As one of the newest teams in hockey, the Seattle Kraken missed the playoffs in their maiden season, but look like they’ve started to find their feet this year. If the trend continues, they might just clinch their first-ever postseason berth in franchise history.
The Kraken have come out swinging for the 2022-23 season, and have made an impressive start to the campaign. Somewhat of an unknown quantity last year, NHL betting markets pegged the Kraken as outsiders going into this season. And while reaching the Stanley Cup finals might be a stretch too far, Seattle are on course for a playoff spot. How far they can progress will certainly be interesting to watch.
Coached by Dave Hakstol, previously of the Philadelphia Flyers, it’s safe to say the Kraken have some talent on their roster this year. Andre Burakovsky, a 2022 Stanley Cup winner with the Colorado Avalanche, has been a key part of the Kraken’s success going forwards, leading the way with points and assists.
Jared McCann and Matty Beniers have also been instrumental in scoring goals, while the likes of Jordan Eberle, Vince Dunn, and Justin Schultz have been supplying the assists.
Alex Wennberg, Jaden Schwartz, and Adam Larsson are also part of their starting rotation. Martin Jones has an 89.3 save percentage in goaltending and a 2.9 goals-against average.
The Kraken won 27 games in their first NHL campaign, which is not enough to clinch a playoff appearance. They also had six games that went overtime and scored 60 points. They scored 216 goals in 82 games but surrendered 285.
However, they have done well going into the 2022-23 season, racking up some key wins against teams like Colorado, the Los Angeles Kings and the New York Rangers early in the campaign.
The NHL granted an expansion franchise in 2018 after approving the proposal by the Seattle Hockey Partners. Two years later, the branding for the Kraken was made public. The Kraken started participating in 2021 as the city’s third professional hockey team.
They are also the second NHL franchise in Seattle after the Seattle Metropolitans, which won the 1917 Stanley Cup. Dave Hakstol is the team’s first-ever head coach, while Ryan Donato scored the team’s first goal. Hockey Hall of Famer Ron Francis is the team’s first general manager. The Kraken’s inaugural victory came on October 14, 2021, when they defeated the Nashville Predators 4-3.
Given that they are still in the second year of their existence, the Kraken has no Stanley Cups, conference championships, division titles, and Presidents’ Trophies. The Coachella Valley Firebirds and the Kansas City Mavericks are their minor league affiliates.
The Kraken plays home games at Climate Pledge Arena in the Seattle Center entertainment complex. While the venue opened in 1962, the arena was redeveloped for three years to reopen in 2021. The place also went by other names like Washington State Pavilion, Washington State Coliseum, Seattle Center Coliseum, and KeyArena at Seattle Center.
Climate Pledge Arena aims to receive net-zero certification by conducting zero-waste events by reducing single-use plastic and using compostable containers. It will also use rainwater for its ice surface. Seattle fans love to cheer for their home team, especially when the Supersonics are still in town. That’s why they devote the same energy and passion to every Kraken home game.
The Kraken has no known rivals, given that it’s only their second season in the NHL. But most likely, they will develop rivalries with teams from the Pacific Division, such as the Vegas Golden Knights, Los Angeles Kings, and Edmonton Oilers.
The Calgary Flames, the Vancouver Canucks, the San Jose Sharks, and the Anaheim Ducks are also part of that Western Conference division, so there’s plenty of opportunities for the Kraken to start racking up enemies over the coming years.