The Seattle Kraken has a very productive player in Brandon Tanev for this season.
Selected from: Pittsburgh Penguins
Contract: 4 years left, $3.5 million AAV
2020-21 Season Stats: GP: 32, G: 7, A: 9, PTS: 16, +12
Penguin fans were hoping that the Seattle Kraken would not take Brandon Tanev, but realistically, he was far too good to pass up. Although he is not necessarily the most dominant of goal scorers, his effective defensive play and immense degree of physicality will make him a valuable asset for them moving forward.
When the Penguins signed Tanev to a six-year deal back during the 2019 off-season, it seemed as though his future was set. Yet, with him being available at the expansion draft, it was clear things was going to change. Now the 29-year-old will be Seattle’s property for the next four seasons and at a cap hit that is very affordable in the process.
In each of his two seasons with the Penguins, Tanev primarily played third-line minutes. He was perfect for the role, as he was capable of providing solid depth scoring. He also became a mainstay on their penalty kill. This season was his best one to date, too, as he scored seven goals and had 16 points in just 32 games. Over the course of an 82-game schedule, he would have been on pace for 41. His career-high is 29 at this said juncture.
Tanev is the perfect player for an expansion team
With Tanev’s solid play in all aspects of the game, the Kraken are going to benefit significantly from having him around. When looking at the Kraken’s forward group, it is fair to assume that he will be a middle-six winger for them. He could very well sneak his way onto their second-line, but that will honestly all depend on team chemistry. He is the type of player who can be utilized throughout the entire lineup, too. Therefore, specifically finding a spot for him is less of a necessity than many others.
Tanev is already one of the most popular players on the Kraken roster, too. He of course attended the expansion draft in Seattle and memorably joked about his infamous headshot photo.
Although this may seem small, it is a nice thing knowing the veteran is so enthusiastic about being on a brand new club. Fans will keep this in mind when they watch him hit the ice this October.
It would also not be shocking if he ends up becoming one of the alternate captains for them from the start because of this. It also does not hurt that he has a very hard work ethic. He is the type of heart-and-soul player that every team needs, as he offers a little bit of everything. Expect to see him as a key contributor to their penalty kill. This is where he makes his living in this league. Perhaps he may even get a chance on their power play, too.
Nonetheless, it will be quite exciting to see what Tanev does with Seattle.