Kraken Season Preview: Beniers, Burakovsky Bring Bright Future

Kraken Season Preview: Beniers, Burakovsky Bring Bright Future

The 2022-23 NHL season begins on October 7. With training camp open, is breaking down the three keys, the inside scoop on roster questions and the projected lineup for each of the 32 teams. Today, the Seattle Kraken.

Coach: Dave Hakstol (Season Two)

Last season: 27-49-6, eighth in Pacific Division; did not qualify for the Stanley Cup playoffs


1. Being elite

The 2021 NHL Expansion Draft was not designed to supply the Kraken with elite talent. They stuck around to find that through trade, free agency and especially the NHL Draft. So perhaps the most exciting and important things going into Seattle’s second NHL season, both short-term and long-term, are top prospects. matty beniers Y Shane Wright.

Beniers, the No. 2 pick in the 2021 NHL Draft, had nine points (three goals, six assists) in 10 games with the Kraken at the end of last season. The 19-year-old could be the center of the top line. Wright, the fourth pick in the 2022 NHL Draft, had 94 points (32 goals, 62 assists) with Kingston of the Ontario Hockey League last season. Does the 18-year-old go back to Kingston or stay in Seattle?

2. Brand more

Seattle tied for 28th in goals per game (2.60) and 29th in power play (14.6 percent) last season. Three free-agent additions should help: Forward Andre Burakovsky he set NHL career highs in goals (22), assists (39) and points (61) with the Colorado Avalanche last season. Forward Oliver Björkstrand he set NHL career highs in goals (28) and points (57) with the Columbus Blue Jackets while tying his NHL career high in assists (29). defending justin schultz he had 23 points (four goals, 19 assists) for the Washington Capitals.

Video: Burakovsky joins Seattle

3. Stop the drive

The hope was that Philipp Grubauer It would mask some of the Kraken’s shortcomings last season, but he went 18-31-5 with a 3.16 goals-against average, .889 save percentage and two shutouts. No goalkeeper who played more than 22 games had a lower save percentage.

Back chris dreger he went 9-14-1 with a 2.96 GAA, .899 save percentage and one shutout. While the skaters need to do more to help their goalies, Grubauer needs to bounce back. Martin Jones he must fill the backup role while Driedger misses the first three months recovering from knee surgery.


making the cut

With the goalies and defense almost ready, all eyes will be on the front pack in Seattle. There are questions about who will make the roster on opening night. General manager Ron Francis knows Beniers is ready to be in the NHL, and coach Dave Hakstol has said Wright is a perfect fit and will get every opportunity to prove he belongs in the league.

If both are in the lineup as the top two centers, who will fill the remaining spots? could yanni gourde be moved to the wing? and where will it be Ryan Donatowho signed a one-year deal on July 27, fits into the revamped lineup that now includes Burakovsky and Bjorkstrand?

The most intriguing addition

NHL Central Scouting ranked Wright as the No. 1 North American skater entering the draft, and many thought the Montreal Canadiens would select him No. 1. At least one fan wore a Wright No. 51 Canadiens jersey to the draft at Bell Center ; at least three were wearing T-shirts that said “WRIGHT CHOICE” with the “C” made from the Canadiens logo. But not only did the Canadiens pass Wright, so did the New Jersey Devils at No. 2 and the Arizona Coyotes at No. 3. How does he respond?

Biggest Potential Surprise

alex wenberg, who was the 14th pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, scored 59 points in 80 games with the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2016-17 and had 17 goals in 56 games with the Florida Panthers in 2020-21. But he had 37 points (11 goals, 26 assists) in 80 games for the Kraken last season, and now all the attention is on Beniers and Wright. The 27-year-old center has the potential to be more of an impact player. The Kraken could use a surprise season from him.

ready to break

Beniers had 43 points (20 goals, 23 assists) in 37 games at the University of Michigan last season and played for the United States at the IIHF World Junior Championships and the Beijing Olympics. When he came to the NHL, he didn’t just get his feet wet. He made an impact. After all the hockey he played last season at different levels, he might have an easier time transitioning into the grind of an 82-game schedule than most rookies just out of college.

fantasy sleeper

vince dunnD (average fantasy draft position: 156.5) — Last season, he had an NHL career high in points per game average (0.48; 35 in 73 games) and was second to Seattle in power play points (11) behind the forward. Jared McCann (17). Dunn is a fantasy sleeper candidate who should play on the first power play unit and benefit from the new talent around him at flanks Oliver Bjorkstrand and Andre Burakovsky and, should they make it off the training camp roster, rookie centers Matty Beniers and Shane Wright. . –Anna Dua


Andre Burakovsky, Matty Beniers, Oliver Bjorkstrand

Jaden Schwartz –Alex Wennberg– jordan eberle

Jared McCann –Yanni Gourde– karson kulman

Brandon Tanevmorgan geekjoona donskoi

Vince Dunn- adam larson

Jaime Oleksiak –Justin Schultz

carson soucyWill Borgen

Philipp Grubauer

Martin Jones

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