The 32-in-32 Series is an annual event here at DobberProspects! Every day in August we will be bringing you a complete breakdown of a team’s Draft, and insights into their off-season movements thus far. Following this up in September, we will dive into every team’s prospect depth charts with fantasy insights and implications for the upcoming seasons. Check back often, because we plan on filling your hockey withdrawal needs all off-season long!
Seattle’s first season was a mixed bag for Kraken fans and hockey fans alike. There’s always a whimsical feeling of excitement when an expansion team comes into the league, filled with promise and potential, and soon-to-be answered questions of “where will he play?” “who is going to get top deployment” and “is this what goalies are supposed to do?”. The Kraken surprised many with their lack of cleverness during the expansion draft, opting to forego the side deal strategy that had fantasy managers salivating at the haul brought in by the Golden Knights. The Kraken took a slower, less brash approach, and did not fly out of the gates like their recent expansion counterpart, but with this offseason showing some intriguing pick-ups by the Kraken, the cap implosion occurring in Nevada, and the dearth of high-end prospects, one is left to wonder when Seattle might surpass the flashier Golden Knights.
The Kraken finished the year 27-49-6 for 60 points and last in the Pacific Division, securing the 30th spot in the NHL. This wasn’t necessarily the season many Kraken fans had hoped for, but a mix of bad luck with injuries (instant fan favorite Brandon Tanev had a season-ending injury less than halfway into what was becoming a career year), and swiss army knife style players learning to play larger roles for a new squad, some growing pains were to be expected.
No position perhaps presented more pain for the Kraken than the boys in the blue ice, with both Phillipp Grubauer and Chris Driedger putting in the statistically worst years of their careers. The initial thought would be to say that the Kraken weren’t going to be a great team defensively, so what can we expect, but the data suggests the defense wasn’t the position to point the finger at. Seattle allowed the sixth least shot attempts per game, and the fifth-fewest counted shots on goal against. They limited dangerous opportunities better than most teams in the league as well, finishing fifth and sixth respectively in high danger shots against, and expected goals against, all adjusted to per 60 minutes. The Kraken goaltenders provided the second lowest save percentage, just barely hanging on to the .900 mark, finishing just above the New Jersey Devils. I remember much being made of the defensive players on the team, both forwards and rearguards, and the expectation being that Grubauer should fully justify the large contract he signed, and the data suggests we were partly correct. The team in front of the goalies played well defensively but provided little offense (7th worst in scoring chances and third for expected goals for per 60).
The Kraken have added Martin Jones in the offseason