Morning Skate: Time to Fly to Edmonton

Vancouver Canucks v Seattle Kraken

Chris Driedger will start in net for the Kraken, tonight in Edmonton. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)Photo: Getty Images

Good morning from the Kraken Community Iceplex - the Seattle Kraken take on the Edmonton Oilers tonight, with a demanding schedule ahead:

Four games, five days, four cities, and one round trip plane ride: tonight in Edmonton, tomorrow in Calgary, and back to the Puget Sound for two more contests on Friday (in Everett) and Saturday (in Kent).

Before the Kraken depart by air to Edmonton, minutes after their morning skate, they will take a revised lineup into Rogers Place against the host Oilers, led by head coach Dave Tippett (you may remember him as an architect from the infancy of this Kraken organization, shortly before leaving to take the Oilers head coach job – Jack Michaels, Oilers broadcast voice, will have more on that during the intermission with us tonight.)

The morning began with four players first on ice for puck touches and shooting opportunities: Ryan Donato against Chris Driedger on one end, and Luke Henman against Joey Daccord at the other end. All will play this evening – with Henman (the first free agent signing in Kraken history out of the Blaineville-Boisbrand program in the offensive-happy Quebec Major Junior Hockey League) – making his Kraken pre-season debut. Second round pick and defenseman Ryker Evans, with three years under his belt with the Regina Pats (WHL), will also suit up in a Kraken jersey for the first time in his career.

Goaltenders Chris Driedger and Joey Daccord will suit up – Driedger is expected to start and play “at least two periods” according to head coach Dave Hakstol.

Center Colin Blackwell, officially “day to day” with a lower body ailment, remains out of lineup.

And since he's out of the lineup for the second straight game, where's Alexander Wennberg you say? Scroll to the bottom. He's now a father.

With a condensed schedule requiring options for personnel movement, Hakstol confirmed the entire available pre-season roster will travel, with “significant” changes looming ahead as far as who skates in Calgary on Wednesday, versus tonight against the Oilers.

And those Oilers? They beat Calgary 4-0 in their pre-season opener on Sunday and will touch Rogers Place ice for the first time in pre-season play tonight. Their firepower, if you’re still getting familiar, is world class: a 1-2 punch of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, two of the top players on planet earth. McDavid has topped 100 points and won the league’s scoring race three times in his career, won the Hart Memorial Trophy (the league’s MVP award) twice, and Draisaitl took the league’s scoring title (aka winner of the Art Ross Trophy) and Hart Trophy in 2020.


Tanev - Sheahan - Appleton
Johansson - Geekie - Lind
Twarynski - Henman - Bastian
Donato - True - Jarnkrok

Dunn - Oleksiak
Evans - Carrick
Lauzon - Borgen


Luke Henman, on the impact of veteran presence in training camp:
“It’s been awesome with these guys. There’s a lot of veterans who have been in the league a long time, so you can see what they do, day in and day out, try to learn from them, how they approach the game and every day. It’s been good, learning a lot from these guys, getting to know them.”

Ryker Evans, on how his time with the Regina Pats and in the WHL prepared him for training camp:
“We’ve had great coaching staff in Regina to allow me to prepare for this. Just everything, being confident, playing to my abilities. Obviously, they’re bigger and faster out here, but just getting adjusted in first couple shifts should allow me to have success.”

Dave Hakstol, on how poise with younger players can enhance their effectiveness, especially in pre-season:
“It’s a big piece of it. Your mental outlook every day is very important to come to the rink with a good focus and confidence. When you can come in, walking into the dressing room, and walking into the rink, it typically carries out onto the ice in your performance.”

We’ll join you at 6pm (below), with Everett Fitzhugh steering the ship with play-by-play on Sports Radio 950 KJR!

1st intermission: Alexandra Mandrycky (Director of Hockey Strategy and Research, Seattle Kraken)
2nd intermission: Jack Michaels (Play-by-Play, Edmonton Oilers)

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