The Seattle Kraken made what might be considered the more obvious roster decisions on Thursday morning, while taking a wait and see approach with a couple of their top prospects and goaltenders.
That wait and see won’t last long. The final Kraken preseason game is Friday night in Edmonton against the Oilers and the regular season gets under way next Tuesday night in Vegas against the Stanley Cup champion Golden Knights.
Seattle and its fans will know the final roster by Monday morning at the latest, probably sooner.
The following youngsters, waiver-exempt, were sent to the Coachella Valley Firebirds camp: Czech Goalie Ales Stezka, forwards Luke Henman and Ville Petman, and D-man Peetro Seppala. All three skaters played in the AHL last season and are 22-years-olds, while the netminder is 26 and will be playing in North America for the first time if he stays.
The rest of the players moved along on Thursday are veterans who must clear waivers before reporting to the Kraken’s American Hockey League affiliate. They include forwards Cameron Hughes, Kole Lind, Max McCormick, Andrew Poturalski, Devin Shore, Marian Studenic, and defensemen Connor Carrick, Gustav Olofsson, Mitch Reinke, and Jimmy Schuldt.
30-year-old McCormick was the Firebirds captain last season and the team’s leading regular season scorer with 67 points. Lind led that team in playoff scoring with 31 points in 26 games.
Carrick is a 29-year-old veteran of five other NHL organizations who’s played 242 games in the big show. The Kraken signed him as a free agent on July 3rd.
Top Prospects And Goalies
As they should, the Kraken will be taking as long as they can to make a final opening night decision on winger Tye Kartye, center Shane Wright and defenseman Ryker Evans. Kartye would be a favorite, but all three are contenders to be on the NHL roster. The question becomes, who sits down if and when they make it?
The back-up goalie question remains unanswered for now as well. Joey Dacord has only given up one regulation goal during the preseason and has a save percentage of .973. That’s a crazy high number although the assignments were choppy, often seeing him share time in the crease during games with Philipp Grubauer or the man Daccord is competing with, Chris Driedger.
Daccord gave up two shoot-out goals in a loss to the Calgary Flames split squad on September 25th.
Both contenders played Wednesday night in Abbotsford, BC in the 2-1 victory over the Canucks. Daccord gave up a goal while working the first forty minutes. Driedger was perfect in the third.
Kraken General Manager Ron Francis can call around the league to make a deal or gauge the interest in his back-up goaltenders from other NHL general managers before making a decision.
If no trades are available, one of them will be waived.
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