3 Kraken Players To Watch During The 2022-23 Preseason

Hockey is back, sort of. The Seattle Kraken play their first preseason game of the 2022-23 campaign on Monday, Sept. 26, against the Edmonton Oilers. Last season versus their Alberta-based divisional foes, Seattle went 1-2, scoring nine goals while allowing 13. While most of the opening night roster looks set, there are still battles going on in the form of who will be this team’s 12th forward and seventh defenceman, as well as which players will be the first call-ups if injuries hit. Here are three players to keep an eye on this preseason as they fight for their roles within the Kraken organization.

Will Borgen

If Will Borgen has his sights on becoming a full-time NHLer, this is his moment. The 25-year-old enters the season having played 36 games with the Kraken last season and will have the inside track on the third pairing, right side role. A defender who is not afraid to play a physical brand of hockey, finishing with 89 hits last season, he should be on the opening night roster once the preseason is done.

Will Borgen Seattle Kraken
Will Borgen, Seattle Kraken (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Although this organization knows him from last year, he still needs to have a strong preseason to be guaranteed a spot on the opening night roster. The Kraken did sign Michal Kempný this offseason and are going to give Ryker Evans every chance to make the roster. While both are left-shot defencemen, Carson Soucy does have the ability to play both sides and could take Borgen’s spot if one of these two has a stronger camp. Based on his play from the 2021-22 campaign, he deserves a spot on this team, but a slow preseason could mean he starts the season watching from the press box.

Kole Lind

After the trade deadline last season, Kole Lind was given an opportunity to show he can make a difference at the NHL level. He played in 23 games, recording two goals and eight points, playing mostly on the fourth line. More importantly, head coach Dave Hakstol grew to trust him more and more, which bodes well for his chances to be part of the opening night roster this season.

Related: 2021-22 Kraken Report Cards: Fleury, Gourde, Lind

Based on the additions the Kraken made up front with Shane Wright, André Burakovsky and Oliver Bjorkstrand, Lind will most likely be fighting for the 13th forward role. The issue is that Seattle made too many forward signings this offseason which has created a logjam, blocking younger players from getting a chance. That being said, if he has a strong preseason, it could show the Kraken he deserves a chance which would make a player like Joonas Donskoi, who is on an expiring contract, expandable as the season progresses.

Andrew Poturalski

The Kraken signed Andrew Poturalski this offseason to a two-year, one-way deal worth $765,200. Last season with the Chicago Wolves, he posted 101 points and led the American Hockey League (AHL) in points. This was his second straight season winning the JB Sollenberger Trophy given to the AHL’s leading scorer as he finished the 2020-21 season with 43 points in 44 games. He also brings over a winning pedigree as he is a two-time Calder Cup winner, having won the championship in 2018-19 and last season.

Andrew Poturalski Chicago Wolves
Andrew Poturalski, Chicago Wolves (Jenae Anderson / The Hockey Writers)

Based on the contract he was given, it looks as though the Kraken believe he could be part of their NHL roster this season. While the 28-year-old would be a great mentor and possible captain of the Coachella Valley Firebirds, he is at the stage of his career where he will be gunning for a spot on the main roster. If he has a strong preseason and shows Seattle, he belongs at the NHL level; the 13th forward spot could be his once the season opens up.

Plenty of Competition at Camp

While preseason scores do not count, they serve an important purpose when it comes to roster battles and getting players ready for the regular season. Players like Brandon Tanev and Jaden Schwartz will be looking to get back into game shape after missing significant time with injuries, while the players mentioned above are fighting for their chance to be part of the opening night NHL roster. With a healthy mix of veterans and rookies and only six games for the bubble players to prove they belong, expect some high-paced action and strong play as the Kraken get set for year number two.

Sign up for our regular 'Kraken Newsletter' for all the latest.