince Dunn, St. Louis Blues

Haydn Fleury, Anaheim Ducks

Mark Giordano, Calgary Flames

Adam Larsson, Edmonton Oilers

Kurtis MacDermid, Los Angeles Kings


Chris Driedger, Florida Panthers

Joey Daccord, Ottawa Senators (Arizona State)

Vitek Vanecek, Washington Capitals

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting