Winnipeg Jets: Could Niku be an Option in Seattle’s Expansion Draft?

Winnipeg Jets, Sami Niku (8); Montreal Canadiens, Paul Byron (41). Mandatory Credit: Terrence Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Winnipeg Jets, Sami Niku (8); Montreal Canadiens, Paul Byron (41). Mandatory Credit: Terrence Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

We are only a day away from when the Winnipeg Jets announce their protected list for the Seattle Kraken Expansion Draft and there are constant rumors involving the Jets and potential trades.

But what could happen if Kevin Cheveldayoff and the Jets front office do not decide to pull off a trade in the hopes of protecting players?

Instead of going after one of the top unprotected Jets’ players, Seattle may select a player who is a low-risk pick and will not have any substantial impact on their salary cap.

Sami Niku of the Winnipeg Jets could be the perfect fit for the Seattle Kraken in their draft

One of the main reasons why Sami Niku could be of interest to the Kraken is his current contract situation. Niku is going into the second and final year of his contract that carries an average annual value of $725,000.

This means that he is low-risk for Seattle. It would be a huge plus for the Kraken if Niku could make the team and have an impact at the NHL level, but if Niku fails to have an impact then it does not hurt Seattle as he has little to no effect on their salary cap.

The twenty-four-year-old has only played in 54 games in the NHL with the Winnipeg Jets over the past four seasons. He has shown with the Manitoba Moose in the AHL that he can score a solid amount of points, but each time he was given a chance to solidify his spot in the Jets’ lineup he has failed to become a mainstay.

Niku does have the potential to be an NHL defenseman but has yet to show his worth on a consistent basis with the Jets. Niku’s potential along with his low-value contract may make him the ideal candidate to be selected by Seattle in the expansion draft.

We will know exactly who will be available in the expansion draft tomorrow (July 17) as all franchises around the NHL have to submit their protected list by 4:00 p.m. central time. The expansion draft will then take place on Wednesday, July 21 at 7:00 p.m. CST.

Winnipeg Jets Fans: Do you think the Kraken will select Sami Niku from the Winnipeg Jets? Leave your comments below!

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