The rookies turning heads, in takeaways following a 3-1 preseason loss

Seattle Kraken v Edmonton Oilers

EDMONTON, AB - SEPTEMBER 28: Ryker Evans #41 of the Seattle Kraken skates against Colton Sceviour #70 of the Edmonton Oilers during the second period in a preseason game at Rogers Place on September 28, 2021 in Edmonton, Canada. (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images)Photo: Codie McLachlan / Getty Images Sport / Getty Images

The Seattle Kraken pre-season has hit the finish line on Friday night, with the Edmonton Oilers scoring three unanswered goals to take a 3-1 victory over the Kraken before a crowd of 18,141 at Rogers Place. 

Jared McCann scored the only Kraken goal of the night, his first of the pre-season while Evan Bouchard logged a pair of assists. Connor McDavid, Zach Hyman, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins each scored for Edmonton. 

Jack Campbell’s 35 stops supported Edmonton for the win, while Philipp Grubauer took the loss on 22 stops. 

Three takeaways from the game: 

1.     The kids are alright. Tie Kartye didn’t score, but played with abrasiveness (four hits, tied with Edmonton’s Adam Erne for the game-high), mixed up the Oilers at the end of the second period with an emotional scrum that forced Erne into taking a cross-checking penalty. Though the Kraken failed to score on the power play, Kartye again played on-brand hockey and rarely looked out of place. 

There’s not much else as far as adjectives to describe Ryker Evans in the preseason. Two weeks ago, he was a hopeful. Now at the finish line, he’s a near shoo-in. Nobody played more than him, logging 21:13 of ice time under the Connor McDavid stress test. His five shots led the team. He continues to receive attention for his play in the offensive zone. Friday night, it wasn’t letter perfect, but it was positive. 

The chances that Kartye and Evans make the jump to the NHL by next Tuesday have greatly increased. 

2.     Faceoffs continue to make steady improvements. The Kraken trailed in this category for much of the game, eventually leveling the score by the end and reaching the 50 percent mark on draws. For many strengths last season, this area was one of the few flaws on the team, and the reason the Kraken sought out someone like Pierre-Edouard Bellemare – who also had another solid night at the dot (6-of-9). Matty Beniers won nine of 17 draws and continues to make incremental climbs in this area. 

Should face-offs improve over the course of the season (think power plays, late-game draws to protect a one-goal lead), the Kraken have plugged a significant hole. 

3.     Edmonton is well on their way to Cup contender status. If there’s any team to beat in the Western Conference, maybe even the NHL, they reside in the seven-year old Rogers Place and Edmonton’s growing “Ice District.” They have a deep offense, the best player in the world in Connor McDavid, coming off a fifth Art Ross Trophy and led the Oilers with seven points in four preseason games. Leon Draisaitl, who finished second in league scoring last season, had four points in four preseason games. Edmonton’s historically lethal power play struck again. Jack Campbell looks rejuvenated and turned in a 35-save effort in a game where the Kraken had control at five-on-five play. Should he keep this trend going in the regular season with Stuart Skinner, they are primed to blitz the league. 

If there’s any good of a test for the Kraken to head into next week, they are finished with a team that will give as good of a test as any opponent.  

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content