Every team wants players that are wanted by other teams. If you don't have many players that are wanted by other teams, you're probably not very good.
And based on the players that San Jose has exposed to the Seattle Kraken in the Expansion Draft, the Sharks probably aren't very good right now.
It's not that the players the Sharks did protect weren't the correct choices or aren't worthy of protection. It's that they just don't have very many desirable pieces -- on desirable contracts -- beyond that group.
Technically, the Kraken are required to select one player off of the Sharks' unprotected list, which consists of 15 players. However, as The Athletic's Eric Duhatschek suggested Tuesday, it's quite possible that Seattle could essentially circumvent that and "give the Sharks’ list a complete pass." That could be accomplished by selecting one of the Sharks' unprotected players who is on an expiring contract and is set to be an unrestricted free agent.
That's not exactly a ringing endorsement of the Sharks' roster. Here are the three Sharks' players most likely to be chosen by the Kraken:
1. Martin Jones
HA! Sorry, just felt like a moment of levity was needed. There’s only one way the Sharks are getting out from under that contract, and that’s a buyout.
1. Dylan Gambrell
Of all the players the Sharks left unprotected, Gambrell likely is both the one they’d be most bummed about losing and the one most likely to have a spot on next season’s roster. The Sharks signed Gambrell to a one-year contract last week, which satisfied their requirements for the Expansion Draft. If the Kraken don’t take him, Gambrell – who is a Seattle area native -- likely would be the leading candidate to center San Jose’s fourth line entering training camp. And relatedly, if he is selected by the Kraken, that wouldn’t exactly qualify as a major loss.
2. Marcus Sorensen/Kurtis Gabriel/Maxim Letunov/Patrick Marleau/Greg Pateryn
What do all of these players have in common? They’ll be unrestricted free agents by the end of the month. This is the “giving the Sharks’ list a complete pass” scenario. If any of them are chosen by the Kraken, they assuredly won’t be re-signed. Nor will any of them have a spot on San Jose’s roster next season.
3. Ryan Donato
Donato displayed flashes of his talent throughout his lone season with the Sharks, but he isn’t expected to be brought back for a second season under coach Bob Boughner. Donato won’t turn 26 years old until April and can be a middle-six forward in the right situation, so he could be of interest to the Kraken. But, again, if they do take him, the Sharks really wouldn’t be losing anything.