For all the hockey fans out there it can’t be news that the NHL will once again open the door for an expansion team. This time it’s time for Seattle Kraken to enter the bright lights of the NHL, and the hype around the team is quickly building! The newcomers have just picked their players through the expansion draft, and we can now start analysing how well they will do in their first NHL season. This also comes along with great betting opportunities, and we have had a look at everything available at the bookmakers. How many points will Seattle Kraken win during the 2021/22 season, and will they reach the playoffs? We give our thoughts on the odds line, and give our betting tips further down.
Quick Information - Seattle Kraken
- General Manager: Ron Francis
- Head Coach: Dave Hakstol
- Assistant: Jay Leach
- Assistant: Paul Mcfarland
- Division: Pacific
- Conference: Western
Odds to reach the playoffs: Yes: 1.85 - No: 1.95. Odds offered by Unibet. on the 1st of September.
It’s not only the player squad of Seattle Kraken that has been settled, but so has the question of who will lead the team. The pick landed on Dave Hakstol after a long period of speculation. For most it was a big surprise as more experienced and well-known names were being thrown around, but Hakstol is the man to lead the Kraken’s in their first season. Could they repeat the miracle that is the Vegas Golden Knights? It would be a big surprise, but we have already seen how well expansion teams can do, and what kind of depth can be picked up in an expansion draft before.
After presenting the team Seattle Kraken will work with during the NHL 2021/22 season, we will move on to discuss the betting opportunities offered by the bookmakers. Both the odds for Seattle Kraken to succeed (or not) in their first year, but also where to find the best NHL outright bets for other markets such as winner of the regular season, player awards and much more!
Seattle Kraken - Roster for NHL 2021/2022
Seattle Kraken entered the expansion draft on the 21st of July, and these are the players selected by them:
- Chris Driedger (Florida)
- Joey Daccord (Ottawa)
- Vitek Vanecek (Washington)
- Adam Larsson (Edmonton)
- Cale Fleury (Montreal)
- Carson Soucy (Minnesota)
- Dennis Cholowski (Detroit)
- Gavin Bayreuther (Columbus)
- Haydn Fleury (Anaheim)
- Jamie Oleksiak (Dallas)
- Jeremy Lauzon (Boston)
- Kurtis MacDermid (Los Angeles)
- Mark Giordano (Calgary)
- Vince Dunn (St. Louis)
- Will Borgen (Buffalo)
- Alexander True (San Jose)
- Brandon Tanev (Pittsburgh)
- Calle Järnkrok (Nashville)
- Carsen Twarynski (Philadelphia)
- Colin Blackwell (Rangers)
- Jared McCann (Toronto)
- John Quenneville (Chicago)
- Joonas Donskoi (Colorado)
- Jordan Eberle (Islanders)
- Kole Lind (Vancouver)
- Mason Appleton (Winnipeg)
- Morgan Geekie (Carolina)
- Nathan Bastian (New Jersey)
- Yanni Gourde (Tampa Bay)
UPDATES since the expansion draft:
- Seattle Kraken selected Matthew Beniers as #2 in the NHL Draft. A hard-working and versatile center who could get a chance to play in the NHL already the upcoming season. Other draft picks will almost certainly not.
- Seattle Kraken have signed Philipp Grubauer (Colorado Avalanche), Jaden Schwartz (St. Louis) and Alexander Wennberg (Florida Panthers).
- Connor Carrick signed a one year contract with Seattle Kraken.
- Will Borgen signed a two year contract with Seattle Kraken.
- Marcus Johansson signed a one year contract with Seattle Kraken.
- Antoine Bibeau signed a one contract with Seattle Kraken.
- Gustav Olofsson signed a one year contract with Seattle Kraken.
- Tyler Pitlick (Arizona) - Has been traded to Calgary for a 4th Round pick in the 2022 Draft.
- Seattle Kraken has traded Vitek Vanecek to Wasington Capitals for a second round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft.
- Kurtis Mcdermid has been traded to Colorado for a 4th Round pick in the 2022 Draft.
The biggest unprotected names of the expansion draft were without a doubt Carey Price and Vladimir Tarasenko, but neither got picked up by Seattle Kraken. While a surprise for some, it was still rather expected due to how big their paychecks are. The biggest names for the new Seattle Kraken team are instead Mark Giordano in the defense, and up front they have Eberle, Donskoi, Tanev and Gourde as some of the most recognizable players.
Overall the Seattle Kraken team has some good depth, while lacking big stars of course. The goaltending trio is young and solid. The fight for the starting position should be between Driedger and Vanecek who both had good seasons for Florida and Washington respectively. It would be no massive surprise to see one of these two bloom out to become a top goalie in the league in a few seasons, and Seattle has a great place to start building from.
It’s important to note that Seattle Kraken strategically chose low cost players in their expansion draft and skipped a few star level players. We can expect more moves to happen before the season starts, and we will report any changes leading up to the first puck being dropped. From a betting perspective every addition and trade will have a huge impact, and with a lot of cap space it seems obvious that changes WILL happen.
How the expansion draft worked Seattle Kraken - In Short
The expansion draft for Seattle Kraken worked in a similar fashion to that of Vegas Golden Knights in 2017. Besides from the one note that they could not pick any player from the Golden Knights. In short this is how the expansion draft on the 21st of July was set up:
- Seattle Kraken could pick one player from each team in the NHL (besides Golden Knights)
- The 30 teams could protect 7 forwards, 3 defensemen and one goalie, or eight skaters and one goalie.
- Players that could not be picked by Seattle Kraken: first- and second-year players + unsigned draft picks.
- Seattle Kraken had to pick a minimum of 14 forwards, 9 defensemen and 3 goalies.
- At least 20 of the selected players had to be under contract for the 2021/22 season.
Betting on Seattle Kraken’s First Year in the NHL
Just like for other teams in the NHL, you can bet on how Seattle Kraken will perform in the NHL season 2021/22. There is however some extra interest for the Kraken’s in the first year in the league, and therefore markets such as over/under points or making the playoffs are more common than for other teams. Down below we will present the odds offered at Unibet and William Hill for odds markets specifically for Seattle Kraken.
Winner of the Stanley Cup:
Total Points in the Regular Season:
Reaching the Playoffs:
Our Betting Tip: While we would advocate to have some ice in your veins, as we expect Seattle Kraken to make several moves leading up to the NHL start later this year, we can start making some assumptions. We have already seen the odds move against Seattle Kraken directly after the expansion draft, for example moving the “Yes” on making the playoffs from 1.80 to 2.15. The former odds line felt a bit too weak for our taste, but when the odds have moved up significantly we think it’s time to make a move.
Seattle Kraken with their roster right now might certainly struggle to reach the playoffs, but moves are 100% being made before the season begins. If you want to make a gamble on whether they will strengthen the roster, then a bet on 2.15 might be a good choice without a doubt. There is still cap space, and it’s likely Seattle will strengthen their lineup in the coming months. The odds movement for Seattle since the expansion draft has us interested enough in taking the “other side”. Over double money for a playoff spot in their debut year is taken! More updates will follow as things progress.
September 1st Update: The odds movement have shortened the odds all the way down to 1.75 for a playoff spot, and we are happy about out initial pickup at 2.15 odds. New player signings have made it more likely Seattle Kraken will make the playoffs, and the odds line for the moment seem good. If you managed to snatch up over double the money you got a good deal though!
October 4th Update: The odds have most likely settled for what we can expect until the first puck drops. At a very even price for Seattle Kraken to reach the playoff we sit happily with our 2.15 pickup early on. The Krakens will without a doubt have to play really hard to make it, but our belief is that the chances are better than a 50/50 and that our betting tip has provided value.
The History of Expansion Teams in the NHL
The NHL has been expanding consistently since the start in 1917, and we will take a look at how the league has grown in the past 30 years.
- 1991: San Jose Sharks joined the NHL.
- 1992: Ottawa Senators and Tampa Bay Lightning joined the NHL.
- 1993: Florida Panthers and Mighty Ducks of Anaheim joined the NHL.
- 1998: Nashville Predators joined the NHL.
- 1999: Atlanta Thrashers joined the NHL.
- 2000: Columbus Blue Jackets and Minnesota Wild joined the NHL.
- 2016: Vegas Golden Knights joined the NHL.
- 2021: Seattle Kraken joined the NHL.
After a long pause of no expansion teams from 2000 to 2016 we will now see Vegas Golden Knights become the second youngest team in the league after a rather short period. There are also plans for coming years to expand further, but for now there is nothing confirmed.
The question we ask ourselves from a betting standpoint is of course how well expansion teams do in their first season in the NHL, as that is the betting markets we have to work with. The truth is that expansion teams have been doing very poorly historically, and Vegas Golden Knights was in fact the first team ever to win more than 50% of their games.
So, what is the reason for the poor results overall? There’s actually a simple answer - the salary cap, and more importantly the floor. In the past first-year expansion teams ended up with teams consisting of lesser known players, and at times players who hadn’t even played in the NHL at all. It’s also important to note that teams in the past were able to protect far more players than they are today.
Today reality is far different and expansion teams are able to draft high-end players from the get-to, which can of course be seen with the success of Vegas Golden Knights, but also by the strength of the team Seattle Kraken has to work with. Does it mean instant success? Of course not, but the chances are much greater today than in the early 2000:s or any time before as well.
Notable Success for Expansion Teams in the NHL
Vegas Golden Knights (2017-18): Everybody should still remember the Cinderella story of the Golden Knights in the first expansion-year. After a regular season where the team was at the top of the league for a long stretch they ended third in the Western Conference and won the Pacific Division. 51-7-24 was a score that far outperformed any other expansion team in history, and in the playoffs the team reached all the way to the final. While the Golden Knights lost the final 1-4 against Washington Capitals their first year was a massive success, and they have since then reached the playoffs every year, always belonging to the favourites to hoist the Stanley Cup. They are still searching for the icing on the cake, but all things considered it’s still a success story with no competition in the history of NHL expansion teams.
Florida Panthers (1993-94): If the success of Vegas Golden Knights reaching a Stanley Cup final does not instantly show how big of a miracle it was, then our number two on notable successes will. Florida was a success story as an expansion team, and they missed the playoffs in their first season! They went 33-34-17 and missed the playoff with just one point. The success was just around the corner though, and the team made the Stanley Cup final two seasons later, where they lost against the Colorado Avalanche. Nonetheless, in the mix of expansion teams mostly belonging to the bottom of the league for many years, Florida Panthers sticks out as a team who managed to impress.
That’s it, that’s the list. While we could mention teams who managed to eventually find success, the truth is that first-year expansion teams have struggled immensely in the past. Though, as we mentioned, the expansion draft and opportunities of the past can’t be compared to those of today. Seeing an expansion team reach the playoff in their first season is no longer a miracle, but should instead be considered a likely prospect. Will Seattle Kraken be able to make it to the playoffs, and maybe even more? It’s not unlikely at all, and in fact we believe they will.
NHL Outright Betting
Outright betting on the NHL is most commonly done through placing a bet on which team is going to win the Stanley Cup, the regular season, or conference/division winners. Most reputable bookmakers offer these options, and our favourite options for these purposes are:
All of these bookmakers offer good odds selections and high odds for the NHL and ice hockey betting in general. If you are looking to place an outright bet for the NHL we simply advise you to select the bookie with the highest odds, or the best bonus for you. When it comes to all other aspects of betting these bookmakers are great. Opening an account, depositing, getting assistance and making withdrawals is incredibly easy with all of these choices.
NHL outright betting is however more than just betting teams and their performance. Another betting market that has been increasingly popular is to bet on the individual players awards at the end of the season. The most popular markets are for example the award for best goalkeeper of the regular season (Vezina Trophy), most valuable player (Hart Trophy), best defenseman (Norris Trophy) and so on. As soon as these betting markets release their odds we will recommend the best bookmakers for you. but at the time of writing these odds markets were still not up.
Odds for Seattle Kraken to win the Stanley Cup in the 2021/22 season are already out at most bookmakers however. For example, Unibet offers odds of 56.00 for the Kraken’s to win it all.
Best Bonuses for NHL Betting
Starting with a welcome bonus to bet on NHL or ice hockey just in general is of course a great way to get started. Most bookmakers offer a welcome bonus as soon as you have opened an account with them and made your first deposit. However, we do want to say that some bookmakers do not accept a bonus to be wagered through outright bets, so make sure to read the rules for each bonus before placing an outright bet. We have a long list of great bookmakers to choose from, and what bonus suits your needs is up to you. Simply head over to our Bonus Section to find what can give you the most bang for your buck!
There are also a whole lot of promotions, special offers and more you can utilize when you are going to start betting on the NHL. You can find all the best promotions for ice hockey and the NHL in our Special Offers section. Moreover, you will be able to find our honest and reliable bookmaker reviews under the same section. These will help you determine which operator(s) would suit your betting needs the best.
Also, if you are new to ice hockey betting, and especially the NHL, then we highly recommend reading our Full Ice Hockey Betting Guide! We hope this article about outright betting on the NHL, and Seattle Kraken in particular, has been helpful, and if you decide to place a bet on the latest expansion team - best of luck!
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