3 Kraken That Fans Have Fallen in Love With This Season

In their inaugural season, the Seattle Kraken are near the NHL’s seafloor, but that hasn’t stopped the fans from loving every second of their new team. Climate Pledge Arena erupts into cheers and Nirvana’s “Lithium” fuels it whenever they score, whether they’re up big or down bad. 

Brandon Tanev, Jared McCann, Ryan Donato/Joonas Donskoi 3 Kraken That Fans Have Fallen in Love With This Season
Brandon Tanev, Jared McCann, Ryan Donato/Joonas Donskoi (The Hockey Writers)

Kraken fans have made light of the team’s grim positional standings through their passion and love for those on the team. So grab a warm beverage and get the fire going, this one’s about those who the Kraken faithful have fallen for.

Brandon Tanev

It all started prior to the expansion draft for “Turbo.” His headshot from his final year with the Pittsburgh Penguins became a running joke, and when the expansion draft came around, he made sure to keep it going. He even emphasized it with his photo ahead of their inaugural season.

Most people had reasonable expectations for him this season; he’d lead the team in hits and be a penalty-killing staple. However, he exploded offensively out of the gate with nine goals and 15 points in 30 games; really giving the Kraken faithful something to cheer about, considering through his 30 games the team was 10-17-3. If he was healthy for a full 82-game season, he was on pace to score 25 goals and 40 points. It would’ve been his first 20-goal and 40-point seasons. 

He was the team’s emotional leader prior to getting hurt. “He has a huge, goofy personality that is completely in sync with the Seattle fanbase,” said Kraken fan Justin Jackson. “He is the best asset we acquired in the draft, the kind of player who makes up a foundation to build around. In short, I think he embodies the heart and soul of the team and everything it can be.”

Brandon Tanev, Seattle Kraken
Brandon Tanev, Seattle Kraken (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Fans are going to love to see Tanev flying around without a bucket during warmups, throwing hits and scoring goals once he’s healthy ahead of the team’s sophomore season. 

Davy Jones

To quote fellow THW Kraken writer Adam Kierszenblat, “if you don’t include Davy Jones, the team’s puppy, I will never speak to you again.” While the thought of potentially losing a friend was scary, it would have been criminal for Davy to be excluded from this list.

He was adopted from the animal rescue organization Dog Gone Seattle. He was brought on as, “part of a partnership between Canidae, the NHL and Oak View Group’s Arena Alliance” (from “Canidae introduces official team dog in partnership with NHL” by Nicole Kerwin, Pet Food Processing, Jan. 21, 2022). Chris and Emily Scarbrough will be his full-time caretakers. Chris was the lead developer of the Climate Pledge and the Kraken App.

The best part is that he’s not just there to be a “good boy” for his teammates, but he’s going to be helping to others as well. He’s set to train with the Alliance of Therapy Dogs to become an accredited therapy dog. Good boy? More like best boy.

Jared McCann

The Kraken are still the baby of the NHL, meaning that despite being halfway through the year, they’re still seeing a lot of firsts. Thanks to Jared McCann, they’ve found their first sniper. He has tallied his first 20-goal season and has 32 points in 46 games.

He’s tied his career-high of seven power-play goals and set a new one with 12 power-play points. He’s doing all this on a team that’s nearly in the Mariana Trench. He’s their only 20-goal and 30-point scorer, and leads the team in power-play goals by a wide margin.

Despite this offensive success, he wasn’t selected as an All-Star. That’s fine though, since he’s becoming a star on this team, and one that general manager Ron Francis needs to extend this offseason. “I would be quite disappointed if he wasn’t extended unless we got a couple of promising young players for him,” Jackson said. “Looking at the roster, if I were the coach, this is definitely one you want to keep.”

The Kraken have a fantastic piece for what will become an emerging young core with McCann in the puzzle.

Honorable Mention: Donnie & Donny

Ryan Donato and Joonas Donskoi deserve some recognition for their social media show “Kraken Jokes with Donnie and Donny.” The duo takes turns trying to make each other laugh by reading off what could be considered “dad jokes.” Some jokes are definitely better than others, and they end up making themselves laugh quite a bit too.

Related: Seattle Kraken 2021-22 Half-Season Superlatives

Players come and go, but you’ll always remember that first team you fell in love with; whether it’s what brought you to this amazing sport, or the team itself. The Kraken may be struggling to win, and over the years they’ll go through tons of iterations. However, it may be safe to say that these inaugural Kraken members are some that will always be remembered.