The Seattle Kraken selected New York Islanders right-winger Jordan Eberle at the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft Wednesday night, as general manager Ron Francis announced.
Eberle’s departure opens up further cap space for the Islanders as his $5.5 million AAV comes off the books, raising New York’s cap space to approximately $23 million. That number was as low as $5 million just last week a dire number for a team that needs to give new contracts to Casey Cizikas, Adam Pelech, Anthony Beauvillier, Ilya Sorokin, and potentially Kyle Palmieri. But team president and general manager Lou Lamoriello was able to trade the sizable contracts of Nick Leddy and Andrew Ladd before the Expansion Draft.
There had been some uncertainty whether or not the Kraken was going to take Eberle, who scored 76 goals with 93 assists in four seasons with the Islanders after he was acquired from the Edmonton Oilers ahead of the 2017-18 season. New York also exposed 13-year veteran and alternate captain, Josh Bailey, and his $5 million AAV contract — which would have been a shrewd ending to one of the most storied Islanders careers of the last 30 years.
At the time of this article’s publishing, it was unknown if the Islanders were sending a draft pick or more to the Kraken in order for the expansion side to take on all of Eberle’s contract.
With the Islanders, Eberle will best be remembered for his monster first-round playoff series in 2019 against the Pittsburgh Penguins in which he scored four goals in a four-game sweep. He also scored a memorable double-overtime game-winner in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference semifinal against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Edmonton bubble last year.