The Seattle Kraken have had a disappointing start to their inaugural season, sitting second-to-last in the National Hockey League with a 17-36-9 record (43 points). With several players set to hit unrestricted free agency at the season’s conclusion, it was highly anticipated that the Kraken would be one of the league’s most active teams this deadline season. GM Ron Francis and his management team did not disappoint, as the team made six trades in the time leading up to today’s 3pm deadline. We will include minor write ups of each of the six transactions, with the exception of the Mark Giordano and Colin Blackwell trade to the Maple Leafs, as we have a stand-alone article for that deal due to its extreme significance.
Mark Giordano (50% retained) and Colin Blackwell to the Maple Leafs in exchange for a 2022 2nd round pick, a 2023 2nd round pick, and a 2024 3rd round pick
Calle Jarnkrok (50% retained) to the Calgary Flames in exchange for a 2022 2nd Round Pick, 2023 3rd round pick, and a 2024 7th Round Pick
We love this trade for both teams, as Seattle gets much-needed draft capital in exchange for Calle Jarnkrok, who will be a great fit in our opinion in Calgary. He is the cousin of Flames superstar Elias Lindholm and a good friend of Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom. The trio had discussed teaming up in Sweden after the conclusion of their NHL careers, and the fact that it’s happening in Calgary in hopes of going for a long playoff run this May is something really special happening in the hockey world. According to Dailyfaceoff.com, Jarnkrok will join a talented Flames third-line with free-agent acquisition Blake Coleman, as well as thirty-goal-scorer Andrew Mangiapane. This line is going to be one of the best third-lines in the league in terms of AB, as Mangiapane’s career AB score is +3.91 (three-year time span), Coleman’s is -1.19 (five-year time span), and Jarnkrok’s is +4.41 (eight-year time span). Jarnkrok has never registered a negative AB season in that eight-year time span, however, his midseason numbers with the Kraken suggest he is headed towards his first-ever negative result (-2.75 in thirty-four games played). Perhaps the move to Calgary will spark his AB numbers, as well as his offensive production, as Jarnkrok had twenty-six points in forty-nine games this season with the Kraken. Jarnkrok was the Kraken’s selection from the Nashville Predators in the 2021 expansion draft and will be an unrestricted free agent at the conclusion of the season.
Jeremy Lauzon to the Nashville Predators in exchange for a 2022 2nd Round Pick
Speaking of the Nashville Predators, the Seattle Kraken traded their expansion draft selection from the Boston Bruins in Jeremy Lauzon to the Predators in exchange for yet another 2022 second-round pick. Jeremy Lauzon struggled offensively with the Seattle Kraken this year, registering only six points (one goal and five assists) in fifty-three games. Still only twenty-four years old, Lauzon had a very good AB season with the Boston Bruins last year, where he registered a +2.77 individual AB score, the only individually positive number of his three-year NHL career (-1.11 Career AB overall). Dailyfaceoff.com projects Lauzon to play on the Predators’ third defense pair with Matt Tennyson for the remaining twenty games of the team’s season. It’ll be interesting to see how the Predators finish this 2021-22 season with Lauzon in the lineup, as the team has a four-point lead on the Vegas Golden Knights on the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference, and one point back of the St. Louis Blues for second in the Central Division.
Mason Appleton to the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for a 2023 4th Round Pick
The Mason Appleton trade back to the Winnipeg Jets is the second time Ron Francis and the Kraken have traded an expansion draft selection back to their original team, as they acquired a 2023 2nd round pick from the Washington Capitals in exchange for Vitek Vanecek shortly after the July draft. Appleton played a full fifty-six games for the Winnipeg Jets last season, scoring twelve goals with thirteen assists for twenty-five points, averaging just shy of fifteen minutes per game. Appleton’s +6.48 individual AB score in 2020-21 was the 2nd highest of any player on the Winnipeg Jets, behind only Nikolaj Ehlers’ +12.15. Career AB wise, Appleton has a +1.73 career AB score in three years of data. He has only registered one individually negative AB season in 2019-20 with a -3.69 score. This season, however, Appleton has not had the breakout season offensively we thought he would have in Seattle, as the twenty-six-year-old scored only six goals with eleven assists for seventeen points in forty-nine games with the Kraken. Perhaps the return of Appleton will help aid the Winnipeg Jets in their push for the playoffs, as our preseason Western Conference favorite currently sits four points behind the Vegas Golden Knights for the second wild-card spot with a game in hand. They’ve been playing better as of late, as the team has a 6-3-1 record in their last ten games with a record of 29-24-10 record in sixty-three games overall.
Marcus Johansson to the Washington Capitals in exchange for Daniel Sprong, a 2022 4th Round Pick, and a 2023 6th Round Pick
Like the Giordano and Jarnkrok deals, this is another trade we speculated in our Seattle Kraken trade deadline preview article earlier this month. As we wrote in that article, With six goals and thirteen assists for nineteen points in forty-three games with the Kraken this season, Johansson is ninth on the team in scoring. These totals are actually higher than his numbers from last season with the Minnesota Wild, as he recorded only fourteen points in seven fewer games played. AB wise, his -4.54 midseason score is actually his best score since 2016-17 when he registered an outstanding +15.22 with the Washington Capitals. Despite his five straight negative individual AB seasons, Johansson is still a positive career AB player with a +1.49 score in eleven seasons. Like Calle Jarnkrok, Johansson is also on a cheap contract (1.5 million) and will be an unrestricted free agent at the season’s conclusion. His ability to play center, left-wing, or right-wing would be a nice depth addition to a contending Washington team, as he is a 0.42 PPG player in the playoffs with the Wild, Bruins, Devils, and Capitals. In return, the Kraken receive Daniel Sprong who has scored eight-goals with six assists for fourteen points in forty-seven games played with the Capitals this season, which is actually the third-highest scoring season of his career. He has registered positive AB seasons in two of his three NHL seasons, including a solid +1.76 score with the Capitals in 2020-2021. After the large number of trades today out of Seattle, Sprong may get a good chance for more minutes, which will determine if he’s back with the club next season, as he is a pending unrestricted free agent at season’s conclusion.
Future Considerations to the Minnesota Wild in exchange for Victor Rask (50% retained)
Victor Rask is a player we thought would end up with the Seattle Kraken in some sort of expansion draft move last year involving a cap-dump by the Minnesota Wild. GM Ron Francis drafted Rask with the Carolina Hurricanes, and the connection there always made sense. Rask is hardly the thirty to forty-point player he was in Carolina anymore, as he has struggled to crack the twenty-five-point plateau since the 2017-18 season. This year with the Wild, he scored five goals with eight assists for thirteen points in twenty-nine games before being sent down to the AHL’s Iowa Wild, where he is a point per game player (two goals plus eight assists for ten points in ten games). At the midseason point, however, Rask was a positive AB player at +3.59, which would actually be the second-highest individual score of his career, and his best since 2019-20, where he registered a +6.02 score. If this number holds, it will be the third consecutive season (and fourth of the last five) where Rask has been a positively impactful AB player. As a pending unrestricted free agent at the conclusion of the season, we could definitely anticipate a market for Rask this summer in free agency at a significantly cheaper cap hit than his previous four million. Until then, however, he will get a perfect opportunity to showcase his skills on a Seattle team needing NHL bodies after a busy trade deadline day.
After today’s trade deadline, the Kraken now have all of their own draft picks in each of the next three drafts (including potentially #1 overall in 2022 at the current rate), three additional second-round picks in 2022, two additional second-round picks in 2023, one additional third-round pick in both 2023 and 2024, two additional fourth-round picks in both 2022 and 2023, an additional sixth-round pick in 2023, and an additional seventh-round pick in 2024. This assortment of draft riches is now one of the most impressive in all of hockey. Combine that with the roughly twenty-two million dollars of cap space CapFriendly.com projects the Kraken to have this offseason and the team’s future looks bright. Until then, after a productive deadline, Kraken fans will shift their attention to the bottom of the standings, as the race for the best lottery odds at the #1 pick in the 2022 NHL draft will be intensifying in the coming weeks. Much more to come.