Seattle Kraken, Philipp Grubauer

Kraken Game Night: Tolvanen Skates; Kuhlman a Jet

Monday’s waiver acquisition Eeli Tolvanen skated with the Seattle Kraken on Tuesday morning but won’t be participating in the match Tuesday night at the Tampa Bay Lightning.

“He’s a nice young player, he’s got a nice skill package,” Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol said after the morning skate. “Obviously a second opportunity for him here (after Nashville), we’re happy to have him join the group … we’ll take it a step at a time, give him an opportunity to become part of the group, to become comfortable with what we’re doing systems wise and find a good opportunity for him to come into the line-up.”

Tolvanen, who wore number-11 and then number-28 with the Predators, will wear number-20 with the Kraken. The 23-year-old sniper was Nashville’s 1st-round NHL Draft pick in 2017, selected 30th-overall.

“Soon as I got the call I was really excited,” Tolvanen said Tuesday morning. “It’s always tough to leave the team when you’ve been there four or five years, but I’m really excited to be here. Lot of European guys here as well, so I think that’s going to be nice.”

For the record that would be three Swedes, one German goalie, a Dutchman, and an Austrian-born forward who trained in Sweden. Tolvanen would be the second Finn, although Joonas Donskoi is on injured reserve.

Schultz Recovered?

According to Hakstol after the morning skate, Kraken defenseman Justin Schultz planned to return to the line-up Tuesday after leaving Sunday’s win against the Florida Panthers midway through the 3rd-period after taking a dangerous hit from behind from Ryan Lomberg along the corner boards. Instead, Schultz was scratched against the Bolts.

With “Big Rig” Jamie Oleksiak already serving the second game of a three-game suspension, both Cale Fleury and Gustav Olofsson were listed to play along the blueline.

No word on supplemental discipline from the NHL regarding the Lomberg’s hit. It’s not likely at this point, but remains a possibility only because the Panthers don’t play again until Thursday. Typically in these matters they would have heard about a hearing or a phone call by now.

“I don’t like the hit, I don’t like anything about it, that’s not for me to make the decision,” Hakstol said. “We play the game and coach the game, that’s outside of my realm. If you’re asking me about the hit, I don’t like the hit, I think it’s cheap, I think it’s crap, but not for me to look at.”

Kuhlman Returns Shortly

To make room for Tolvanen on Monday the Kraken waived forward Karson Kuhlman. He was claimed by the Winnipeg Jets earlier Tuesday. The Jets visit the Kraken on Sunday, so if he’s with the big club and on the trip, it’ll be back to familiar surroundings very quickly for the right-handed forward.

In 14 games with Seattle after being picked up off waivers from the Boston Bruins in January, Kuhlman had a goal and two assists.

— Philipp Grubauer starts in net for the Kraken against the Lightning.

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.