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Eeli Tolvanen Fitting Perfectly with Seattle Kraken

Just a month ago, the Seattle Kraken claimed Eeli Tolvanen off of waivers from the Nashville Predators. Tolvanen entered the NHL as a first-round pick back in 2017. The Preds drafted him back then, and in the five seasons since, dressed him a total of 135 times. In those games, Tolvanen recorded 25 goals and 26 assists, for 51 points. He seemed destined for a strong career in 2020-21 when he scored 22 points in 40 contests.

Though he appeared in seven games over the two seasons prior, that counted as his rookie season. He finished 14th in the Calder Trophy voting for Rookie of the Year but struggled to develop beyond that. Now in Seattle, Tolvanen looks ready to blow up.

Eeli Tolvanen Fits Perfectly with Seattle Kraken

Earlier this season, Tolvanen recorded just two goals and two assists for four points in 13 games with Nashville. His possession metrics sat just barely in the green, with a 1.4 relative Corsi-for percentage. In years prior, that metric sat much higher.

For a struggling Predators team, patience wore thin. They placed him on waivers with the intention to re-assign him to their AHL affiliate.

Tolvanen Arrives in Seattle

Then, the Kraken stepped in. Ron Francis claimed the 23-year-old winger, and he reported to Seattle. His first game with the Kraken came on New Year’s Day at home, where he scored the game-winning goal in a 4-1 decision. He followed that up with six points in the seven games since, too. That brings him to five goals and two assists in eight games since the waiver claim. Those goals include two game-winners and two on the power play. He recorded no power-play points for Nashville earlier this year, and already collected 150% of his total with the Preds, in half the games played.

Kraken Forward Depth Bolstered by Tolvanen

At the halfway point, the Kraken sit third in the league in goals for per game. That comes in drastically better than last season, where they finished fourth-worst in the same statistic. The difference there comes from the dramatic production boost across their lineup. No single player sits amongst the league leaders in points, nor do any sit above the point-per-game mark. In fact, Tolvanen sits closest now with seven points in eight games.

And that’s been the difference for Seattle to date in 2022-23. The team mentality shines above any one individual. Newcomers like Andre Burakovsky (36 points in 42 games) and Oliver Bjorkstrand (22 points in 42 games) provided a boost to the team’s skill level. Rookie Matthew Beniers (36 points in 42 games) is just getting started in a career that looks destined for stardom. And even depth forwards, like Tolvanen and Daniel Sprong (27 points in 35 games) find ways to hit the scoresheet consistently.

Those contributions up and down the lineup make this team deadly. Tolvanen slid in and fit perfectly, as another regular contributor. The Kraken boast many talented threats on offence today, and it ignited what looks to be their first playoff season in franchise history.

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