The Kraken opening day roster is largely set, so sit back and take in this opportunity to preview the coming season and how Seattle feels moving forward.
As we have now passed the inaugural BEARD Hockey Dispersal Draft and the inaugural Entry Draft and have opened trade activity, the Seattle Kraken opening day roster is largely set and we will take this opportunity to preview the coming season and how we feel moving forward.
We will break things down into four areas to get a closer look. First, we will look at the forward group, followed by defenders, then goalies, and finish it up with an overall outlook.
So without further ado...lets get right into it.
After meeting with head coach Jeff Blashill, he discussed his views on the opening night lineup and its definitely an exciting time for Kraken fans. We are going to give the fans a sneak peak at the opening night lines here.
Oskar Lindblom - Bo Horvat - Nikolaj Ehlers
Tyson Jost - Jack Hughes - Jordan Kyrou
Mikkel Boedkker - Nick Bjugstad - Leo Komorav
Jesper Bratt - Mathieu Perreault - Michael Frolik
Looking at the forward group, the first thing to notice is the heavy reliance on youth. The top six is entirely composed of younger players with what we view as having very high ceilings. During the first season, Seattle will be leaning heavily on Horvat and Ehlers to provide the offence.
The second comprising superstar in waiting is Jack Hughes along with high-potential Jordan Kyrou. These youngsters will be looking to hasten their development to pitch in. The ability of the aforementioned Hughes and Kyrou to provide offence will go a long way in determining the success we have in our inaugural season.
The line of Bjugstad between Boedkker and Komorov will be relied upon to do most of the heavy lifting against the opponents top line. These are veteran guys used to the rigors of the league and will be logging heavy minutes both 5-on-5 and on the penalty kill. The leadership they show via their work ethic we hope will go a long way in rubbing off on the younger guys.
Rounding out the forward group is a couple veterans in Frolik and Perreault, along with the youthful high energy of Bratt. Perreault and Frolik will be given a great deal of responsibility on the penalty kill and important faceoffs. Jesper we hope will continue his development which will see him begin moving up the depth chart.
All in all this forward group is heavily reliant on the youth and if we develop them right, we should expect to see it playing big dividends as the season moves along.
This defensive group is young and actually will likely be the strength of the team this season.
Jacob Chychrun - Brady Skjei
Will Butcher - Josh Manson
Colin Miller - Jamie Oleksiak
This defensive group is largely within the prime of their careers and will need to carry the team at least in the early going to ensure we remain competitive. Top-pairing D Jacob Chychrun and Brady Skjei will be heavily utilized in all situations and have proven in their careers so far they will be able to cope. They will be playing the most minutes 5 on 5 along with top PK duties and Chychrun will be anchoring the top power play unit. As this pair goes, the team goes.
The second pairing of Butcher and Manson will do what they can to alleviate pressure on the top duo picking up as many valuable minutes as they can. They’ll also get heavy usage on the PK and be looked upon especially with Manson to be the teams muscle and lean on the star players from the opposition.
The bottom pair of Miller and Oleksiak will be looking to prove their worth and wrestle minutes away from the top four. Oleksiak is a big physical player that will be looking to garner some extra minutes on the PK. Miller will be quarterbacking the second power play unit looking to prove that he can contribute offensively.
The defensive group will largely be looked upon as the strongest part of the team this season and they're eager to prove it.
In goal, we are expecting to see a strong competition between both our guys and hope that it will inspire one of them to grab the crease and run with it.
Joonas Korpisalo - Johnathan Bernier
Bernier is the veteran of the two and we will be hoping he takes the younger Korpisalo under his wing to help teach him the pro Canadian game. This will be a hotly contested battle all season and I'm excited to see how it turns out.
Overall, the inaugural season of the Kraken will be heavily reliant on youth and the strength of our defence corps. How the defence plays and the youth develops will be what decides the final outcome of the Kraken season.
That being said, we have made the decision to keep our top prospects developing in junior or their European teams overseas as opposed to bringing them into a situation that could be tumultuous at best. As such we have multiple roster spots available and will be scouring the waiver wire to see if any potential fits are out there.