A trade between the Seattle Kraken and Carolina Hurricanes could be mutually beneficial for both sides. The Kraken have a plethora of left-shot defencemen but are desperate to add to their right side, while Carolina is stacked on the right side and may be looking to move out a right-shot defenceman. This seems like a match made in heaven as the two teams should look to swing a deal to help strengthen their respective defensive groups.
Hurricanes’ Trade Piece
There is one name the Kraken should be focused on, and that is Ethan Bear. The 25-year-old right-shot defenceman who starred for the Seattle Thunderbirds of the Western Hockey League from 2013-17 would be a major help to a Kraken defence core that not only needs to add right-side defenders but also get younger and faster as a group. Last season, he scored five goals and recorded 14 points in 58 games while averaging a career-low 16:05 of ice time.
While Bear did have a down year from a statistical point of view, his analytics told a different story. He finished with a 56.5% Corsi rating along with setting career highs in points per 60 with 0.9 and shots per 60 with 6.2. While some of these analytics may be inflated due to the Hurricanes being one of the best teams in the league, it showed that he made a positive impact on the team even though his point total was underwhelming.
The Kraken need to add right-shot defencemen to their roster. Currently, they have five total, with only Adam Larsson and Justin Schultz having some form of long-term success at the NHL level. They also need to get younger as only Will Borgen and Cale Fleury are 25 or younger. Seattle needs to be building for the future, and acquiring a 25-year-old right-shot defenceman who could be with the organization long-term is a great way to start.
The Hurricanes boast a strong right side which is another reason why it may be best for them to move Bear. Carolina currently has Brent Burns, Brett Pesce and Dylan Coghlan on their right side, which could force the former 2015 fifth-round pick to either play the left side or be scratched until injuries occur. While his spot in the Hurricanes lineup may be questioned on a nightly basis, the same can’t be said in Seattle, where he would be a regular.
Kraken’s Trade Piece
The player that fits best into the Hurricanes’ lineup would be Carson Soucy. The 6-foot-5, 211-pound defenceman brings physicality and stability to a bottom pair, having thrown 118 hits and blocked 73 shots in 64 games. He also showed some offensive capabilities this season with a career-high ten goals and 21 points. No defenseman on Carolina’s roster had more hits than he did last season, and he would have been tied for fourth in blocked shots despite playing fewer games than the Hurricanes’ top four shot blockers.
Another reason why Soucy makes sense for the Hurricanes is that he has a reasonable cap hit. At $2.75 million, it allows Carolina some flexibility when it comes to signing additional free agents or making moves at the trade deadline. Seattle also has the ability to retain salary in a trade, which would make the deal even sweeter for Carolina. In short, he is a reliable left-shot defenceman who adds some physicality to Carolina’s roster while also being able to play the penalty kill with some relative success. The Hurricanes’ left-shot defence already looks solid with Jaccob Slavin and Brady Skjei, with his addition rounding out what could be the best defensive cores in the league.
Beneficial to Both Parties
As mentioned, this is a classic win-win scenario for both teams. The Kraken get a puck-moving, right-handed defenceman while the Hurricanes bolster their left side with a strong defender that will make life difficult for the opposition on a nightly basis. While additional assets may be needed to make this trade happen, Seattle and Carolina should explore a Bear for Soucy trade as it is beneficial to both teams.
Adam is excited to be joining The Hockey Writers as part of the Seattle Kraken and Vancouver Canucks team. His work can also be found at area51sportsnet.com where he covers the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League.