Seattle Kraken Player Preview: C Calle Jarnkrok
Versatile forward Calle Jarnkrok gives the Seattle Kraken options going into their first season.
Selected From: Nashville Predators
Contract: 1 yr. left at $2 million AAV
2020-21 Season Stats: 49 GP: 13 G, 15 A, 28 P, +13
With their expansion draft pick from the Nashville Predators, the Seattle Kraken selected Calle Jarnkrok.
The Predators attempted to use the expansion draft to clear cap space and bait the Kraken into taking one of their expensive forwards. Matt Duchene and Ryan Johansen were both exposed to Seattle; each is due to make $8 million per season for the next few years. The Kraken wisely passed on the pricey forwards for a similarly productive player in Jarnkrok, who only costs them $2 million this season.
Jarnkrok’s entire eight-year NHL career to this point was spent with the Predators. He played over 500 games with the franchise, recording 94 goals and 211 points with a plus-59 rating. In 63 playoff games, he added 3 goals and 15 points. Jarnkrok and the Preds advanced to the Stanley Cup Final in 2016-17, ultimately losing to the Penguins in six games.
Seattle Kraken Outlook
Jarnkrok’s ability to play any forward position makes him a tremendous asset for the Kraken. They are starting fresh and most of their players have never played together, so chemistry will take some time to develop. Being able to move Jarnkrok around the lineup could be a big plus for Dave Hakstol as he tries to figure out the best way to produce offense.
Recent free-agent additions Jaden Schwartz and Alexander Wennberg give Seattle more of a scoring punch than they initially had at the conclusion of the expansion draft.
Even with the free-agent acquisitions and drafting Matty Beniers, Seattle will still rely on Jarnkrok heavily, especially early. The team learned that center Yanni Gourde would miss time at the start of the season, leaving more ice time and responsibility for Jarnkrok. He had a middle-six role for most of his career in Nashville and could see a larger role in Seattle. With the lack of experience down the middle and Gourde’s injury, Jarnkrok could assume a top-six center role immediately. No matter where he starts out, Jarnkrok has the track record to produce consistently for his new team.