Following the 2022 NHL Draft Lottery, it’s time to look at the potential options the Seattle Kraken have with the fourth overall pick.
On Tuesday May 10, 2022 the NHL hosted the 27th annual Draft Lottery. While the system has changed slightly since the first one in 1995 it has stayed the same at its core. The Seattle Kraken entered the Draft Lottery sitting at 30th place and the third best odds (11.5%) at the first overall pick. Ultimately, the Montreal Canadiens would win the first overall pick and Seattle would end up falling one spot to the fourth pick in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft.
While it may not be the three spot most thought they would end up with, picking within the top five is still good. GM Ron Francis has picked in the top-five twice in his managerial career. Once with Carolina in 2015 selecting Noah Hanifin, and once with Seattle in 2021 selecting Matty Beniers. While Hanifin didn’t come into his own until this season posting career numbers, he is still a solid defenceman. While the jury may still be out on Matty Beniers, it appears he could be a franchise talent going forward. That being said Francis has done a great job addressing his teams concerns within the first round and that should continue with this year’s draft.
So what exactly are the needs of the Seattle Kraken? As the Kraken don’t have the pipeline of most NHL teams, it would be easy to say, everything needs to be addressed. However it’s not that easy, that’s what the later rounds are for, filling out your AHL roster and potentially finding some gems throughout. The hope of a top five pick is that they’ll jump right into the roster and help out immediately. So what would help Seattle out the most right away?
The biggest hole that needs to be filled is on the back end. The defence lost a big piece when captain Mark Giordano was traded to Toronto at the deadline. Looking at the Kraken depth chart they could go with either a right or left shot D as both sides need to be worked on if they want to be successful going forward. And while on paper Philipp Grubauer’s season may not have been impressive, it’s important to take into account that the defence in front of him wasn’t up to par. It would behoove the Kraken to get a strong defenceman to help shore up the defensive side of the puck. With all that being said, what can GM Ron Francis do with the fourth overall pick?