Hockey

Seattle Kraken Season Preview

Seattle Kraken inaugural season patch
Alika Jenner/Getty Images

The Seattle Kraken will debut this season as the newest NHL franchise. This expansion team will bring hockey back to the city that was home to the Seattle Metropolitans, the first US team to, in 1917, win the Stanley Cup. As a sucker for sports history, this seems very fitting to me.

The city of Seattle is in a frenzy awaiting October 12, when the Kraken head to Vegas to take on the last expansion team, the Golden Knights. Even better will be when they’re finally on home ice at Climate Pledge Arena on October 23. The Krakens’ opponent then will be their closest rival, the Vancouver Canucks.

Seattle Kraken: Lines

There are many question marks when a new team is put together. It will be interesting to see how players from 30 teams can come together in a short amount of time. The majority of the players weren’t even teammates of each other. How they gel together on the ice is key to Seattle’s success.

Projected Lines, Offense

First LineJaden SchwartzAlex WennbergJordan Eberle
Second LineJared McCannCalle JarnkrokJoonas Donskoi
Third LineBranden TanevMorgan GeekieMason Appleton
Fourth LineMarcus JohanssonNathan BastianColin Blackwell

Projected Lines, Defense

First LineMark GiordanoAdam Larsson
Second LineJamie OleksiakVince Dunn
Third LineCarson SoucyHaydn Fleury
GoaltenderPhilipp GrubauerChris Driedger

Seattle Kraken: Offseason Moves

The biggest news of this offseason has been the expansion draft for the Seattle Kraken. Who are teams protecting? Who is unprotected? What trades may happen before the expansion draft? How similar will it be to the Golden Knights’ expansion draft? How big of a cap hit are the Kraken willing to take on their draft day? It was sure fun to finally find out.

Noteworthy Arrivals

Well, everyone is an arrival. However, several of the players stand out as especially interesting.

Philipp Grubauer, a 29-year-old goalie, was the biggest signing of free agency for the Kraken. The Vezina Trophy finalist from last season signed a 6-year contract with Seattle. With the Colorado Avalanche last season, Grubauer was 30-9-1, with a 1.95 goals against average and a .922 save percentage. In 40 games, Grubauer notched seven shutouts.

“We’re not in this to ease our way into this. Although we’re a new team, a new organization, we want to win, we want to make the playoffs, we want to win the Stanley Cup, and it starts game one.”

Philipp Grubauer, Seattle Kraken Goalie

Defenseman Mark Giordano was the gem of the Expansion Draft. The 37-yr-old former Norris Trophy winner has served as the captain of the Calgary Flames since 2013. In 56 games last season, Giordano scored 26 points (9 goals, 17 assists).

Forward Jaden Schwartz was signed to a 5-year contract on July 28. The 29-yr-old had spent his entire career with the St. Louis Blues.

Jordan Eberle, a 31-yr-old forward, was the Kraken pick in the expansion draft from the New York Islanders. Last season, Eberle notched 33 points in 55 regular season games, and 11 points in 19 playoff games.

Another expansion draft grab was forward Yanni Gourde, who won the last two Stanley Cups with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Gourde is recovering from shoulder surgery and is expected to miss at least the first two months of the season.

Seattle Kraken: Needs

Seattle’s biggest need is to have firepower up front. Thy look to have a solid defense, and the goaltending is deep and experienced. They should be able to keep the puck out of the net. However, they do also need to be able to score enough. This is especially true with Gourde out for at least a couple of months of the regular season.

Parting Thoughts

I am very excited to see this team take the ice. It has been fun to watch as the management and coaching team and staff has been chosen carefully and put into place. Much thought and work has gone into completely renovating KeyArena into Climate Pledge Arena. The party atmosphere that incorporated the entirety of the city of Seattle for the Expansion Draft. This has the earmarks of being an amazing inaugural season.

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  1. Pingback: CSM NHL Season Preview - Championship Sports Media

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