Evaluating The Current Kraken Roster
The early days of Free Agency have come and gone and with that we are getting closer to evaluating and getting an idea of what the Seattle Kraken roster will look like on opening night. In case you missed it, here are the three big singings that Ron Francis made on Day 1 of Free Agency:
Jaden Schwartz: I like Schwartz as a bounce back candidate. The 29 year old winger had a down season with 8 goals and 21 points in 40 games, dealing with injuries but he has been a consistent EV producer throughout his career. A healthy Schwartz should be one of the top scoring players on this Kraken team.
Alexander Wennberg: A bit of an overpay but at 26 years old the Kraken are only paying him for what should be the prime of his career. Centre depth remains the biggest area of concern for this team and so Wennberg should be a safe bet to start in the top six.
Philip Grubauer: The most surprising add of the day. Grubauer has been one of the best starting goaltenders in the league over the past five years. In 40 games last season he posted a 0.922SV% with the Avalanche. A Grubauer and Driedger tandem gives Seattle a fantastic 1-2 punch.
With the current players in the system, this is how I would set up the roster.
From the blueline back to between the pipes this is an excellent team. The defense is big and steady defensively and while it would be nice to have some more puck movers Dunn and Cholowski should help in that regard. There is still a bit of a logjam on the left side and I do wonder if we see one of these players traded for more help up front. At one point there were big talks about Giordano to the Rangers in exchange for Ryan Strome.
The forward group has some depth and defensive responsibility; a trend for how the entire roster was constructed but goal scoring remains a big question mark. Francis has also talked about the the importance of adding another third line centre option.
There are a couple options still available in free agency that I could see being a great fit for the Kraken.
Tomas Tatar: A little surprised he has not yet signed but Tatar would give the roster some flexibility and perhaps move McCann to a third line centre role instead. Despite some struggles he is an incredibly reliable even strength goal scorer.
Kyle Palmieri: I think the Islanders and Palmieri want to make things work there again on a short term deal but Seattle could also offer the scoring winger a home. He fell off a bit this past season but was also shooting well below his usual career SH%. Could be a top six option for Seattle or a really strong option on a third line.
Derrick Brassard: Still managed to score 8 goals on a weak Coyotes team. Brassard wouldn't be a sexy pickup but he could help to round out the bottom six and at worst is a reliable fourth line option.
The Kraken do have some RFA's they need to come to terms with but right now the team has over 16 million in cap space. If there was ever a time for a team to get aggressive with an offer sheet it would be now. I will continue trying to manifest an Elias Pettersson offer sheet into the world. Bringing in Pettersson would give Seattle a legitimate #1 centre and turn them from a scrappy underdog into a legitimate threat in the Pacific Division.
Dare to dream TentaClan.