In only their second season as a franchise, the Seattle Kraken has taken a significant step forward as they find themselves in the thick of things. After finishing last in the Pacific Division during their inaugural season, the Kraken are now playoff contenders halfway through the 2022-23 season. They currently sit third in the Pacific Division with a 24-12-4 record and 52 points. They trail both the Las Angles Kings by two points and Vegas Golden Knights by four points but have four games and two games in hand, respectively.
A large part of their success has been due to the play of goaltender Martin Jones and rookie Matty Beniers who is having a fantastic year and is the favorite to win the Calder Trophy. It has been an overall success for the team as they are getting scoring from all over the lineup, with 19 different players recording a goal.
While the Kraken have been phenomenal, there is always room for improvement, and in just their second season, it looks like the Kraken may be buyers at the March 3rd trade deadline. The Kraken have plenty of draft picks they could use in a deadline deal but lack high-caliber prospects that they would be willing to give up. Matty Beniers and Shane Wright are their top two young players, and while both would generate interest, they will undoubtedly be off-limits if teams even attempt to include them in a deal.
Elliotte Friedman has wondered if the Seattle Kraken might get into the bidding for veteran center Bo Horvat.
Horvat is a player that the Kraken could target, as he would be an upgrade this season and could play a major role in the franchise’s future success. Having a middle three of Horvat, Beniers and Wright would be a bright spot for the team. At just 27 years old, Horvat fits the timeline of this team as he would be the veteran presence for these young players as they develop.
Horvat is in the middle of a career year, as he’s registered 29 goals and 16 assists for 45 points. At this point in time, it’s almost a given that he will be traded at the March 3rd trade deadline, as his time in Vancouver has come to an end.
If the Kraken do want to make a trade for the veteran center, they possess sufficient trade deadline cap room to take on Horvat’s prorated salary. The only issue Seattle would have with a deal is the fact Horvat is set to be a UFA at the conclusion of the season and will most likely test free agency. The Kraken would need to know Horvat would be willing to sign an extension so they won’t be giving up their future for nothing.
It is a situation worth monitoring as the Kraken are taking the next step in establishing themselves as a real threat in the league. Acquiring a skilled veteran who is already a proven leader would go a long way in helping the franchise reach the goals they have set.
Only time will tell what general manager Ron Francis will do in the coming months.