In the Present
After a loss to the Winnipeg Jets, all is over for the Seattle Kraken regarding the 2021-22 NHL Season. The debuting franchise will end at the bottom of the Pacific Division. Despite that, the Kraken has shown clear signs of competitive evolution during this final month of the season. Seattle put up some significant results, with wins against Dallas, Chicago, New Jersey, Ottawa, Colorado and San Jose.
The Roster Power
All in all, the brand-new franchise from the West Coast will need to improve their roster power tenfold if they want to be competitive targeting the playoffs for the next season (which is the very least a hungry brand-new franchise should aim for).
The Results so far
The Kraken completed their inaugural 82-game season, scored 213 goals, and gave up 281 (a goal difference of minus-68). This puts the Kraken in the 29th position according to this author’s power rankings, just above Philadelphia, Arizona and Montreal – which is not much of an accolade.
The solution to this situation starts with an empowered scouting force covering the North American and (most importantly) the European territories plus a very shrewd draft strategy for the next season. Regarding the scouting in Europe, the Seattle Kraken has been establishing a strong footprint in the continent since 2020 after hiring Robert Kron for the job.
It’s clear that the name of the game for the Kraken’s management is now called “roster building”. To help achieve this objective, the Seattle Kraken shouldn’t shy away from tapping into carefully handpicked external advisors and consultants with successful experience working with other NHL teams.
On the coaching side there is nothing to add or change since Head Coach Dave Hakstol and his staff have done a decent job for the budding NHL franchise.
Bottom line, the Seattle Kraken has some distance to cover but with the right (and diligent) management approach it is not exaggerated to hope for this new Pacific Division team to build a strong team to fight for the playoffs next season.