Revisiting the Kraken’s 2021-22 Trade Deadline

The 2023 NHL Trade Deadline has come and gone, and while the Seattle Kraken were quiet as it passed, it also represented a shift from what their previous deadline looked like. Now, just under two weeks from now, it will be one year since the Kraken turned seller in their opening season.

On deadline day, March 21, 2022, the Kraken sat last in the Pacific Division and took the opportunity to acquire futures from contending teams in exchange for several roster players. This season, they reached the deadline as the third-place team in the division with a strong group and a significantly different season outlook.

Instead of selling off, Kraken general manager (GM) Ron Francis decided to remain on the sidelines as the league’s trade market lept into action. It showed a lot of confidence in the team and showed just how far they’ve come in just under a calendar year.

That said, it’s worth taking a look back to see just how the 2022 Trade Deadline shook out for the Kraken, where their former players ended up, and what the draft picks became.

Mark Giordano and Colin Blackwell Traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs

This trade, even in their short history, should go down as the Kraken’s most significant deal they’ve ever made. Mark Giordano was the first captain of the team, but the move felt inevitable given their position in the standings and the interest around the league.

Mark Giordano Seattle Kraken
Mark Giordano, Seattle Kraken (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The Kraken received three draft picks in exchange for the pair of players. The Maple Leafs sent a 2022 second-round pick, a 2023 second-round pick, and a 2024 third-round pick. The return was viewed at the time as underwhelming but has the potential to look better as time passes.

As of the 2022-23 season, only one of the return pieces is known, with the Kraken selecting goaltender Niklas Kokko at pick No. 58 of the 2022 NHL Entry Draft. The remaining pieces won’t make themselves known until the next two years pass, but could be great value picks in two very deep drafts.

Calle Järnkrok Traded to the Calgary Flames

At the time of his trade, Calle Järnkrok was having a very fine season with the Kraken. Through 49 games, he had registered 12 goals and 26 points. This helped boost his value as the deadline approached, and he managed to fetch the Kraken a nice return.

Järnkrok went on to record only four points with the Flames, which made this deal look even better for the Kraken. The Flames sent the Kraken a 2022 second-round pick, a 2023 third-round pick, and a 2024 seventh-round pick for the forward.

Calle Jarnkrok Seattle Kraken
Calle Jarnkrok, Seattle Kraken (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Similarly to the Giordano trade, only one of those draft picks has actually been selected since being dealt. The Kraken used the 2022 second-round pick they received to select David Goyette with the 61st pick in the draft.

Related: Seattle Kraken Top 15 Prospects: 2023 Trade Deadline Rankings

Goyette has become one of the Kraken’s top prospects since being drafted and is currently putting up over a point per game in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) for the Sudbury Wolves. He will likely be a key part of the future, and it will be interesting to see how this trade ends up looking once he makes the jump to the NHL.

Jeremy Lauzon Traded to the Nashville Predators

While the deal itself had fewer components than the Giordano and Järnkrok trades, the return for Jeremy Lauzon was a big win for the Kraken. The Predators sent a 2022 second-round pick in exchange for the defenseman.

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With that pick, the Kraken selected Finnish forward Jani Nyman as the 49th overall selection. He is in the midst of having a fairly successful age-18 season with Ilves Tampere of the Finnish Liiga. Through 29 games, he has 10 goals and 14 points.

Getting a second-round pick in exchange for a depth defenseman was already a great situation for the Kraken. The fact that the selection has turned into an exciting young prospect is even better.

Marcus Johansson Traded to the Washington Capitals

The trade that moved Marcus Johansson to the Washington Capitals was unique, as it contributed to the active roster. In addition to the 2022 fourth-round pick and the 2023 sixth-round pick, the Kraken also acquired forward Daniel Sprong.

Daniel Sprong Seattle Kraken
Daniel Sprong, Seattle Kraken (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Sprong has become a key part of this Kraken team, currently sitting eighth in team scoring with 34 points in 51 games. He had struggled to consistently contribute in his previous stops, but has since found a home with the Kraken and is a large part of their success.

In addition to Sprong, the Kraken also used the 2022 fourth-round pick to select Tucker Robertson. He still has a ways to go to make the professional jump but has begun to establish some consistency with the Peterborough Petes of the OHL over the past two seasons.

Mason Appleton Traded to the Winnipeg Jets

A year later, this deal has remained relatively inconsequential for both parties involved. Mason Appleton is a bottom-six forward who couldn’t find a fit with the Kraken after being selected in the expansion draft.

Upon his return to the Winnipeg Jets, he remained in that role. Despite getting some chances in the top six, it appears his strengths are better utilized in a third or fourth-line role. This should come as a relief to the Kraken, as he appears to have found his ceiling and given their current depth, likely wouldn’t have had a spot on the team.

The pick that the Jets sent to the Kraken won’t be selected until next season but will add to an already stacked cupboard of picks they currently own. In the next three drafts, they are currently slated to make 26 selections.

The Remaining Assets

While some of these deals are entirely squared away, the Kraken are still sitting on several pieces that have yet to be selected. On top of their existing picks, in the next two drafts, they now own an additional third-round pick, a fourth-round pick, a sixth-round pick, and a seventh-round pick.

Related: Kraken 2022 Trade Deadline Recap & Grades

Last season’s deadline was the first in Kraken history but it helped to take advantage of a disappointing start to their NHL stay. By moving players on expiring contracts, they helped set up the future while maximizing their returns.

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