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Jamie Oleksiak, Seattle Kraken Reportedly Agree to 5-Year, $23M Contract

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJuly 22, 2021

Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images

The Seattle Kraken agreed to a five-year deal with Jamie Oleksiak worth around $4.6 million annually, according to Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman.

TSN's Pierre LeBrun provided an annual breakdown of the contract:

Pierre LeBrun @PierreVLeBrun

Oleksiak contract with Kraken: <br><br>2021-22: $3.5 M<br>2022-23: $4.25 M<br>2023-24: $6 M<br>2024-25: $5.5 M<br>2025-26: $3.75 M<br><br>No Trade Clause (2021-22, 2022-23 and 2023-24); Modified No Trade (2024-25 and 2025-26) – 16 team no trade list

The 28-year-old was an unrestricted free agent after putting up six goals and eight assists in 56 games for the Dallas Stars last season.

The Stars chose not to protect Oleksiak in the expansion draft. ESPN's Greg Wyshynski explained how targeting him served dual purposes for Seattle: 

Greg Wyshynski @wyshynski

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly confirms that any UFA the Kraken sign and then draft – such as Larsson, Driedger or Oleksiak – satisfies that quota as a player under contract for next season that Seattle has drafted. Even though they’re the ones who signed the player.

One benefit of being an expansion team is that there's a lot of money to spend. The Kraken didn't exactly get a bargain with this deal, though it doesn't register as one of the richest for a defenseman.

Jeff Veillette @JeffVeillette

This seems pretty steep. Oleksiak is decent and pretty much exclusively plays toughs and mids, but thats a lot of money and term for a physical 28-year-old in the mid-range. Certainly not what I expected from Seattle on Day 1 <a href="https://t.co/xHxkUi9f59">https://t.co/xHxkUi9f59</a>

Thomas Drance @ThomasDrance

Kraken selected 1 defender short of the maximum. And aside from the contracts they negotiated with Larsson and Oleksiak, only one of the 10 other Dmen drafted by Seattle is signed beyond next season (Carson Soucy).<br><br>Think the Kraken might be open to chopping some blue liners? <a href="https://t.co/XC0ohI0sP0">https://t.co/XC0ohI0sP0</a>

The Vegas Golden Knights reached the Stanley Cup Final in their very first season, so it's possible for a franchise to become a contender right out of the gate. In the case of the Kraken, the front office appears to be content with building more gradually.

For example, Friedman reported the Kraken passed on taking Montreal Canadiens star Carey Price in the expansion draft. Oleksiak is also an exception in that he's a defenseman signed for multiple years in Seattle.

Thomas Drance @ThomasDrance

Kraken selected 1 defender short of the maximum. And aside from the contracts they negotiated with Larsson and Oleksiak, only one of the 10 other Dmen drafted by Seattle is signed beyond next season (Carson Soucy).<br><br>Think the Kraken might be open to chopping some blue liners? <a href="https://t.co/XC0ohI0sP0">https://t.co/XC0ohI0sP0</a>

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Targeting Oleksiak is in keeping with some of the Kraken's other big moves ahead of the 2021-22 campaign. Wyshynski reported they agreed to a four-year, $16 million contract with defenseman Adam Larsson and have a three-year, $10.5 million pact with goaltender Chris Driedger.

Strengthening the defense was obviously a priority for general manager Ron Francis.

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