It's officially official: the Seattle Kraken are the NHL's newest franchise. The owners of the team made their final expansion payment to the league and are now the 32nd team. Seattle's ownership group paid a whopping $650 million to join the NHL and will begin play in the 2021-22 season.

"On behalf of the Board of Governors, I am delighted to officially welcome the Seattle Kraken to the NHL as our 32nd Member Club," Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a press release on Friday. "Congratulations to David Bonderman, the Bonderman Family, their partners, the entire Seattle Kraken organization, the city of Seattle and Kraken fans as the Club continues on its exciting journey towards puck drop in October."

The Kraken are now free to sign players and make trades, since they are an official franchise. 

However, Seattle's roster will come into a much clearer focus this summer. On July 17, NHL teams have to submit their lists of players that they will be protecting from the expansion draft. Each NHL team can protect seven forwards, three defensemen and one goalie. The expansion draft will then take place on July 21.

"I would like to thank Gary Bettman and the NHL for welcoming us to the league" Kraken majority owner David Bonderman said in a statement. "... We have an incredible few months ahead of us as we prepare to welcome our inaugural players and finally take to the ice at Climate Pledge Arena."

The Kraken must select a minimum of 20 players under contract for the 2021-22 season.