What the projections are saying about the Kraken in 2022-23

The 2022-23 NHL season is less than a week away, which means it’s time to release the standings projections! There are many different models and methods used across various sites and companies that project the total standings points for every team in the league. We’ve rounded up a handful of them here so we can see how everyone thinks this year’s Seattle Kraken stack up against the rest of the Pacific Division. Before we dive in, here’s a reminder of how things shook out in in 2021-22.

It wasn’t exactly the start we’d hoped for in Seattle, but that’s okay because the team is here and there’s plenty of reason to be optimistic about the future.

To get an idea of what to expect from the Kraken in 2022-23, we’ll look at the projections from five different models.

For every model but one, the Kraken are predicted to improve their position in the Pacific division. Three of them expect the Kraken to leapfrog the Ducks and the Sharks and land in 6th place, while one has them jumping all the way up to 4th and in the hunt for a Wild Card spot. Here’s how the teams in the division break down in each model.

Despite a significant amount of turmoil and drama in Calgary this summer, the Flames still appear to be the team to beat in the Pacific. The Edmonton Connor McDavids are right there behind them, but the next few teams look much murkier. The Knights still have stars in Mark Stone and Jack Eichel, but their goaltending is one giant question mark since they lost Robin Lehner to injury. The Kings and their young core are looking to build on a postseason appearance last year. The Canucks and their young core are looking to build on a near-postseason appearance last year. The Sharks and Ducks…have work to do.

The model that was most kind to Seattle was that of Evolving Hockey — it expects Seattle to be in a tight battle for the playoffs with the Kings and the Canucks, and a step above the wild card hopefuls in the Central Division. Here’s what they had to say when it came to projecting the Kraken’s 2022-23 season:

The lone prediction that the Kraken will repeat as the last place team in the division came from Micah Blake McCurdy’s HockeyViz. Don’t go piling on him just yet thought — the HockeyViz projections are much more clustered than the other models here, and leave quite a bit of room for error. From McCurdy’s season preview:

Both MoneyPuck and The Athletic give Seattle around a 30% chance at making the playoffs this season. The main driver behind the idea that Seattle will improve over last year comes from the fact that they have great depth and solid defenders. From The Athletic:

Lastly, DraftKings Sportsbook is setting the over/under on standings points for the Kraken at 82.5, the lowest projection of any of these models (but still above those of the Ducks and the Sharks). The implied playoff probability for Seattle sits at 25% in their eyes.

Based on the projections seen out in the wild, the Kraken should definitely see some improvement over last year’s results. Playoff probabilities range from as low as 22% to as high as 59%, but the average is about 30%. What this year will really come down to is the performance of Philipp Grubauer (bounce-back time or another bad year?) and the performance of the start rookies on the roster, Matty Beniers and Shane Wright. Those wild cards (pun intended) on the roster add a ton of variance to the final projections, and if they pan out early and often this season, my hopes are sky-high.