2021-22 Kraken Report Cards: Eberle, Sheahan, Wennberg

Welcome back to the first annual Seattle Kraken Report Cards. Although the 2021-22 season did not go as hoped, there were many moments and players who stepped up during the campaign. Now, it is time to review the season that was and determine which letter grade each player deserves from the past season. To qualify for a grade, players must have played a minimum of 10 games and finished the season within the Seattle organization.

Seattle Kraken Year End Player Grades
Seattle Kraken (The Hockey Writers)

Just like the grading system in the U.S. and Canada, we will be using letter grades to determine how well each player did. For example, if a player gets an A grade, they were excellent all season, while if a player receives a C-, they have a lot to work on going into next season. This article will focus on Jordan Eberle, Riley Sheahan and Alexander Wennberg.

Jordan Eberle

Eberle was arguably the most marquee name the Kraken selected during the expansion draft. The former Islander and Team Canada World Junior hero was coming off 33 points in 55 games season in 2020-21, where he had helped the Islanders to the Eastern Conference Final for the second year in a row. Seattle selected him to help become a major part of the offence, which he did in his first season.

Related: Kraken Need to Make a Trade With the Islanders to Draft Geekie

Some may view Eberle’s 2021-22 campaign as a disappointment, but it feels that expectations were too high at the beginning of the season. Combine that with the fact that Jaden Schwartz missed more than half the season, and his performance does not look so bad. This past season, he scored 21 goals and registered 44 points in 79 games. Only two other players (Jared McCann and Yanni Gourde) had more goals and points than him on the Kraken. He still had 20 goals and was above .55 points per game, so overall, his offensive statistics were good, all things considered.

The was one concern with Eberle’s game this season, though, and it was his play with Matty Beniers. While the two were on the ice, they produced 43.46 Corsi for percentage (CF%) in just over 100 minutes together at even strength. They were also outshot and had an expected goal for percentage (xGF%) of 34.53 percent. These two will likely play together next season, so it is imperative they find some chemistry. Outside of this issue, his season was decent but more should be expected in 2022-23.

Player Grade: B

Riley Sheahan

Riley Sheahan did everything the Kraken expected as a depth forward. Whether it was at center or on the wing, he played with energy and showed success playing with different linemates. He also famously scored Seattle’s first-ever preseason goal, which came versus their rivals, the Vancouver Canucks.

Related: Kraken’s Sheahan Hoping for Continued Success After Strong January

Breaking down Sheahan’s play, there is not a lot that sticks out, which is a good thing. He only had 12 turnovers in 69 games while creating 19 takeaways and was a key member of the penalty kill. As for his offence, he finished with four goals and 17 points while generating 69 shots on net. Most importantly, he showed that at 30 years old, he can still bring some value to an organization at the NHL level.

Overall, there are not many complaints when it comes to his season. All of his analytics were above 50 percent, and he was the only player to play more than 40 games who finished with a PDO (on-ice save percentage + on-ice shooting percentage) of over 100. In the context of what was expected, he excelled in the limited role he received.

Player Grade: B

Alexander Wennberg

This season was a disappointing one for Wennberg, as he produced just 11 goals and 37 points for the Kraken. He signed a three-year $13.5 million contract last offseason that also included a ten-team no-trade clause, as Seattle had big hopes he could be their future second-line center. While he did have some good games, it is hard to remember any big-time performances, which is problematic for a player with a cap hit of $4.5 million.

Related: 2021-22 Kraken Report Cards: Fleury, Gourde, Lind

Wennberg’s analytics are a mixed back. Some may look at the positives, which were that he had a 50.82 CF% with 41 takeaways, while others will look at the negatives, which include a 40.34 goals for percentage (GF%) and 42.66 xGF%. While some of his statistics resulted from poor goaltending, overall, there were some concerning trends that he needs to fix before next season.

Alex Wennberg, Seattle Kraken
Alex Wennberg, Seattle Kraken (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

In the end, the real problem is Wennberg was brought in to produce in the offensive zone and on the power play, and he didn’t. He finished with only six power-play points despite playing the third most ice-time of any player with the man advantage and generated just 95 total shots on net. Hopefully, he can refind his form from 2016-17, where he registered 59 points and become the second-line center the Kraken hoped for in 2022-23.

Player Grade: C

Overview

While all these players played a role this season, some excelled more than others. It is a testament to his season that Sheahan may have had the best season of all three based on expectation. Hopefully, all three will have strong 2022-23 seasons if they are back with the Kraken.

Make sure to stay tuned for more player report cards coming out throughout the summer and let us know if you agree with our grades in the comments below.


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