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Golden Knights Rivals: Expansion Brother Kraken Improved in Offseason

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Welcome to a new series here at Vegas Hockey Now, where we will take a look at all the teams in the Pacific Division and analyze what they did this offseason. The Golden Knights missed the playoffs for the first time in franchise history last season, so keeping an eye on the other teams in the division is key.

The Golden Knight’s expansion brothers, the Seattle Kraken, are entering their second season of play in the National Hockey League. It’s no secret they had a rough inaugural season, as many people dubbed their first season what a ‘true expansion team’s first season’ should look like.

The Kraken are the only team in Golden Knights history who the VGK have a perfect record against. Surely this will change if not this upcoming season but in the future. But the VGK could continue this streak, given that the Kraken are still trying to find their footing out of the gate in the NHL.

They made some solid additions this offseason and may threaten for a playoff spot.

One random thing I want to mention is how this team has a surprising amount of Stanley Cup Champions with Justin Schultz, Phillip Grubauer, Yanni Gourde, Andre Burakovskuy, Michal Kempny, and Jaden Schwartz. A result of the cap era, I guess.

SEATTLE KRAKEN

Last Season- 27-49-6, 60 points missed playoffs

2022-23 Matchups- 10/15, away at 7:00, 11/25 home at 5:00, 4/11 home at 7:00, 4/13 away at 7:30.

Notable Additions- Shane Wright, Oliver Bjorkstrand, Andre Burakovsky, Martin Jones, Justin Schultz, Michal Kempny, and potentially a healthy Brandon Tanev.

Notable Subtractions- Riley Sheahan, Haydn Fleury.

This team looks a lot more dangerous than it was in 2021-22. I think we could see the Kraken take a step towards playoff contention this season. Wingers Andre Burakovsky and Oliver Bjorkstrand add scoring punch, and bottom-six forward Brandon Tanev should be back after his season-ending ACL tear.

On top of this, the Kraken have two young high draft pick centers in Matt Beniers and Shane Wright, who fell to them in the 2022 Draft at no. 4. If the Kraken chose to go the opposite route of the Golden Knights and keep these prospects, they could develop into top-name talent in the future.

Overall, the Kraken’s roster should be a lot more competitive this upcoming season. The Golden Knights play the Kraken a total of four times, with their last two meetings being the last two games of the season. I don’t see the Kraken making the playoffs, but they could be a team that steals points from teams like the Golden Knights during the season.

VHN’s Pacific Division Prediction– 6th Pacific Division, 12th Western Conference

Projected Depth Chart

Andre Burakovsky- Matty Beniers- Oliver Bjorkstrand

Jaden Schwartz- Alexander Wennberg- Jordan Eberle

Jared McCann- Yanni Gourde- Karson Kuhlman

Brandon Tanev- Morgan Geekie- Joonas Donskoi

Vince Dunn- Adam Larsson

Jamie Oleksiak- Justin Schultz

Carson Soucy- Will Borgen

Philipp Grubauer/Martin Jones

IR: Chris Driedger

Welcome to your new home for Vegas Golden Knights breaking news, analysis and opinion. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and don't forget to subscribe to VHN+ for all of our members-only content the entire Vegas Hockey Now crew plus an ad-free browsing experience.

Owen Krepps covers the Vegas Golden Knights for Vegas Hockey Now. A 2022 Robert Morris University graduate, he has previously written for RMU Sentry Media, Colonial Sports Network, The Titusville Herald, Pittsburgh Sports Now, and Pittsburgh Hockey Now.

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