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Seattle selects Joonas Donskoi in NHL Expansion Draft

The Colorado Avalanche forward relieves $3.9 million from the salary cap over the next two seasons.

SEATTLE — It was a risk that paid off.

Colorado Avalanche General Manager Joe Sakic all but dangled his captain in front of the Seattle Kraken as bait before the Wednesday expansion draft deadline, but the new team didn't bite.

The Kraken brass instead chose forward Joonas Donskoi, a sixth-year player finishing his second year in Colorado.

Donskoi showed off with a career-high 19 points this season and a 19.8 shooting percentage through 51 games. The winger moved up and down the lines -- playing on all four throughout the season -- but finding a home on the top power play unit by the playoffs.

RELATED: Avalanche release protected player list for Expansion Draft

Credit: AP
Colorado Avalanche right wing Joonas Donskoi reacts after scoring a goal against the Arizona Coyotes in the first period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, march 31, 2021, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

But the move also took $3.9 million off of the Avalanche salary cap over the next two seasons, opening up more than $30 million.

It also leaves an even bigger question mark surrounding Colorado's captain.

 The Avalanche reserves the negotiating rights for the next week before he hits the open market as an unrestricted free agent on July 28. At that point, any team, including Seattle, could potentially sign him for less than the $5.6 million cap hit. With some more wiggle-room in the budget, and less desire from the top-spending Kraken, a new deal with Landeskog could be on the horizon.

RELATED: Avs sign goaltender Jonas Johansson to 1-year contract

Colorado also will be looking to negotiate new deals with goaltender Philipp Grubauer ($3.3 million), forward Brandon Saad ($5 million), as well as hand out some raises to young players Cale Makar ($880,833) and Tyson Jost ($874,125).

RELATED: Avalanche season ends after 4-straight losses


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