Report: Kraken expected to select, sign Panthers' Driedger
The Seattle Kraken are expected to sign Florida Panthers goaltender Chris Driedger to a contract, which will, in turn, make him a selection by the team in the expansion draft, reports TSN's Pierre LeBrun.
Driedger is set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 28, but the Kraken are allowed to negotiate and sign pending unrestricted free agents, per CapFriendly. If a deal is struck, the player becomes Seattle's pick from that respective team.
The 27-year-old emerged as a legitimate starting option with the Panthers over the past two campaigns. He and Sergei Bobrovsky split games nearly evenly last season, but Driedger significantly outplayed his teammate.
Driedger went 14-6-3 with a 2.07 goals-against average and .927 save percentage, and Bobrovsky went 19-8-2 with a 2.91 goals-against average and .906 save percentage. Driedger ranked eighth among all goalies with 11.98 goals saved above average, while Bobrovsky managed -1.92.
However, the Panthers are committed to Bobrovsky through the 2025-26 campaign with a $10-million annual cap hit. The club also has top goalie prospect Spencer Knight, who played four games last season.
Seattle is expected to have a number of talented goalies available in the expansion draft, including Braden Holtby and Ben Bishop.