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Kraken Season Preview: Benier and Brakovski Bring a Brighter Future

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The 2022-23 NHL season starts on October 7th. With training camp kicking off, is looking at his three keys, the inside scoop on roster questions, and the expected line-ups for each of the 32 teams. Seattle Kraken today.

coach: Dave Huxtle (second season)

Last season: 27-49-6, 8th in the Pacific Division.Did not qualify for the Stanley Cup playoffs

3 keys

1. Become Elite

The 2021 NHL Expansion Draft wasn’t designed to stock Kraken with elite talent. They were left to find it through trade, free agency, and specifically the NHL Draft. In both the short and long term, the most exciting and important thing going into Seattle’s NHL Season 2 is top prospects. Matty Beniers When Shane Wright.

The No. 2 pick in the 2021 NHL Draft, Veneers scored nine points (three goals and six assists) in 10 games against the Kraken at the end of last season. The 19-year-old could be a top-line centerpiece. Wright, who was the 4th overall pick in the 2022 NHL Draft, last season saw him score 94 points (32 goals, 62 assists) with Kingston in the Ontario Hockey League. Will the 18-year-old go back to Kingston or stay in Seattle?

2. Get more score

Last season, Seattle tied for 28th in goals per game (2.60) and 29th in power plays (14.6%). The addition of three free agents should help: forwards Andre Brachowski Last season, he set NHL career-best goals (22), assists (39) and points (61) with the Colorado Avalanche.Forward Oliver Bjorkstrand He set an NHL career-high in goals (28) and points (57) with the Columbus Blue Jackets, and tied his NHL career-high in assists (29).defense man Justin Schultz 23 points (4 points and 19 assists) with the Washington Capitals.

Video: Brakovski Joins Seattle

3. Stop the puck

hope was it Philip Gulbauer Although it masked some of the Kraken’s shortcomings last season, he went 18-31-5, posting 3.16 goals against the average, a .889 save percentage and two shutouts. No goalkeeper with 22 or more appearances had a lower save percentage.

backup Chris Dryger I went 9-14-1 with a 2.96 GAA, a .899 save percentage and one shutout. The skaters have to do more to help the goalie, but Gulbauer has to get back on his feet. Martin Jones While Dreiger misses the first three months recovering from knee surgery, he should fill out well as a backup.

Roster overview

make a cut

With the goalkeeper and defense mostly in place, all eyes are on Seattle’s forward group. There are questions about who will make the roster on opening night. He said he is fit and will be given every chance to prove he belongs in the league.

If they both line up as top two centers, who will take the remaining spots? Jani Guldo Wings move?and where Ryan DonatoHe signed a one-year contract on July 27.

most interesting addition

NHL Central Scouting ranked Wright the number one North American skater to enter the draft, and many thought the Montreal Canadiens would pick him number one. At least three of him wore his t-shirt that read “WRIGHT CHOICE” with a “C” made with the Canadiens logo. But not just the Canadiens, the second-placed New Jersey Devils and his third-placed Arizona his Coyotes passed Wright. how will he react?

the biggest potential surprise

Alex WenbergThe 14th pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, he scored 59 goals in 80 games with the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2016-17 and 17 goals in 56 games with the Florida Panthers in 2020-21. But he scored his 37 goals (11 goals and 26 assists) in his 80 games for the Kraken last season, and now all eyes are on Veneers and Wright. The 27-year-old center has the potential to become a more impactful player. The Kraken is available from him for a surprise his season.

ready to break through

Beniers scored 43 points (20 goals and 23 assists) in 37 games for the University of Michigan last season and represented the United States at the IIHF Junior World Championships and the Beijing Olympics. When he arrived in the NHL, he didn’t just get his feet wet. he made an impact. After playing hockey at various levels last season, he may transition into the 82-game schedule grind more easily than most rookies fresh out of college.

fantasy sleeper

Vince DunnD (fantasy average draft position: 156.5) – Last season, he set an NHL career-high in points per game average (0.48; 35 points in 73 games) and was second only to Seattle in power play points scored (11). Jared McCann (17). Dan is a fantasy deep sleeper contender, needs to play in the first power play unit and benefit from new talent around him on the wings of Oliver Björkstrand and André Brakowski, making the roster out of training camp. Rookie centers Matty Beniers and Shane Wright, if making. — Anna Dua

Expected lineup

Andre Brakowski — Matty Beniers — Oliver Bjorkstrand

Jaden Schwartz — Alex Wenberg — Jordan Hebert

Jared McCann — Jani Gould — Carson Coolman

Brandon TaneffMorgan GeekyJonas Donskoy

Vince Dunn — Adam Larson

Jamie Olexiak — Justin Schultz

Carson SusieWill Bogen

Philip Gulbauer

Martin Jones