The Seattle Kraken may have found their sniper in center Jared McCann, who is tied with Brandon Tanev for the team lead with three goals after five games. McCann is also the only Kraken player to play in all five games this season and average a point per game. His wicked, quick-release wrist shot is already causing trouble for goaltenders, and he’s still in early-season mode. The 25-year-old left-winger will become a star in Seattle if he continues to shoot the way he has through the opening games of the season.
McCann Leads the Kraken With a 37.5% Shooting Percentage
McCann is the most accurate shooter on the team after five games, scoring on three of his eight shots. He’s the only Seattle player to score against three different teams, tallying the second goal and first power-play goal in franchise history and adding another in a 4-2 loss to the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday. Although McCann’s eight shots rank eighth on the team, his 37.5% shooting percentage is the highest. His success comes as no surprise. With such accuracy, he often catches goaltenders off-guard.
It will be interesting to see how head coach Dave Hakstol utilizes him going forward now that center Yanni Gourde is back from injury. McCann has primarily suited up as the first-line center between left-winger Jaden Schwartz and right-winger Jordan Eberle, but he played on the second line in the loss to the Devils to make room for Gourde on the top line.
The Kraken have a strong group of centers in McCann, Gourde, Alexander Wennberg, and Riley Sheahan, so it’s expected they will be tested on various lines, especially early in the season, but McCann has a great opportunity to lock himself into a first- or second-line center role if he continues to light the lamp.
Analyzing McCann’s Quick-Release Shot
McCann’s second goal of the season – also the first power-play goal in franchise history – was so quick and deceptive that it caught Predators goaltender Juuse Saros completely out of position. After receiving a nice point-to-point feed from Mark Giordano, McCann made a slight pivot to face the net and fired the puck from the top left of the offensive zone. Schwartz provided a nice screen for McCann, and he took advantage with a stellar shot.
Two games later, he scored from a similar spot, but this time a bit lower in the zone. With three defenders in front of him, McCann made a smart decision to make a left turn with the puck, creating space for himself and forcing the Devils to cover the passing lanes. By the time he completed a full circle, enough space was open for him to unleash a shot from the top left circle, beating Devils goaltender Jonathan Bernier with one of his wrist shots while using a Devils defender as a screen. McCann is calm with the puck, which makes his shot even more lethal and deceptive.
McCann will get a chance to score in the Kraken’s home-opener against the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday. He’s impressed through his first five games and can establish himself as the Kraken’s go-to sniper if he continues. His composure and shooting ability make him one of the most exciting Kraken players to watch this season.
Tom Pepper is a diehard Buffalo Sabres and Seattle Kraken fan writing news and rumors columns at The Hockey Writers since June 2020.