In the NHL, a formidable goaltender tandem is vital for a deep playoff push. The Seattle Kraken has the opportunity to make a run for the Stanley Cup in their inaugural season.
Firstly, the Seattle Kraken must solidify who they want between the posts. Goaltenders are the heart of a hockey team.
That makes the defense the backbone and the forwards the extremities. When all of those work together, a hockey team strikes with optimum movement.
The Seattle Kraken has several different options to potentially pluck from the rest of the league. With all that said, who are the likely candidates when picking our first goalie?
For Ron Francis and his scouting department, the question becomes, “do you rely on proven veterans or a young dynamo?” Longevity says that the young and talented are a must.
If the mantra is “win now,” then the Kraken may poach a savvy veteran. Here is a shortlist of goaltenders that could help Seattle make a run at the Stanley Cup in 2021-2022.
Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins
Firstly, Tuukka Rask has been one of the best at his position throughout the entire league for several years.
With a career save percentage of 92.2%, the former Vezina Trophy winner almost reclaimed that award in 2019-2020; he didn’t sniff double-digit losses in regulation or overtime.
He’ll be 34-years-old when the Kraken join the NHL. A sure veteran hand like Rask possesses the skill to be at the top of his game for another three seasons.
David Rittich, Calgary Flames
David Rittich would benefit from being part of a strong goaltender tandem. Last season, he was out to a hot start, notably earning an All-Star bid. He is a perfect number two, who could be a number one in the NHL.
If Seattle believes a tandem is a way to build instead of a true, lone starter, complimenting Rittich in a one-two punch can be very effective. He will be splitting the net with Jacob Markstrom this season, who will be protected by a no-movement clause in the NHL Expansion Draft.
Anton Khudobin, Dallas Stars
Khudobin led the league in save percentage through 2019-2020 and was two wins away from hoisting Lord Stanley’s Cup. Fleecing the Stars of Khudobin is a dastardly idea by Francis and company.
He is turning 35 years-old in the 2021-2022 season, so featuring him in a true goaltender tandem would fit best.
Jake Allen, Montreal Canadiens
Jake Allen is another goaltender who is going to be available because of a no-movement clause. This time, the Canadiens are protecting Carey Price. Allen is coming off of his career-best season, saving 92.7% of the shots he faced.
Specifically, here is a goaltender who has yet to own a losing record in the NHL or dip below a 90% save percentage, Allen may be a favorite in the eyes of Francis. He’s also young enough to serve as a backup goaltender before taking on a starting role in Seattle.
Tristan Jarry, Pittsburgh Penguins
Tristan Jarry has been pushed into a starting role with the Penguins, which is well deserved. It is debatable that he is even exposed, but in the case he is, the Kraken needs to be considering him.
Perhaps key is that Seattle would be getting the most longevity out of Jarry. Indeed, his youth makes him a prime selection for Francis. Jarry would be ideal as a starting goaltender or a tandem goaltender.
Braden Holtby, Vancouver Canucks
Indeed, Braden Holtby has been a hot topic as a favorite to be selected by the Seattle Kraken. Despite one poor recent season, we’re talking a proven veteran at just 32 years-old in the Kraken’s inaugural season.
A two-time All-Star, former Vezina Trophy winner, and former Stanley Cup champion, Holtby brings a wealth of experience to the Kraken on day one.
Making him the starting goaltender with a backup like Jarry, Allen, or Rittich could help Seattle become a force for years to come. As the Canucks will likely protect Thatcher Demko, Holtby could be a lock to start for the Kraken.