NHL.com identifies the 10 highest-ranked players in fantasy hockey who are under contract for next season and available to be selected by the Seattle Kraken in the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft presented by Upper Deck on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; ESPN2, SN1, SN NOW). For more fantasy coverage, visit NHL.com/Fantasy and subscribe for free to the NHL Fantasy on Ice podcast.
NOTE: Players available to the Kraken in the Expansion Draft who can become unrestricted (e.g. Alex Ovechkin, Dougie Hamilton, Gabriel Landeskog) or restricted (e.g. Jake Bean, Vince Dunn) free agents July 28 have been excluded from this fantasy top 10 list.
1. Carey Price, G, MTL
NHL.com fantasy rank: 48
He rejoined the top 10 fantasy goalie rankings after leading the Montreal Canadiens to the 2021 Stanley Cup Final, going 13-9 with .924 save percentage and one shutout in 22 games. He won the Vezina Trophy (top goalie) and Hart Trophy (NHL most valuable player) in 2015 and has a .917 career SV%.
2. Ondrej Palat, LW, TBL
NHL.com fantasy rank: 62
He tied his best points-per-game average this season (0.84; 46 points in 55 games) and was one of the most valuable category coverage players with 20 power-play points (NHL career high) and 82 hits playing on the top line for the Tampa Bay Lightning, who have won the Stanley Cup in consecutive seasons.
3. Vladimir Tarasenko, RW, STL
NHL.com fantasy rank: 95
Tarasenko has had multiple shoulder surgeries in recent years but still has had five seasons of at least 33 goals, including an NHL career-high 40 in 2015-16, for the St. Louis Blues. He won the Stanley Cup with St. Louis in 2019, scoring 17 points (11 goals, six assists) in 26 games.
4. Vitek Vanecek, G, WSH
NHL.com fantasy rank: 129
He led NHL rookies with 21 wins in 37 games and had a .908 save percentage (.915 at even strength) and two shutouts for the Washington Capitals this season.
5. Ben Bishop, G, DAL
NHL.com fantasy rank: 151
The Dallas Stars goalie has not played since the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs because of injury but has a .921 career SV%, tied with Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask (potential 2021 UFA available to Kraken in Expansion Draft) for the best among active NHL goalies.
6. Kaapo Kahkonen, G, MIN
NHL.com fantasy rank: 159
He showed No. 1 potential for the Minnesota Wild this season, starting 12-4-0 with a .927 save percentage and two shutouts, but finished 16-8-0 with a .902 SV% as the clear backup behind veteran Cam Talbot.
7. Alex Killorn, LW/RW, TBL
NHL.com fantasy rank: 166
He was among the biggest fantasy risers from this postseason after scoring 17 points (eight goals, nine assists), fifth on the Lightning, in 19 games. Killorn’s best season came in 2019-20, when he had an NHL career-high 49 points (26 goals, 23 assists) and 13 power-play points in only 68 games.
8. Yanni Gourde, C/LW/RW, TBL
NHL.com fantasy rank: 194
Gourde has played mostly on the Lightning’s third line in recent years but is a versatile forward who scored an NHL career-high 64 points (25 goals, 39 assists) in 2017-18 and is usually a viable fantasy streaming option in standard leagues.
9. Frank Vatrano, LW/RW, FLA
NHL.com fantasy rank: 216
Despite playing mostly in a third-line role with the Florida Panthers this season, Vatrano had his highest goals-per-game average (0.32) and provided strong category coverage (18 goals, 158 shots on goal, plus-8, 69 hits in 56 games).
10. Jordan Eberle, RW, NYI
NHL.com fantasy rank: 223
He has combined to score 73 points (32 goals, 41 assists) in 113 games over the past two seasons, fourth on the Islanders in the span, playing mostly on the top line with valuable center Mathew Barzal. Eberle has had three seasons of at least 63 points in his NHL career, including a career-high 76 in 2011-12.
Other fantasy-relevant players under contract for next season and available to be selected by the Kraken in the NHL Expansion Draft: Justin Schultz, D, WSH; Alexander Kerfoot, C/LW, TOR; Josh Bailey, LW/RW, NYI, Nick Ritchie, LW/RW, BOS; Mark Giordano, D, CGY
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