Kraken boosts its top line thanks to free agency addition

After a sad expansion draft, there is hope!


There are things happening in Seattle. Finally. After a (let’s call it) disappointing expansion draft last week, the Kraken is reportedly going to add a top forward to its first line. 

A source told The Athletic on Tuesday that the Kraken is expected to sign free-agent winger Jaden Schwartz when free agency opens on Wednesday. 

When it came time to select from the St. Louis Blues, the Kraken picked defenseman Vince Dunn, but had discussed contract frameworks with Schwartz’s camp before the expansion draft. 

Both camps can make it official at noon tomorrow. 

The 29-year-old had eight goals and 13 assists in 40 games for the Blues last season, with 21 marking his lowest point total since his first full NHL season in 2012-13. He had a career-high 57 points (22 goals, 35 assists) in 2019-20. He won a Stanley Cup with St. Louis in 2019. 

The addition of Schwartz will bolster a top-six group that already features Jordan Eberle, Joonas Donskoi and Calle Jarnkrok in Seattle. According to Kraken beat writer Ryan S. Clark, head ‘coach Dave Hakstol now has a potential first-line combination with Yanni Gourde, Eberle and Schwartz, with the idea Gourde will not return after he has recovered from shoulder surgery.”

The Kraken still has a little more than $30 million in cap space to play with on the free-agent market. The team will be active once market opens tomorrow.