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Evan Rodrigues Would Look Great In A Kraken Jersey

July 21, 2022, 12:52 PM ET [9 Comments]
Sean Maloughney
Seattle Kraken Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
A few days ago I wrote some potential line options for the Seattle Kraken. Overall there is solid depth throughout the lineup but one of the weakest spots remains top end right shot wingers. Shane Wright, Jordan Eberle, and Joonas Donskoi are the only legitimate options in the top nine. Eberle is a proven producer, Donskoi had a horrendous season in terms of production and the team is hoping he can bounce back and Wright is an unknown commodity. Adding one more proven guy here would be a great help.

Which is why Ron Francis should go out and get Evan Rodrigues.

Not many people knew the name Evan Rodrigues until this past season where he put up 19 goals and 43 points over a full season. Early on while Malkin and Crosby were both injured, Evan Rodrigues was shouldering top line duties and looking pretty strong doing so. Rodrigues led all Penguins players last season who played at least 500 minutes at even strength with an xGF% of 57.66%. When he was on the ice, the Penguins also outscored the opposition 44-39.

The one thing that I really love about Rodrigues is how much he shoots the puck. In 82 games, Rodrigues hit the net 243 times. That is essentially 3 shots a game on average. Only Jake Guenztel shot more on the Penguins roster. As a comparison, Jared McCann had the most shots on the Kraken last season. In 74 games he had 199 shots. Eberle was second on the team with 164 shots in 79 games. Seattle did not have nearly enough players firing shots on net last season and it showed as the team finished 29th in the shot department.

Rodrigues also only had a 7.8SH% too, meaning with a bit more luck, this is a player who has the capability to hit the 25 goal mark or maybe even 30. This makes it all the more surprising that the forward has not been signed by any team yet, nor have we really heard much rumours about who might be interested. Rodrigues could be a consolation prize for one of the teams who is pursuing Nazem Kadri.

Rodrigues is coming off of a one year deal from the Penguins that only paid him 1 million. With his best season yet, the forward is obviously looking for the best deal to cash in on. Teams surely like what they saw from Rodrigues last season but would be hesitant to offer a long term deal for a player who has only cracked the 10 goal mark once.

Seattle and Rodrigues seem like a solid match on a short term deal in the 1-2 year department. Offer the player somewhere in the 3 million dollar range. The Kraken can play him in their top six, using him either as a winger or as a centre, particularly if Matthew Beniers struggles and needs to be sheltered more. Rodrigues will get ample ice time and still be young enough to pursue free agency again and try and find the long term deal teams may not be offering now.

The Kraken don't need to make the post-season next year to have a successful season as it is only their second year in the NHL. That being said they need to start finding ways to take meaningful steps forward, balancing their roster with skill to shelter and surround their talented budding prospects. Rodrigues would be an excellent addition to this roster in the short term, and potentially in the long run as well.

Thanks for reading.
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