PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Many were hoping the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft could be an outlet for the Philadelphia Flyers to clear some much-needed cap space. It turns out, the Seattle Kraken had other plans.
The Kraken selected left winger Carsen Twarynski from the Flyers on Wednesday night.
"Ron [Francis] and his group in Seattle have put a lot of time and effort into their preparation and with Carsen, they have added a good, young piece to their team," Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher said. "Carsen is a hard-working player who has grown considerably in his four seasons since he was drafted in our organization. We wish nothing but the best for him in Seattle."
Twarynski, 23, was a third-round pick by the Flyers in 2016. He's currently a restricted free agent, meaning Seattle will have to sign him but own his rights.
Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol was in Philadelphia when the Flyers drafted him out of the WHL.
In 2019-20, Twarynski made the Flyers out of training camp and began the season with the team. He ended up playing just 15 games, scoring one goal. Last season, he appeared in just seven games.
The Flyers exposed several big names with big contracts, including forwards Jakub Voracek and James van Riemsdyk and defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere.
Voracek has three seasons left with an $8.25 million cap hit, van Riemsdyk has two more seasons left on his deal, carrying a $7 million cap hit and Gostisbehere carries a $4.5 million cap hit for two more seasons.
With Seattle selecting Twarynski, the Flyers will have to find cap space elsewhere.
According to CapFriendly, the Flyers have just over $9.3 million in cap space after acquiring defenseman Ryan Ellis in a three-team trade Saturday, and the team is not yet done in their offseason reconstruction.
"We're certainly going to continue to look at every avenue to get better. We weren't good enough last year. Ryan Ellis is an upgrade. He's a step in the right direction. We're not going to get complacent. We'll do what we can to upgrade in the areas we can," Fletcher said on a video conference call with reporters Saturday. "The primary focus certainly going into next year will be on reducing our goals against. As I mentioned the last time we all got together, part of that will be certainly looking to the outside to acquire additional help, whether that's goaltending, defenseman, or forwards. Wherever we can upgrade, we will."
"We also have to have a pretty big focus once we get back as a team on playing the right way and having a great training camp, making use of all the practice time we have," Fletcher added. "We need a lot of our returning players to be better, quite frankly. It's a little bit of looking to the outside. Maybe even more importantly, having a renewed focus on playing the right way, so we can be more successful."
Ellis, who will be the first Flyer ever to wear No. 94, is expected to anchor the Flyers' top defensive pair.
The NHL trade freeze expires at 1 p.m. Thursday. On Friday night, the NHL Draft begins, and on July 28, unrestricted free agency begins.
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