The Kraken opened their preseason with a victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Monday with a 3-0 shutout victory. It is still preseason, but it’s good to get that first win under the belt. This wasn’t a huge test for Seattle, considering the Oilers were playing without Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Zach Hyman, Jesse Pul—
You know what, we don’t need to go through all the players that Edmonton left off the ice. Let’s talk about what we learned about the 2022 Kraken.
- Matty Beniers still looks like he has superstar potential. he and Oliver Bjorkstrand meshed very well together on the top line along with Ryan Donato, accounting for two of Seattle’s three goals.
- Donato will have a tough time passing Jaden Schwartz, Jared McCann, and André Burakovsky for a spot as a top-6 winger, but he’s got the puck skills to hang when called upon.
- Ryker Evans is at the very least an NHL-caliber defenseman. He’ll likely start the year in Coachella Valley, but don’t be surprised if he’s a midseason call-up if there’s a few injuries on the Kraken blue line. Despite being the smallest player in the Kraken’s defense corps (he’s the only one under 6’ tall) Evans is more than capable of playing the body, as he showed from his very first shift.
- The bad news of the night comes from forward Jacob Melanson. The 2021 5th-round pick brings a physical edge to whichever team he plays for, but it crossed the line into dangerous territory in the 2nd period when he tagged James Hamblin in the head in the neutral zone. Melanson received a match penalty and will have a hearing with the league today, where he may become the first Kraken to be suspended in team history.
- Brandon Tanev led all forwards in even strength time on ice. He’s a full go for the season and that might be the only thing to rival the Matty Beniers/Shane Wright hype levels.
- Joey Daccord. That’s it, that’s all.
- It’s very plausible that Daccord gets picked up on waivers when he inevitably gets sent down to Coachella Valley at the end of the preseason. Maybe his offensive upside will win him the backup job over Martin Jones though.
- Another young name to watch: Ville Petman. The 22-year old Finnish forward played a strong all-around game, the type that head coach Dave Hakstol specifically loves. He’s another one that will likely start in Coachella Valley but could see some NHL time in a pinch later this year.
We’ll get right back to preseason action tonight at 7 against the Flames, and Sky will have more on that contest a little later today. Until then, which player impressed you the most in the preseason opener?