Adam Larsson and Chris Driedger are going to the Seattle Kraken in the expansion draft.
One person with knowledge of Larsson’s deal said the defenceman has agreed to terms with Seattle on a $16-million, four-year contract. Another person with knowledge of Driedger’s deal said the goaltender has agreed to a $10.5-million, three-year contract.
The people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Wednesday morning because the team was not announcing any moves until the expansion draft Wednesday night.
Larsson, a 28-year-old from Sweden, was a pending free agent the Edmonton Oilers were interested in re-signing but still left unprotected after trading for Duncan Keith.
“He is obviously an unrestricted free agent,” Oilers general manager Ken Holland said recently, “and Adam has to make a decision as to what he feels is best for himself and his career.”
Larsson, a veteran of 603 NHL regular-season and 24 playoff games, can now be a top-four option on the right side of the Kraken blue line in their inaugural season. The player he was famously traded to Edmonton from New Jersey for in 2016, winger Taylor Hall, was also left unprotected by Boston but has expressed a desire to remain with the Bruins.
The Florida Panthers expected to lose Driedger, either to Seattle or in free agency. They have two-time Vezina Trophy winner Sergei Bobrovsky signed long term and have top prospect Spencer Knight ready to step in.
Driedger, 27, found his form the past two seasons with Florida. He went 21-8-4 with a 2.07 goals-against average and .931 save percentage.
The Kraken have also been linked to Dallas Stars defenceman Jamie Oleksiak, another pending free agent.
Their 30 expansion draft picks were due at 10 a.m. EDT. They will be revealed beginning at 8 p.m. EDT.
The biggest question was whether Seattle would opt to select Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price, who was stellar on a run to the Stanley Cup Final but has a questionable injury status. Montreal surprisingly exposed Price to protect backup Jake Allen, and the 34-year-old’s hefty contract and potential knee surgery clouded the situation.