Kraken Take Bastian from Devils’ Roster

The results are in and the Seattle Kraken have taken their first players before they ice a team this October. From the Devils’ roster, the Kraken took forward Nate Bastian.

The pick was leaked prior to the Expansion Draft (along with all of Seattle’s 29 other picks – the Vegas Golden Knights were exempt from the Expansion Draft). The Bastian pick, in particular, was reported by Chris Johnston of Hockey Night in Canada and I first read it on the New York Post’s site (the list was compiled by David Lazar there).

The Kraken, of course, get a solid bottom-six forward with the Bastian pick. They also get someone on a reasonable contract (an average annual value of $1,650,000 and a cap hit of $1,650,000 as well. He is owed $825,000 net season. He will become an unrestricted free agent next summer. (His salary information comes from capfriendly.com).

Bastian was a second-round draft pick by the Devils in 2016 (41st 0verall). Last year, he appeared in 41 games for the Devils, notching three goals and seven assists for a total of 10 points. He also racked up 21 penalty minutes and 46 shots on net. He averaged 12:37 of time on ice (just on his career average of 12:38) and posted a 36.4 faceoff winning percentage.

Of course, with this pick, the team of Nate Bastian and Michael McLeod (who skated on the same line this past year) are split up for the first time since sometime prior to juniors. The two of them played in the Ontario Hockey League for the Mississauga Steelheads together.

Seattle also took Haydn Fleury (defenseman from the Anaheim Ducks), forward Tyler Pitlick (Arizona Coyotes), defenseman Jeremy Lauzon (Boston Bruins), Will Borgen (defenseman from the Buffalo Sabres), defenseman Mark Giordano (Calgary Flames), forward Morgan Geekie (Carolina Hurricanes), former Devils draft pick forward John Quenneville (Chicago Blackhawks), forward Joonas Donskoi (Colorado Avalanche), defenseman Gavin Bayreuther (Columbus Blue Jackets), Jamie Oleksiak (defenseman from the Dallas Stars), Dennis Cholowski (Detroit Red Wings), former Devils’ defenseman Adam Larsson (selected from the Edmonton Oilers), goalie Chris Driedger (Florida Panthers – was on the show live and debuted Seattle’s home dark jersey), defenseman Kurtis MacDermid (LA Kings), defenseman Carson Soucy (Minnesota Wild), defenseman Cale Fleury (Montreal Canadiens – brother of Anaheim’s Haydn – also selected by the Kraken), forward Calle Jarnkrok (Nashville Predators), forward Jordan Eberle (New York Islanders – debuted the Kraken’s white away jersey), forward Colin Blackwell of the New York Rangers, goalie Joey Daccord of the Ottawa Senators, forward Carsen Twarynski (Philadelphia Flyers), forward Brandon Tanev (Pittsburgh Penguins), forward Alexander True of the San Jose Sharks, defenseman Vince Dunn of the St. Louis Blues, forward Yanni Gourde of the Tampa Bay Lightning, forward Jared McCann (Toronto Maple Leafs), forward Kole Lind (Vancouver Canucks), goalie VItek Vanecek (Washington Capitals) and forward Mason Appleton (Winnipeg Jets).

Of course, not all of these players will suit up for the Seattle Kraken. There will be trades, there will be players to stock their AHL team in Palm Springs, California, there will be free agent signings and there will be the Entry Draft on Friday night. Should the Devils make any deals with Seattle, we will keep you up to date right here. We will also see you Friday for the first-round of the 2021 NHL Entry Draft.

Devils Re-Up Nate Bastian

Nathan Bastian has been re-signed by the Devils to a two-year contract worth $1,650,000 ($775,000 in 2021-22 and $875,000 in 2022-23) according to Amanda Stein. He was to be a restricted free agent this summer.

The 23-year-old forward comes off of his best year at the NHL level, playing in 41 games and notching three goals and seven assists (ten points) according to Stein.

He was also a known physical commodity. Stein said that he had 136 hits to lead the team in that category this season. That made him two off the pace in hits to lead NHL rookies. He finished second behind the Montreal Canadiens’ Alexander Romanov, who had 138 in 12 more games played than Bastian.

He was drafted by the Devils 41st overall in the second round of the 2016 Draft.

Bastian told Stein during the May exit interviews: “Most nights we were playing against the top lines,” in reference to he, Miles Wood and Michael McLeod. “At the end of games, if we’re up, defending a 6-on-5, our line is probably out there. Earning that respect from your coach is everything. I started to feel as the year went on gaining the respect of your teammates and the respect of your coach. You wake up one day and feel like an NHLer. I think if you told me coming into the year, I’d be a regular, I’d say that’s a success for me.”

Stein mentioned the faith that Devils coach Lindy Ruff placed in Bastian, noting that “Ruff could rely on [Bastian] during the penalty kill and defending a lead in the final minutes of a game.”

As Bastian told Sam Kasan for a feature on the fourth line (or BMW Line as they are known) on the Devils’ website, “[a]s the year went on, we got more and more comfortable. Later in the year we learned to play 16, 17 minutes a night. At the start of the year I was getting nine, 10, 11 minutes. Which is fine. I think we became more responsible and I think we handled it pretty well.”