Seattle Kraken Review
- 2020-21 Record [N/A]
- Division rank [N/A]
The Seattle Kraken have finally arrived. the NHL will have its 32nd team in the 2021-22 season. After being approved in December 2018 and their name and logo revealed in July 2020, this will be Seattle’s first hockey team that will compete for the Stanley Cup since the Seattle Metropolitans disbanded in 1924. Let’s take a look at what we can expect from the Kraken in the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft and the 2021 NHL Draft.
Going off what the Vegas Golden Knights were able to do, heading to the Stanley Cup Finals in their first season, the Kraken should want to be a fast, high-octane team. Kraken GM Ron Francis has a tough job in looking at every NHL team, except Vegas, and exploiting vulnerabilities, This time the league will be ready.
Seattle may look at players who had a down season and try to hope they can bounce back, like forward Christian Fischer from the Arizona Coyotes. Another forward the Kraken could look to pick up is Adam Erne from the Detroit Red Wings, who are in a rebuild and are likely to protect their young core. And a final name to throw out is Sam Bennett from the Florida Panthers, the 2014 fourth overall pick has never quite lived up to the hype, and as his contract comes to an end, the Panthers might try to entice Seattle to take him.
If we are looking at the NHL Draft, there are some great offensive players the Kraken could take if they want to lean towards offense. The top forward in this NHL draft pick is Matthew Beniers out of Michigan, with a lot of top defensemen, the 6-foot-1 forward could be even more valuable to a team just starting up. Another name Seattle could go with is winger Dylan Guenther from Edmonton.
There are many talented defensemen in this year’s draft, and with the favorable odds the Kraken have at picking in the top three, they are destined to grab one. Top prospect Owen Power could be a great cornerstone of Seattle’s blue line if they want to lean for veteran-heavy on the defense. Some other names to consider are Simon Edvinsson and Luke Hughes, two defensemen who are great with the puck and can play fast and physical.
Taking a look at the expansion draft, with many teams in the middle of a rebuild, taking advantage of exposed veterans could be the move for the Kraken. One of those possibilities could be Kevin Shattenkirk of the Anaheim Ducks. The struggling ducks could protect three young defensemen in order to protect seven forwards. Shattenkirk is a solid offensive defenseman who had 34 points for the Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning in 2019-20. The Buffalo Sabers are floundering, and exposing players on expiring contracts might be the move, and a solid pickup for Seattle could be 28-year-old Colin Miller.
Addressing the goalie position is something the Kraken need to hit on in the expansion draft, with teams only able to protect one goalie and the Kraken having to pick three, it does not make sense for them to pick up a goalie in the draft with so many NHL ready options at their disposal. Some names that Seattle could go after is the Montreal Canadiens’ Jake Allen, who will be in his ninth NHL season, and he won a Stanley Cup with the St. Louis Blues in 2019. Seattle will probably lean to picking veteran goaltenders, and another one on the list is Braden Holtby from the Vancouver Canucks. His contract is expiring, and he had his worst season of his career, but that can be attributed to the poor Canucks defense, allowing 33.4 shots per game, the third most in the NHL.
The Kraken’s draft lottery odds are all over the place, they could pick one, or they could fall down to fifth. Their odds to snag the number one overall pick is 10.3 percent and their second pick odds come in at 10.2 percent, the pick with the highest percentage is number four at 39.3 percent. With the expansion draft happening days before the NHL Draft, it will be interesting to see how the Kraken front office works it. Will they maneuver trades to build draft capital, or can they turn one player into two and other scenarios that we saw happen with the Golden Knights.
Better Luck Next Year
2021-22 Stanley Cup Odds: N/A
Understandably so, it is impossible for the oddsmakers to set a line for a team to win the Stanley Cup if they do not have a roster. Novice bettors might jump to throw some money down on the Kraken because of what they saw the Golden Knights do in 2017-18, but the other teams are prepared for an expansion draft. We do not know how good or bad Seattle will be next year, but as a fun longshot bet in the NHL sportsbook, the Kraken will be a team to watch next season.