On August 31st, the Seattle Kraken inked Devin Shore to a one-year, two-way contract that carries a $775,000 cap hit. Shore, 29, brings his defence-first style game to a team that oozes much of the same already. The move adds yet another proven option to an already deep roster, creating even more competition for the bottom half of their lineup.
Devin Shore Signs with Seattle Kraken
In 422 career contests, Shore posted 50 goals and 83 assists for 133 total points. Those games came across eight separate seasons, as he doesn’t usually feature as a lineup regular. For the last three years, he did just that with the Edmonton Oilers, appearing in 134 of their 246 regular season games. He may bounce between the NHL and AHL next year too, since the Kraken signed Shore to a two-way deal.
Besides Edmonton, Shore also previously suited up for the Dallas Stars, Anaheim Ducks and Columbus Blue Jackets. Shore entered the league via the entry draft in 2012, when the Stars took him in the second round.
Kraken Logjam on Offence
Before Shore arrived, the Kraken already had plenty of tough decisions ahead for their forward group. They feature a lot of players who feel like lineup regulars, or at least roster locks. With only 12 slots available, though, some good hockey players look destined for nights as healthy scratches.
The team’s top dogs all certainly occupy some of those 12, and (barring an injury) won’t drop out of the lineup. In no particular order, Jordan Eberle, Jaden Schwartz, Oliver Bjorkstrand, Andre Burakovsky, Jared McCann, Yanni Gourde, Eeli Tolvanen, and Matthew Beniers all qualify for that category. And already, eight of the spots are filled.
After those players, there are even more guys that don’t wind up in the press box very often. Alexander Wennberg and Brandon Tanev both played all 82 games last season for Seattle. That reduces available spots to two, and Shore isn’t the only Kraken forward vying for those openings.
New Faces in Seattle Preparing for War in Training Camp
Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, a new face in Seattle, typically plays every game when healthy. That may change on his new squad, given the circumstances. Kailer Yamamoto arrives too, with all the motivation in the world to redeem himself offensively. Marian Studenic, 24, also signed with the Kraken this summer to pad their depth.
Aside from signings, the team features plenty of up-and-coming prospects hoping for a regular season audition. A strong training camp could put any of these players in a position for just that. Tye Kartye got a taste when he played ten playoff games with the Kraken last spring, and looked good doing so. Shane Wright, their first round pick last summer, played a handful of games and surely wants to become a more permanent piece of the puzzle as soon as possible.
Kole Lind, a former expansion draft pick from Seattle’s inaugural season, also might be ready. Again, we’re talking about possible contenders for just two roster spots. Between Bellemare, Yamamoto, Studenic, Kartye, Wright, Lind, and now Shore, the Kraken have their work cut out for them.
Devin Shore’s Advantage in Seattle
Where Shore may gain an edge rests in the style of player he is. The Kraken remain known for their defense-first mentality and balance in the lineup. Shore offers even more of the same, from that standpoint. He doesn’t break the bank contract-wise either, which surely helped get the deal done. Like Bellemare and Tanev, he logs lots of penalty kill minutes and starts most of his shifts in the defensive zone.
Perhaps adding Shore gives them more confidence in their ability to remain responsible in their own end. Yamamoto, for instance, exhibits the exact opposite skill set. Placing both on the same line could offer balance; a line that can both defend well and also pose an offensive threat. That was their bread and butter last year, when all four lines could produce consistently. Now, the combinations appear nearly endless for their bottom six.
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