The Seattle Kraken have chosen Calle Jarnkrok from the Nashville Predators in the expansion draft.
In the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Jarnkrok was selected with the 51st-overall pick by the Detroit Red Wings. Jarnkrok, in his draft year, was tagged by scouts as a great player at both the center and wing positions. His ability to be in the right position at the right times and become the go-to guy on the man advantage and rush was a huge plus. However, there was some concern about his physicality level and his shot release.
At a relatively short and skinny 5-foot-11, 185-pounds, it’s not really a surprise that he wasn’t the most physical player in the world. He was more focused on creating and scoring goals than throwing the body. As for his shot, it has developed over the years, and at the time, it warranted the intrigue. His release definitely isn’t traditional, and that can throw scouts off as it did here. It wasn’t a major area of concern, but it wasn’t one of the better aspects of his game.
Jarnkrok with the Red Wings spent most of his time in the minors until he was traded to the Nashville Predators in a package for veteran forward David Legwand. Since then, he has developed into a solid top-six option with top-line upside. At 29 years old, he is in the prime of his career and has been relied upon to bring secondary scoring to a Predators lineup that will take all it can get.
He was the third-leading scorer on the team with 28 points, and he led the team in goals. He was one of the best players on the team in an up-and-down 2020-21 season. People talked about him consistently for his great defense, and analytics pundits everywhere were throwing around his name for the Selke Trophy. He definitely deserved it as well, considering his high-danger chances against were very low relative to other forwards in the league. He was a great all-around player for the team, and his development since arriving in the Music City has been a treat to watch.
Jarnkrok’s contract is arguably the best part about picking him. At only $2 million average annual value (AAV) for one more season, he is very cost-controlled and not expected to get a massive raise per Evolving-Hockey‘s contract projections. If they wanted to bring him back, it probably wouldn’t cost much.
What Can Jarnkrok Bring to the Lineup?
Jarnkrok is an electric player. Whether he’s in a scoring slump or coming off a game with a hat trick, his effort level and efficiency on the forecheck are always a boost. It doesn’t matter the situation; he always gives 110 percent. He is not the most consistent scorer, and his streakiness has cost the Predators games before, but when he’s on, it’s something to behold. The point totals won’t be overly impressive, but his shot is gorgeous, and the fact that he isn’t scoring more than 20 goals a season might have something to do with the current system.
Jarnkrok can be deployed in any situation. He has the speed and the defensive instincts to play on the penalty kill, and he has the offensive prowess to help with the power play. He also has the skating ability to help lead a rush-driven offensive system. He’s the perfect package for a team like the Kraken that needs players that give mountains of effort and bring a specific identity with them.
Players Who Weren’t Chosen
Jeff is a consistent source for Red Wings content at The Hockey Writers. He was formerly a member of the Predators writing team, and he enjoys watching all sorts of hockey, from juniors to the pros. Jeff enjoys playing for his high school and local teams in Nashville as well. He’s a big proponent of hockey analytics, and you’ll often see him using lots of statistics and data to back up his main talking points. You can find his work here or check out his contributions on his Substack, Last Word on Hockey, On the Forecheck, Broad Street Hockey, Hockey Wilderness, and Puck Empire. Lastly, you can listen to him on the Youth Movement Podcast presented by On the Forecheck or the Triple Shift Podcast. For any inquiries about interviews or questions about statistics, analytics, or just general hockey opinions, you can message his Twitter, @jjmid04.