Seattle Kraken forward Andre Burakovsky, enjoying a flourishing season on a team blessed with offensive depth, will be out at a minimum of a week after the Kraken placed him on injured reserve on Thursday with a lower body ailment.
The Kraken did not specify the nature of the injury, though Burakovsky was seen halting his skating stride at the attacking blueline, then cruising toward the bench in pain, just seconds into his first shift on Tuesday in an eventual 4-0 loss to the New York Islanders.
Forward John Hayden, who has a goal in three games this season, was recalled from AHL Coachella Valley.
With a world-class wrist shot and deft playmaking ability, Burakovsky leads the Kraken with 39 points in 49 games, skating consistently in a top line and first power play unit role this season after the Kraken awarded his 22-goal and Stanley Cup campaign with Colorado last season with a five-year deal on day one of free agency.
That addition was paramount to offensive upgrades the Kraken made this season, owning the league’s fifth most potent offense at 3.5 goals per game. However, the Kraken have proven to operate with more than just a classic “one line team” pace, littered with eight players who have already cracked the double-digit mark in goal scoring.
Three more – Brandon Tanev, Oliver Bjorkstrand, and Vince Dunn – are one away from hitting ten on the season. Five Kraken players aside from Burakovsky – Jared McCann (who could hit 40), Eeli Tolvanen, Matty Beniers, Ryan Donato and Daniel Sprong – are on pace to hit 20 goals. Dunn is enjoying a breakout year as the team’s top offensive generating defenseman and is producing at a point per game clip since December. Beniers has soared well above the bar as a 20-year rookie in the NHL, the leading candidate in the Calder Trophy race and just three goals shy of hitting 20 on the year.
All of those factors will be needed to fill the void as the Kraken attempt to tap into depth insurance for the duration that Burakovsky is out.
The Kraken also announced that Justin Schultz, sidelined for the last six games, has been activated off injured reserve. He could return tonight for game two of the trip at New Jersey, bringing back 24 points and a +7 rating in 42 games, also functioning as a point man role for the power play on the blueline.
New Jersey, similar to the Kraken with enjoying a breakthrough season at 33-13-4 (70 points) will also have significant injury issues to deal with. Devils leading scorer and superstar forward Jack Hughes will be out week to week with a reported upper body injury and miss tonight’s game against the Kraken.
The Kraken, one point back of the first place Vegas Golden Knights, face the Devils at 4pm PT (93.3 KJR / Kraken Audio Network).