Seattle Kraken, Ryker Evans

Kraken D-Prospect Ryker Evans Right On Time

We saw it coming. Kraken TV play-by-play man John Forslund brought up the topic in our latest podcast (17:20 mark), and I mentioned it via twitter/X while watching Seattle’s loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Monday night. “It” being a change or two along the blueline, or at least a game off for Brian Dumoulin.

Whether we were simply stating the obvious or we’re on the same page with the Kraken brass remains to be seen, but the club called up top D-prospect Ryker Evans on Tuesday.

The 21-year-old played for the big club through the preseason after having a point-a-game playoffs for the Coachella Valley Firebirds last spring. He’s yet to play his first official NHL game. He’s posted eight points in 18 AHL matches thus far this season.

Kraken D-Corps

Having a healthy D-corps is a bonus for any NHL team, and in that regard the Kraken can’t believe their luck. They’ve played the same six guys, the same three pairings, all season long without exception.

As delightful as that may seem, it’s time for a break.

In the first period in particular in Montreal, the D-corps was a turnover factory. As the game wore on, only the top pairing of Vince Dunn and Adam Larsson seemed immune from the chronic mistake bug.

The 2nd pairing of Jamie Oleksiak and Will Borgen have been solid all season, but they had their moments on this trip.

The third pair needs a break-up, even if brief.

Cue Evans.

Mobility and Movement

Why not just plug in Jaycob Megna to give someone a break? Because outside of mixing things up a bit, there’s more too it than just plugging in another big body. At this point for Seattle it’s about adding some dynamic skating, some puck movement, and some mobility.

Ryker Evans brings those things to the table.

Spelling Dumoulin early in the Kraken homestand makes sense. Lefty for lefty.

Recent Kraken:

— Kraken Lose 4-2 In Montreal, Finish Roadie 0-3-and-1

— Kraken Dominate But Can’t Finish, Lose 2-0 To Senators

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.
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6 months ago

Is Evans ready for prime time? He hasn’t been tearing up the AHL scoresheet the way that I had expected of a guy who looked to impressive on the power play in the preseason. Would you say that is due to the fact that he has been using this year to improve his defensive skills? If so, I would be all about bringing him up to the big club.

On the other hand, a young guy is going to make his share of gaffes even with a bit of seasoning. Even Vince Dunn in the inaugural season was defensively shakey on the back end, so I expect Evans to make mistakes. I do worry that Evans is only going to make the current situation where the defense all too often makes a bonehead mistake and leaves Grubauer or Daccord out to dry even more common. Still, something has to change, and the blue line is the place to start.

Hey, if Evans is effective enough on the power play to play on PP2, is there a chance that we also see Cale Fleury more up to the big club at last?