Seattle Kraken, Vince Dunn

Seattle Kraken Blueline Consistency A Key

This is not a jinx; I repeat, this is not a jinx. But the healthy consistency and the balanced versatility of the Seattle Kraken D-corps cannot be overlooked this early season.

While the scoring has been spread around nicely up front, the back-end is also a large part of that, and disciplined offensive efforts from the blueline have paid dividends.

Six defenseman have played for the Seattle Kraken this season in all thirteen games. Just the six. Compare that to the struggling Vancouver Canucks up the highway and you’ll realize the simple importance of having your D-men staying in one piece. Due to injuries and general lack of depth, nine different men have played D for the Canucks this season, not including lefty Travis Dermott who’s been injured since training camp.

Vince Dunn sits on top of the Kraken’s blueline scoring list with eight points, including his second goal of the season Saturday night in Pittsburgh.

Justin Schultz is next with six points, Jamie Oleksiak has five, Carson Soucy four, and Adam Larsson and Will Borgen with three each. All six guys have scored at least one goal. Three of them are right-handed, Larsson, Schultz and Borgen; the other three lefties.

It’s a simple balance not all teams can achieve.

Kraken Balancing Act

Vince Dunn has the best possession and shot analytics for the Seattle Kraken blueliners, Oleksiak the worst. This isn’t exactly earth shattering information or cause for concern considering Dunn’s offensive-mindedness, indicated by his spot on one of the power play units. Schultz would be the other guy who steps on to that boat.

Reciprocally, Dunn and Schultz have the fewest hits on the season, less than ten each, while three of the other four guys have thirty-plus. Borgen has 24. Again, stating the obvious to suggest effective line-up balance.

Along those lines, the size of this group is impressive. None are afraid nor should they be. Oleksiak is a 6-foot-7 beast, Larsson and Borgen 6-foot-3. There are no waterbugs on this blueline. Heft is a delightful bonus once your group takes care of the first two characteristics scouts look for in a D-man; skating and the ability to make the first pass.

23-year-old righty Cale Fleury is waiting in the wings should someone need a night off, although that shouldn’t be necessary. The average age of the core group is 28.1. Not exactly old-timers. In fact, one could argue the Kraken blueline unit is in its prime.

Thus far each player has filled his role, stayed in his lane as it were, and incidents of ‘trying to do too much’ seem rare.

So far the wins and losses have bore that out.

Rob Simpson

Rob Simpson has covered the NHL in five different decades. He’s authored 4 books on hockey and is a veteran TV and radio play-by-play man and reporter.