The Seattle Kraken will play their first NHL preseason game Sept. 26 against the Vancouver Canucks.
The game will take place at Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena in Washington, home of the Spokane Chiefs of the Western Hockey League. Seattle will play two other preseason home games at WHL arenas.
“These games represent the opportunity to see our roster come together for the first time outside of training camp,” Kraken general manager Ron Francis said Friday. “It will be an honor to play them in hockey communities across the state, and I know our players will be excited.”
The Kraken will play six preseason games, two each against the Canucks, Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames. They will host the Oilers at the home of the Everett Silvertips on Oct. 1, and the Flames at the home of the Seattle Thunderbirds on Oct. 2.
Seattle, which officially joined the NHL on April 30 when it made its final expansion payment, is the 32nd team and begins play next season. The Kraken will play their regular-season home games at Climate Pledge Arena. Their first regular-season game has not been announced.
“The arena is on track to host our first regular-season home game in mid-October, but we have made the decision to play our three inaugural preseason games at three outstanding local arenas,” Kraken CEO Tod Leiweke said. “This gives us an opportunity to partner with the WHL teams, celebrate hockey across our region and grow this beautiful game. We couldn’t be more excited for these games and then to open Climate Pledge Arena.”
Seattle will select the majority of its roster from the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft on July 21. It will be under the same rules as the Vegas Golden Knights in 2017. The Kraken will select one player from each NHL team, excluding the Golden Knights, for a total of 30 (14 forwards, nine defensemen and three goalies) not including additional players who may be acquired as the result of violations of the expansion draft rules.
The Kraken must choose a minimum of 20 players under contract for the 2021-22 regular season. Current NHL teams can protect seven forwards, three defensemen and one goalie, or eight skaters (forwards/defensemen) and one goalie.
Seattle also has an exclusive window from July 18-21 to interview and potentially sign pending free agents who were left unprotected in the expansion draft. If the Kraken sign a player in that window, it counts as their pick from that player’s former team.