UPDATES: McCann in warmups, Sprong out, Driedger up for postseason award

Arizona Coyotes v Seattle Kraken

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - APRIL 03: Jared McCann #19 of the Seattle Kraken celebrates his shorthanded goal during the first period against the Arizona Coyotes at Climate Pledge Arena on April 03, 2023 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)Photo: Getty Images

With the Seattle Kraken on the horizon of game four and an opportunity to take a 3-1 series lead, the improving signs of Jared McCann continue to grow with a potential return getting closer by the day. 

That return, realistically, could come this evening. McCann was on the ice for fourth straight day for reps with the team, on Tuesday at Kraken Community Iceplex ahead of a pivotal second round matchup with the Dallas Stars.

Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol said its expected “to see him in warmups tonight,” another signal of progress to the Kraken getting their 40-goal scorer back, unseen in game action since being knocked out of game four of the first round on a late hit by Cale Makar. 

“Nice progression for him today,” said Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol. “We got him a couple of reps on a line this morning, we got him a couple of reps on the power play, and on the PK.” 

“No change in status at this point in time.” 

McCann is a likely candidate to replace Daniel Sprong, who left game three early due to injury in the second period and is unavailable for game four, day-to-day status with what Hakstol termed an “upper body” ailment. 

Questions also surround the Stars lineup, mainly around the return of defenseman Miro Heiskanen, missing the remainder of game three after taking an errant shot to the face at the front of the Stars net in the second period. Jordan Eberle scored on the play, and the Kraken clearly took full advantage of the Stars engine on the back end with four goals on four consecutive shots, putting game three out of reach. 

DeBoer told reporters after Stars morning skate that Heiskanen is a game time decision as well. 


With the exception of a stint in the AHL with Coachella Valley, he hasn’t played in a game all year. But Chris Driedger is still aiming to make his mark across Seattle, and on Tuesday was announced as the Kraken nominee for the King Clancy Award – awarded to one player each year for their community service. 

Of note, Driedger, who last appeared in a Kraken jersey in last year’s season finale at Winnipeg, underwent knee surgery in the offseason to fix a torn anterior cruciate ligament, suffered in the World Championships after finishing the Kraken season. 

That didn’t stop Driedger from staying involved during his rehabilitation process, announcing the formation of the “Driedger’s Keepers” program, designed to provide spare goaltending equipment to grassroots youth programs at Kraken Community Iceplex. 

All teams submitted a nominee for the King Clancy Award, which will be chosen by a committee of senior NHL executives and announced at next month’s NHL Awards Show, held in Nashville. 


Niklas Kokko, a 6-foot-3 goaltender selected in the second round by the Kraken in the 2022 NHL Draft, has signed a three-year, two-deal deal with the team worth $950,000 annually.

Kokko appeared with the Kraken in training and development camps last year, but is now set to officially enter the team's prospect pipeline after spending a majority of this season with Hermes of the Mestis League in Finland, earning a 4-6-4 record with a .901 save percentage.

Kokko, 19, has global experience with a bronze media for Team Finland at the 2022 U18 World Juniors, and was named to the Finland roster for the World Juniors this season, though he didn't appear in a game.

“(Kokko) elevated his game over the last year and we look forward to him continuing to take steps in his development," said Kraken general manager Ron Francis in a statement.

The Kraken will aim for a 3-1 series lead on Tuesday in game four against Dallas, 6:30pm PT (93.3 KJR / Kraken Audio Network) at Climate Pledge Arena. 

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