A former Tri-City American is joining the NHL's latest expansion franchise.

Hockey fans in the Pacific Northwest are eagerly awaiting the on-ice debut of the Seattle Kraken, but to say their offseason has been boring would be a bald-faced lie. One of the most exciting parts of welcoming an expansion team to the NHL is the expansion draft. Since the Kraken don't have a roster to begin the offseason with, they have to draft from the existing clubs. This creates a lot of anxiety for fans of other teams as they know they'll lose a player, but they don't know who. The only team exempt from this process is the Vegas Golden Knights, who joined the league in 2018 and took their team of expansion draftees to the Stanley Cup Final.

The process of protecting players.

Even though they can't keep all of their players, NHL teams give the league "protected lists." The name is pretty straightforward; players that are protected are off-limits to the expansion team but they may leave big-name players available. The Montreal Canadiens left former Tri-City American goalie Carey Price unprotected. Many assume the Kraken would be scared of his hefty contract.

So, who's coming "home?"

The Seattle Kraken are required to choose one player from each team (except for Vegas) to assemble their roster. One player from the Carolina Hurricanes is a familiar face to hockey fans in Washington. Morgan Geekie scored 202 points over 216 games with the Tri-City Americans, most of those coming between 2016-2018. He was drafted by Carolina in 2017 by Seattle's new GM during his time with the Hurricanes. Allegedly, the Kraken were picking between two former Americans players on the Carolina roster. Jake Bean, a first-round pick in 2016, was a late-season acquisition by the Americans via trade during the 2017-2018 season. The Kraken appear to be strong at the defensive position, so they may have picked Geekie over Bean because of his scoring ability.

The Seattle Kraken will look to beef up their organization's roster in the Entry Level Draft and free agency in the coming months.

Morgan Geekie and the Other Tri-City Americans Who Played in the NHL

Hockey is one of the hardest sports to play. Most hockey players will play the sport their entire lives, starting to skate as soon as they can walk. Even with all that dedication, the likelihood a player cracks an NHL roster is astronomically low. The WHL is a high-tier developmental league that sees many of its players make it to the show. But for a player who makes it to the WHL or any other junior league, the chances of them reaching the NHL is still only 5%. These former Tri-City Americans are those elite few who have made the jump.

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