Jared McCann, we hardly knew ye.
According to DailyFaceoff.com’s Frank Seravalli, the Toronto Maple Leafs will lose newly acquired forward Jared McCann to the Seattle Kraken when the expansion club reveals their selections in the Expansion Draft set for Wednesday Night.
The Leafs acquired McCann from the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for prospect forward Filip Hallander and a seventh-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft on Thursday, just minutes before rosters went into a freeze ahead of the Expansion Draft.
The Leafs elected to protected four defensemen, four forwards and one goaltender in an effort to secure defenseman Justin Holl, who would have been exposed had the team elected to protect more players by going the route of seven forwards, three defensemen and one goaltender that many other clubs chose.
The 25-year-old McCann has one year remaining on a two-year contract that carries an average annual value of $2.94 million. He will be a restricted free agent at the end of the 2021-22 season, ensuring the Kraken can retain control of his rights.
McCann scored 14 goals and added 18 assists in 43 games with the Penguins last season.
The selection of McCann means forward Alex Kerfoot will remain with the club. He had been linked as a prime candidate for selection by the Kraken and perhaps that would have been the case had the Leafs not acquired McCann at the eleventh hour.
Without giving up a player on their active roster, Toronto managed to keep their roster largely unaffected after the Expansion Draft by being defensive in acquiring McCann on Thursday.
McCann’s $2.94 million salary cap hit for next season will immediately come of Toronto’s books. The Maple Leafs now have 17 players on their roster accounting for a cap hit of approximately $72.145 million, according to PuckPedia.com. That leaves them with roughly $9.355 million in cap space to fill their roster.
They still need to account for another goaltender to play with Jack Campbell. Forward Zach Hyman appears set to test the waters in free agency and another winger will likely be a target. The Leafs will also look to add some depth on defense.