The Seattle Kraken concluded the trade deadline with six trades. It was a mixed bag of results that included acquiring 10 draft picks spread out over the next three drafts. Here is a recap, along with a trade grade for each deal.
Calle Järnkrok (50% Salary Retained) To the Calgary Flames for a 2022 Second-round Pick (FLA), 2023 Third-round Pick (CGY), and a 2024 Seventh-round Pick (CGY)
Trade Grade: A-
The first move of the trade deadline season saw Calle Järnkrok traded to the Flames for three draft picks. The Flames bolstered their top-nine with a versatile forward, while the Kraken added draft picks. Overall, this was a good trade that should benefit both sides.
Related: Kraken Trade Jarnkrok to Flames for Draft Picks
General manager (GM) Ron Francis deserves some credit for acquiring three picks for the struggling Järnkrok. The only critique here is could the Kraken have pushed and acquired a prospect like Connor Zary or Jakob Pelletier instead of the draft picks. Regardless, this was a good trade as it helped build for the future.
Mark Giordano (50% Salary Retained) And Colin Blackwell to the Toronto Maple Leafs for a 2022 Second-round Pick (TOR), 2023 Second-round Pick (TOR), and a 2024 Third-round Pick (TOR)
Trade Grade: C-
The Kraken lost this trade, plain and simple. When considering what the trade market looked like, there is no reason the Kraken should have only received two second-rounders and a third for not only Mark Giordano but also Colin Blackwell. Seattle gave away their top asset plus a strong player for pennies on the dollar, which is why they get a C- grade for this trade.
A good comparison for this trade is Ben Chiarot. The Panthers gave up a first, a fourth and a prospect to acquire him from the Montreal Canadiens. While he is a good defenceman, Giordano has had more success this season and should have cost more to acquire. Then you add in that Toronto also received Blackwell in the deal, and it makes the entire trade a head-scratcher. Lastly, the Kraken even took back salary helping the Maple Leafs further without using the cap space retention to add assets to the trade. Although the Kraken did add to their prospect pool, they should have received a bigger package for these two pending unrestricted free agents.
Jérémy Lauzon to the Nashville Predators for a 2022 Second-round Pick (NSH)
Trade Grade: A
The Seattle Kraken took full advantage of the trade market and were able to get Jérémy Lauzon for a second-round pick from Nashville. While the former Bruin has been a good bottom-pair defenceman for the Kraken this season, the Predators did overpay in acquiring him. This was a good example of the Kraken taking advantage of the trade market and getting value back for a player who will be a restricted free agent come the summer.
The biggest issue with Lauzon was he took too many penalties. In 53 games this season, he had 67 penalty minutes, which was 20 more than the next highest player on the Kraken. He never really fit with Seattle so getting a late-round second-round pick is a steal for the Kraken.
Mason Appleton to the Winnipeg Jets for a 2023 Fourth-round Pick (WPG)
Trade Grade: C
The Seattle Kraken returned Mason Appleton back to his original team while acquiring a 2023 fourth-round pick. For whatever reason, this partnership never really worked out, and it was best the two parties cut ties and go their separate ways. Despite the need for separation, the Kraken did not get enough for the 26-year-old forward at the deadline.
Appleton can play center or wing, can kill penalties and bring a physical presence on the ice. Being traded for a 2023 fourth-rounder is a low evaluation when a player like Nicolas Deslauriers, who is older, more expensive and less versatile, gets traded to the Wild for a third-rounder. It was a positive that the Kraken were able to get back a draft pick, but it should have been higher considering what other deals were made.
Marcus Johansson (50 percent Salary Retained) to the Washington Capitals for Daniel Sprong, a 2022 Fourth-round Pick (WSH), and a 2023 Sixth-round Pick (WSH)
Trade Grade: B
The Kraken were able to turn Marcus Johansson into Daniel Sprong and two draft picks, which was a win for Seattle. They added to their prospect pool while also bringing in a 25-year-old player who has some upside. Overall, this was a good trade despite the fact the Kraken should have received better draft picks because they agreed to 50 percent salary retention.
Related: Kraken & Capitals Make Good Trade Partners Ahead of Deadline
The big question with this trade is how Sprong will fit in Seattle. He has not been able to live up to expectations yet throughout his career, which is why the Kraken are his fourth team since he broke into the league in 2015-16. With multiple players moved out at the trade deadline, he will receive an opportunity to succeed in Seattle right off the bat. Time will tell if the Kraken won this trade or not, but this move does have the potential to be one of the best from the trade deadline.
Kraken Acquire Victor Rask (50 Percent Salary Retained) From the Minnesota Wild for Future Consideration
Trade Grade: N/A
This trade makes little to no sense as Victor Rask was sent straight to the minors after being acquired. Basically, he is a 29-year-old forward who signed a lucrative deal and couldn’t live up to it. He was also put on waivers earlier this season but went unclaimed. Until the future consideration part is determined, this trade gets an N/A rating.
Kraken Trade Deadline Grade: C+
In the end, the Kraken did what they needed to do. They moved pending free agents for draft picks while also acquiring a young winger with upside. While having over 30 picks in the next three drafts is great, they did not get full value on some of the trades based on the prices other teams paid for players around the league. The Kraken did ok during their first-ever trade deadline but definitely left some value on the table overall.