Its about to finally get real for fans of the National Hockey Leagues newest franchise -- the Seattle Kraken.

The club has released a hype/sizzle reel when they unveiled the logo, they have a newly refurbished home in Climate Pledge Arena (formerly Key Arena), they have named a head coach as well as assistant coaches, and a TV and radio broadcast team. Even a minor league partnership has already been put into place and they have a former NHL Hall of Fame Player in Ron Francis leading them into their inaugural season as the club's first-ever general manager.

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Now, all they need are some actual hockey players to put on the foil, pull that beautiful sweater on and prepare to follow in the footsteps of the Las Vegas Golden Knights in an effort to replicate VGK's wild expansion season success when they advanced all the way to the final round of the playoffs to win Lord Stanley's cup!

The first step in making a team complete with actual players begins tomorrow with the NHL's expansion draft.

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Here are 5 other important dates to circle for the inaugural season of the Seattle Kraken:

Expansion Draft - Wednesday, July 21

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Seattle will get to pluck one unprotected player from a list submitted by each NHL team to build their roster. Once a team has had a player selected, the Kraken cannot choose another from their list. The Kraken will start choosing in alphabetical order based on the current clubs mascot meaning that the Colorado Avalanche will be the first team to get sniped. The draft will be broadcast live on television on ESPN2. Most of the internet scuttlebutt thus far has been as to whether or not the Kraken will select Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (pictured) who performed magnificently in this past season's NHL playoffs but was left unprotected by the Habs.

Note: Local brewpub, 5th Line Brewing, will be hosting a draft viewing party on Wednesday afternoon at 5:30 p.m. according to a post on their official Facebook page.

Here is a handy blank list to follow along as the picks are made:

Click HERE for the full list of protected and available players.

Sports stars and legends from Seattle are expected to be a big part of the draft. Super Sonics legends Shawn Kemp, Gary Payton, and Lenny Wilkens, Seattle Storm great Sue Bird, Seahawks fan-favorites Marshawn Lynch and Bobby Wagner as well as Mariners Rookie of the Year Kyle Lewis will be on hand.

NHL Amateur Players Draft - Friday & Saturday, July 23-24 The Kraken will continue to add to their roster just two days after the expansion draft (where they are the only team selecting) when they participate in their first regular draft. Seattle has the #2 overall pick which should land them a top college or junior hockey prospect.

Official Kraken sweaters (jerseys) for sale to public - Wednesday, September 15
In this day and age of marketing everything to death to turn a buck, it has been hard to believe that the authentic Kraken sweaters have not been for sale as of yet. The final design will be unveiled during the expansion draft and will FINALLY go on sale in about two months. I know I haven't been this excited to add some more sports apparel to my wardrobe since the Seattle Sounders rolled out their purple Jimi Hendrix kit (which STILL hasn't shipped yet!)

Exhibition Matches - September 26, October 1 & 2 Before ever hitting their home ice at Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle, the Kraken will face off against some western Canadian clubs at arenas across the Pacific Northwest. Tickets for all three exhibition contests sold out in mere minutes.

Inaugural Game in 2021-22 NHL Season - T.B.D.
The 2021-22 NHL schedule is set to be released this Thursday and telecast on ESPN. The league is reportedly targeting Tuesday, October 12th as the Opening Day for the upcoming season.

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