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The Kraken being urged to make a trade for this player


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Vince Carbonneau
June 14, 2024  (9:16)
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Nikolaj Ehlers with the Jets
Photo credit: Sportsnet

Why the Seattle Kraken Should Pursue Ehlers, Laine, and Necas

The Seattle Kraken, coming off a disappointing 2023-24 season with just 81 points (34-35-13), are in dire need of offensive reinforcements. Falling 17 points short of the final wildcard spot, the Kraken struggled significantly in goal scoring, netting only 217 goals—the fourth fewest in the league. This was a stark contrast to their 2022-23 campaign, where they scored 289 goals and reached the second round of the playoffs. To address this glaring issue, the Kraken should strongly consider targeting Nikolaj Ehlers, Patrik Laine, and Martin Necas, all of whom are reportedly available in the trade market.
Nikolaj Ehlers: The Speedy Playmaker
Nikolaj Ehlers, a dynamic 28-year-old winger, could be a game-changer for Seattle. Despite not being on the first power play unit, Ehlers managed to score 25 goals and tally 61 points this season. Known for his speed, skillful hands, and lethal shot, he has been one of the most effective 5-on-5 players in the NHL for years. With one year remaining on his $6 million contract, Ehlers brings proven offensive capabilities that the Kraken desperately need.
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Patrik Laine: The High-Risk, High-Reward Sniper
Patrik Laine's recent seasons have been marred by inconsistency and limited playing time due to his participation in the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program. The 26-year-old Finnish winger, drafted second overall in 2016, has shown flashes of brilliance but hasn't surpassed the 30-goal mark since the 2018-19 season. With just 18 games played and six goals scored this past season, Laine's trade value is at an all-time low, potentially making him a more affordable target. Despite the risks, if the Kraken can help Laine rediscover his form, he could become one of the league's top snipers. Laine's contract has two years remaining at $8.7 million.
Martin Necas: The Emerging Star
Martin Necas, at 25 years old, is coming off a solid season with the Carolina Hurricanes, where he scored 24 goals and 53 points. As a restricted free agent, Necas is seeking a substantial pay raise and a more prominent role. His offensive prowess and right-handed shot would be a significant asset for Seattle. Unlike Laine, Necas has shown more consistency and has a higher ceiling, making him an attractive option despite the likely higher acquisition cost.
Playoff Experience and Impact
In terms of playoff experience, Necas and Ehlers hold an edge over Laine, who hasn't played a postseason game since 2020. Ehlers, however, has struggled in the playoffs, with just four goals and 14 points in 37 career games. Necas has been more effective recently, scoring four goals and nine points in 11 playoff games this year. While Laine's limited playoff experience (24 games) is a concern, his potential impact during the regular season could outweigh this drawback.
Strategic Fit for the Kraken
Each of these players would bring unique attributes to the Kraken. Ehlers and Necas could drive offense on their own, while Laine would thrive as a complementary winger alongside playmakers like Shane Wright or Matty Beniers. Pairing Necas or Ehlers with these young centers could significantly boost Seattle's scoring output.
The Kraken's Path Forward
Seattle has the prospects and assets to facilitate a trade, but the front office must weigh the potential benefits against the cost. Acquiring any of these players would mark a significant step towards addressing their scoring woes, but the Kraken must decide if the team is poised to make the necessary leap forward to justify such an investment.
In conclusion, targeting Ehlers, Laine, and Necas offers the Seattle Kraken an opportunity to enhance their offensive firepower and return to playoff contention. Each player presents different risks and rewards, and careful consideration will be essential in making the right choice for the franchise's future.
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The Kraken being urged to make a trade for this player

Should the Seattle Kraken trade for more offensive players?

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