Canucks: How do they compare to the Seattle Kraken?

Dec 29, 2019; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Vancouver Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko (35) and center Elias Pettersson (40) celebrate win with against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 29, 2019; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Vancouver Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko (35) and center Elias Pettersson (40) celebrate win with against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports /
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GM Jim Benning has restructured the Vancouver Canucks roster, yet again, in the form of bringing in new talent and shipping out players that have not worked out in the blue and green jersey.

The Canucks will get to test out these roster changes and establish a new rivalry this upcoming season against the NHL’s latest expansion team, the Seattle Kraken.

Their first bout with the Kraken will be in preseason action on September 26th in Spokane. Fans will get a look at the likes of newly acquired winger Conor Garland, veteran defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson and defensive centre Jason Dickinson among others, throughout the pre-season.

So how do these teams match up?

Seattle is made up of a group of players that all the other teams, not including Vegas, were willing to give up for nothing at the expansion draft. They surprised many when they decided not to pick players like Carey Price, Jake Bean and Gabriel Landeskog to name a few, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a solid line-up.

We will be looking up and down the line-up of the Canucks and Kraken to see how they stack up against one another.

According to analytics expert JFresh, Seattle has potentially put together a playoff team, but it also looks like there could be four playoff spots available with five teams closely battling during the season, which includes the Canucks:


Here is what the Kraken forward group looks like:

Jaden Schwartz – Yanni Gourde – Jordan Eberle

Jared McCann – Alex Wennberg – Calle Järnkrok

Marcus Johansson – Mason Appleton – Joonas Donskoi

Brandon Tanev – Colin Blackwell – Nathan Bastian

Morgan Geekie

At first glance, this forward line-up seems to have some potential with players like Yanni Gourde, Jared McCann, Alex Wennberg and Calle Järnkrok having elevated roles compared to their middle-six responsibilities on their previous teams.

If we look a little deeper at the 2021 regular season numbers, players that played 20 or more games scored a combined 145 goals in all situations in 565 games played. In comparison, the 24th place Canucks got 129 goals from their forwards in 616 games and the eventual cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning forwards ended up with153 goals in 632 games.

A fair assessment could be that, assuming they perform similarly this coming season, the Kraken forward group might end up being average in regards to league offense, but they also have very versatile players throughout the line-up. Nine of their 13 forwards listed above can play either the wing or centre so in the case of an injury, like Gourde being out for the first two months of the season, they already have someone in their top-six that can slot in to that spot.

Here is what the Canucks forward group looks like:

J.T. Miller – Elias Pettersson (RFA) – Brock Boeser

Nils Höglander – Bo Horvat – Connor Garland

Tanner Pearson – Jason Dickinson (RFA) – Vasily Podkolzin

Tyler Motte – Brandon Sutter – Zack MacEwen

Phillip Di Giuseppe

JFresh has the Canucks forwards ranked 9th in the league.

Vancouver’s top-nine forward group has improved drastically with recent moves to bring in Dickinson and Garland to boost their top-nine. They finally addressed the need for a legitimate top-six scoring winger to play on Bo Horvat’s wing and seem to have found a long-term solution for the third-line centre role.

The Canucks new-look top 13 forwards includes a rookie in Vasili Podkolzin, who did not play any NHL games last season, so we will include Matthew Highmore’s three goals and 18 games-played for this exercise.

In contrast to the Kraken forward’s 145 goals in 565 games last season, Vancouver’s current forward crop that played 20 or more games had a combined 129 goals in 548 games.

The result when you divide the goal total by the game total and you get goals-per-game in all situations:

Kraken current F: 0.26 goals-per-game

Canucks current F: 0.24 goals-per-game

Canucks 20-21: 0.21 goals-per-game

Lightning 20-21: 0.24 goals-per-game

In conclusion, it looks like the Canucks and Kraken could be very close with regards to offense from their forwards. The Canucks seem to have more talent in the top-six, but the Kraken have the depth and versatility throughout.

Both teams compare favorably in goals-per-game by forwards to the Tampa Bay Lightning, which should bode well for both clubs in the upcoming season.