Three Seattle Kraken Trades Before the Deadline

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Well, 2022-23 slipped away from the Seattle Kraken early. They struggled out of the gate, which made sense given the newness of the squad and lack of chemistry between teammates. However, results never came this year. Now, they face a fast-approaching trade deadline with a roster full of pending UFAs. General Manager Ron Francis will explore all avenues to maximize his returns on assets that likely won’t return next season anyways. Those aren’t always the most fruitful deals to make, but something is sure better than nothing. What trades will the Seattle Kraken make in the coming days?

Three Seattle Kraken Trades that Could Happen by the Deadline

Seattle resides second-to-last in the NHL standings, just two points ahead of the Montreal Canadiens. Teams down there get dubbed as “sellers” at this time of year. Why? Well, they usually have a piece or two (or more) that another team finds appealing. Teams pushing for a playoff berth or Stanley Cup championship may be willing to acquire a particular player from a non-playoff team to help make that push. The “sellers” acquire something in return that benefits their future outlook beyond this season, since it’s realistically already out of their hands.

NHL free agent frenzy

For the Kraken, there’s plenty of pieces on their roster that other teams may find appealing. Most of them enter free agency this summer, so would be considered “rentals” for the teams acquiring them. That reduces the potential return Seattle could get back in the deal, since other teams likely will only keep that particular player for the next few months. So, Kraken fans, temper your expectations…

Who the Seattle Kraken Should Move in Trades

On their active roster alone, Seattle possesses five pending UFAs, plus another six pending RFAs. Expand that view to include their non-roster players, and the total pending free agents equals a whopping 20 players (9 UFAs, 11 RFAs).

So, the focus for Seattle Kraken trades sits amongst those 20.

Mark Giordano

The first captain in Kraken history, Mark Giordano likely winds up completing the season in another uniform. He remains the most-valuable pending free agent on the team’s roster, and should garner the best return as a result. At 38 years old, the defender doesn’t have much tread left on the tires. But his old team, the Calgary Flames, probably remain very interested in bringing their former captain back into the fold.

The reason Seattle should focus on making a deal with Calgary is twofold. One, Calgary sits atop the Pacific Division and would love bringing in an experienced, familiar defenceman to bolster their back-end. Two, they’re probably the franchise willing to give up the most. No, Seattle won’t acquire anything ground-breaking for Gio, regardless where he goes. But maybe they could pick up a pair of mid-round draft picks. Calgary owns two selections in the second round this summer. The Kraken can certainly retain salary, too, without hurting their cap situation today or for the future. Doing that could allow Calgary to make an additional move to become that much more reinforced for the postseason.

Now, Seattle could retain salary regardless where they move Giordano. The downside to sending him elsewhere is that the most likely outcome for Gio this summer is to either retire or re-sign in Calgary. He¬†could sign elsewhere to chase a Cup before calling it quits, but Calgary honestly doesn’t look like a bad destination to try and win it all right now. The good-faith could sweeten the deal specifically between Calgary and Seattle, so that would be the seemingly likely deal to be made here.

To Calgary Flames: Mark Giordano (Seattle retains maximum salary allowed)

To Seattle: Byron Froese + 2022 2nd Round Pick

Calle Jarnkrok

The Kraken’s fourth-leading scorer, Calle Jarnkrok accomplished basically exactly what was expected of him in Seattle. His point total sits on pace with his last few years in Nashville, as this year marked his seventh-consecutive campaign with between 10 and 20 goals. He’s a solid third-liner with the ability to kill penalties and play up in the lineup if needed. For Seattle, a team with very few options on offence, Jarnkrok wasn’t suddenly going to produce way more than ever before in his career. However, he demonstrated his value and Francis likely has plenty of suitors for the centreman.

The likely return, though, won’t be much. Francis could get fancy and create conditions on the trade where, if the acquiring team has “X” amount of postseason success, Seattle gets “Y” additional asset, or something to that extent. But really, the probable enhancement would be bumping a third round draft pick up to a second round pick. And that is if they’re lucky. More realistically, Jarnkrok could land Seattle a pair of fourth-round picks, or a single third-round pick. If they get more than that, then Francis is working really, really hard.

To Washington Capitals: Calle Jarnkrok (Seattle retains maximum salary allowed)

To Seattle: 2022 4th Round Pick + 2023 5th Round Pick

Marcus Johansson, Riley Sheahan, Connor Carrick

Unfortunately for Seattle, there’s not much more they can do than what was discussed above. And these three players all fall a notch below a player like Jarnkrok in term of value added to a potential suitor.

Ideally, the Kraken find ways to part with each of these players unless Francis can extend their deals beyond this season. Allowing any of them to reach this summer’s free agency period would represent a waste, as they would walk from the team with no value added to the franchise beyond this season.

Sure, each of these players could get attention from all over the league. But that attention won’t be sending much back Seattle’s way in a potential trade. Johansson provides a playoff team with an experienced bottom six winger that can also play on a powerplay unit. Sheahan remains an effective fourth line centreman who can kill penalties. And Carrick gives any team one more right-shot defenceman to support the team’s depth. For the return, Seattle would be lucky to receive anything better than a fourth round draft pick.

To any given playoff team: ONE OF Johansson, Sheahan, or Carrick

To Seattle: 2022 4th Round Pick

What Trades the Seattle Kraken Could Make at the Deadline?

Sorry if all of the above felt anti-climactic. For Kraken fans it probably was reminiscent of the feelings felt during the Expansion Draft last summer. Tons of excitement leading up to the event, then lots of “oh…alright then” feelings when push comes to shove.

That won’t last forever though. Right now, Seattle has to salvage whatever they can from their first year in the NHL. This summer, the team will have a huge budget entering free agency. Generally speaking, building a team via free agency isn’t as fruitful as using the draft. However, they also will receive a lottery pick this summer, after picking 2nd overall last summer too.

So, they very well can try and build on both fronts. They have the money to spend and enhance the lineup in the immediate future. If they use this deadline to stock the cupboards full of as many picks as possible, they can fuel a youth movement too. Maybe Matthew Beniers cracks the lineup next season, and maybe the team drafts Shane Wright this year to join him too. Those pieces could attract free agents to hop on the bus immediately. It might not be long before Francis reaps some benefits and the next chapter of Seattle’s hockey history can begin…

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