Kraken News & Rumors: Eberle, Blackwell & Johansson

In this edition of Seattle Kraken News & Rumors, Jordan Eberle moves into a tie for the team lead in points and goals, Colin Blackwell is a full participant at team practice for the first time and Marcus Johansson inches closer to a return.

Eberle Tied for Kraken Lead in Points and Goals

One game after recording the first hat trick in Kraken franchise history, Eberle found the back of the net just 15 seconds into Saturday’s game against the Arizona Coyotes. The goal moves him into a tie with Jaden Schwartz for most points on the team (eight), as well as Brandon Tanev for most goals (six). After a slow start to the season, Eberle is redeeming himself with six goals in his last six games.

Jordan Eberle, Seattle Kraken
Jordan Eberle, Seattle Kraken (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

His 18.2 shooting percentage is third-best on the team, only behind Jared McCann (21.4 percent) and Brandon Tanev (20 percent). Eberle has tallied at least 20 goals in a season six times in his career. He is on pace for one of his best goal-scoring years if he can continue sniping for Seattle. It took him until his seventh game with the Kraken to score a goal, but he hasn’t looked back since. Look for Eberle to continue building on-ice chemistry with his new teammates and establishing himself as one of Seattle’s sharpshooters.

Blackwell Closer to Making His Kraken Debut

On Friday, Blackwell was a full participant at Kraken team practice for the first time this season. The 28-year-old center, selected from the New York Rangers at the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft, has been out since sustaining a lower-body injury prior to training camp in September. When he completes his recovery, the Kraken will be adding another promising forward to its lineup.

Colin Blackwell New York Rangers
Colin Blackwell, formerly of the New York Rangers (Photo by Joe Hrycych/NHLI via Getty Images)

Blackwell has played in 80 NHL games so far in his career, making 33 appearances with the Nashville Predators and 47 with the New York Rangers. In total, he has tallied 32 points (15 goals, 17 assists) and carries a face-off win percentage of 51. Last season, he recorded 22 points (12 goals, 10 assists) in 47 games with the Rangers. Although he is a newer face in the league, he is continuing to gain confidence at hockey’s top level and will soon have a chance to establish himself as a full-time forward with the Kraken.

Johansson Hopeful to Return to Kraken Lineup Soon

After being placed on the injured reserve with a lower-body injury following the Kraken’s first-ever game against the Vegas Golden Knights, Johansson is back at team practice in hopes of returning to the lineup soon. The 31-year-old versatile forward, capable of playing at center or on the wing, will be welcomed back with open arms as soon as he is ready.

Marcus Johansson Minnesota Wild
Marcus Johansson, formerly of the Minnesota Wild (Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images)

Johansson’s versatility makes him easy to slot in wherever he’s needed in the Kraken lineup. An NHL veteran, he’s tallied 378 points (135 goals, 243 assists) in 685 career games with the Washington Capitals, New Jersey Devils, Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres and Seattle Kraken. He is a two-time alternate captain, formerly wearing the “A” in both New Jersey and Buffalo. As the Kraken struggle to build momentum with a mediocre 4-7-1 start to the season, expect Johansson’s experience and leadership to give a boost to Seattle when he is ready to play games again.

Related: Meet the Seattle Kraken: Forward Marcus Johansson

The Kraken play against the Golden Knights in Vegas on Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. PT. The game marks the first time that Seattle will face an opponent for a second time, after falling to the Golden Knights, 4-3, in a thrilling season-opener. The Kraken lineup could look quite different than it has in recent games, especially if Johansson and Blackwell are ready to go.

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