2021-22 Team Preview – Seattle Kraken

Key Additions

-Philipp Grubauer (G-Colorado Avalanche, free agent signing)

-Jaden Schwartz (F-St. Louis Blues, free agent signing)

-Adam Larsson (D- Edmonton Oilers, free agent signing)

-Marcus Johansson (F- Minnesota Wild, free agent signing)

-Yanni Gourde (F-Tampa Bay Lightning, via expansion draft)

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2021-22 Preview

This season welcomes the expansion Seattle Kraken to the National Hockey League with a lot of buzz and excitement surrounding the team as hockey makes its way back to the Emerald City. A lot of time and effort has been put into building this new franchise by ownership and management. Now that time and effort building a team will translate into actual hockey being played with points in the standings being on the line. The excitement began with the expansion draft back on July 21st where the Kraken picked their team. When looking back on it, the Kraken had a pretty solid expansion draft where we saw them build a really good and solid blue line as they drafted defenseman like Mark Giordano, Carson Soucy, Vince Dunn, Jamie Oleksiak & etc. Seattle also picked up a solid backup goalie in Chris Driedger of the Florida Panthers and plucked away a very important piece in Yanni Gourde from the back to back Stanley Cup champs in the Tampa Bay Lightning. In free agency, Seattle added Jaden Schwartz from the St. Louis Blues and Alexander Wennberg to be apart of their top six forward corps while they also signed the top free agent goaltender on the market in Philipp Grubauer away from the Colorado Avalanche. Now that the team is in place, let’s take a look at what to expect from the expansion Seattle Kraken.

To be blunt honest, I don’t think this expansion Kraken team will be anywhere close to how good the Vegas Golden Knights were in year one. I don’t see them going all the way to the Stanley Cup Final. I’m definitely not saying they’ll be a terrible team or noncompetitive at all. In fact, they should be pushing for a playoff spot in a weak Pacific division. While the defense and goaltending look really good, the question I have is…will they be able to score enough goals and consistently? You need to have your top goal scorers and secondary scoring where other guys can chip in to help carry the load. They drafted really solid two-way forwards who do have some scoring ability, Eberle has shown he can score in the NHL, and added Jaden Schwartz and Wennberg (who has potential to produce more. However, they lack the x-factor and dynamic scoring that they’re going to need. They still need a scorer who strikes fear into the hearts of opposing goaltenders. If coach Dave Hakstoll can get more from his players offensively, then this team could do more damage than we all think. Like I said, I do think the Kraken can possibly get into the playoffs but I don’t think they will in year one and will fall just short of making it. This should be a very fun and exciting season for the expansion Kraken regardless and we all should stay tuned to see what happens.

Projected opening night lineup

Forwards

Jaden Schwartz— Alexander Wennberg — Jordan Eberle
Jared McCann — Calle Jarnkrok — Joonas Donskoi
Brandon Tanev — Marcus Johansson — Colin Blackwell
Nathan Bastian — Mason Appleton — Morgan Geekie

*Yanni Gourde expected to return from injury sometime in November, should slot in at second line center and push Calle Jarnkrok down to third line center

Defenseman

Vince Dunn — Adam Larsson
Jamie Oleksiak — Mark Giordano
Carson Soucy — Jeremy Lauzon

Golies

Phillip Grubauer (Starter)

Chris Driedger (Backup)

The Official Jersey Retailer of TXHT.

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