Seattle Kraken expansion draft: Here's who could be going to NHL's 32nd team

Seattle Kraken general manager Ron Francis has some interesting choices as he puts together the NHL's 32nd franchise.

The NHL released the full list of available players for Wednesday's expansion draft and one of the key players was Stanley Cup finalist goalie Carey Price. He played junior hockey in Washington state, though he comes at a hefty cap hit of $10.5 million.

Francis must take one player from every team except the exempt Vegas Golden Knights and must take a minimum of 14 forwards, nine defensemen and three goaltenders.

The Kraken have an exclusive negotiating window with free agents and any signed player would count as their pick from that team. Francis could also work out side deals with teams to make sure he doesn't take certain players.

USA TODAY staffers make their picks (thanks to CapFriendly for the computations):

Mike Brehm

Forwards (17): James van Riemsdyk (Flyers), Yanni Gourde (Lightning), Jordan Eberle (Islanders), Calle Jarnkrok (Predators), Evgenii Dadonov (Senators), Jonathan Drouin (Canadiens), Christian Fischer (Coyotes), J.T. Compher (Avalanche), Brandon Tanev (Penguins), Mason Appleton (Jets), Dylan Gambrell (Sharks), Dominik Kahun (Oilers), Jared McCann (Maple Leafs), Blake Comeau (Stars), Nathan Bastian (Devils), Colin Blackwell (Rangers), Kole Lind (Canucks)

Defensemen (10): Mark Giordano (Flames), Connor Clifton (Bruins), Vince Dunn (Blues), Haydn Fleury (Ducks), Brenden Dillon (Capitals), Jake Bean (Hurricanes), Colin Miller (Sabres), Troy Stecher (Red Wings), Kale Clague (Kings), Scott Harrington (Blue Jackets).

Goaltenders (3): Chris Driedger (Panthers), Kaapo Kahkonen (Wild), Malcolm Subban (Blackhawks)

Projected cap hit: $67,439,999 (24 players under contract)

Analysis: This team has strong offensive potential and a good mix on defense. Giordano, a recent Norris Trophy winner, could end up as the Kraken's first captain. Driedger would be the No. 1 goalie in this mix, but Kahkonen has shown he can carry the load in case of an injury.

Jimmy Hascup

Forwards (17): Jordan Eberle (Islanders), Jonathan Drouin (Canadiens), Max Domi (Blue Jackets), Evgenii Dadonov (Senators), Joonas Donskoi (Avalanche), Jared McCann (Maple Leafs), Calle Jarnkrok (Predators), Vladislav Namestnikov (Red Wings), Christian Fischer (Coyotes), Mason Appleton (Jets), Matt Nieto (Sharks), Julien Gauthier (Rangers), Mathieu Joseph (Lightning), Ondrej Kase (Bruins), Tobias Rieder (Sabres), Andreas Athanasiou (Kings), Evan Rodrigues (Penguins)

Defensemen (10): Mark Giordano (Flames), Nick Jensen (Capitals), Robert Hagg (Flyers), Andrej Sekera (Stars), Haydn Fleury (Ducks), Madison Bowey (Canucks), Dougie Hamilton (Hurricanes), Tyson Barrie (Oilers), Ryan Murray (Devils), Vince Dunn (Blues)

Goaltenders (3): Kaapo Kahkonen (Wild), Malcolm Subban (Blackhawks), Chris Driedger (Panthers)

Projected cap hit: $52,352,500 (21 players under contract)

Analysis: “The one thing we think is extremely, extremely important in this environment is cap space,” Francis told reporters. Seattle has taken it to the extreme in this draft, with almost $30 million of cap space. It does have several key players to sign, including Dougie Hamilton and Tyson Barrie. Speaking of the defense, that's where this team's strength lies. The Kraken have invested in some offensive upside, speed, defense ... and will be taking a huge gamble in net.

Alyssa Hertel

Forwards (17): Gabriel Landeskog (Avalanche), James van Riemsdyk (Flyers), Jason Zucker (Penguins), Jonathan Drouin (Canadiens), Yanni Gourde (Lightning), Chris Tierney (Senators), Alexander Kerfoot (Maple Leafs), Tyler Pitlick (Coyotes), Dylan Gambrell (Sharks), Blake Comeau (Stars), Mason Appleton (Jets), Julien Gauthier (Rangers), Yakov Trenin (Predators), Kieffer Bellows (Islanders), Zemgus Girgensons (Sabres), Tyler Benson (Oilers), Nick Merkley (Devils)

Defensemen (10): Mark Giordano (Flames), Carson Soucy (Wild), Troy Stecher (Red Wings), Dean Kukan (Blue Jackets), Nikita Zadorov (Blackhawks), Haydn Fleury (Ducks), Jeremy Lauzon (Bruins), Kale Clague (Kings), Jake Bean (Hurricanes), Vince Dunn (Blues)

Goalies (3): Braden Holtby (Canucks), Vitek Vanecek (Capitals), Chris Driedger (Panthers)

Projected cap hit: $58,633,333 (21 players under contract)

Analysis: This group has a lot of room for growth, with a mix of veteran players and younger options just finding their stride. By not taking Price, the Kraken have the flexibility to afford Landeskog, an unrestricted free agent whose skill and leadership will be valuable. Some teams like the Sharks and Ducks are a toss-up, but Gambrell has roots in the area and Fleury is a former Francis draft pick.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: NHL expansion draft: Which players could be going to Seattle Kraken