Kraken, Flames Both Winners in Calle Jarnkrok Trade

Calle Jarnkrok, Seattle Kraken (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
Calle Jarnkrok, Seattle Kraken (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /

The Seattle Kraken have traded forward Calle Jarnkrok to the Calgary Flames.

In return for the long-time Nashville Predator, Seattle acquires three draft picks: a 2022 second-rounder, a 2023 third-rounder, and a 2024 seventh-rounder. In addition, the Kraken will retain half of Jarnkrok’s remaining salary ($2 million annual average).

His contract will expire at the end of this season, so his rental status makes this another move by the Flames to try to win a championship this season, and why shouldn’t they?

Outside of the Colorado Avalanche, the Western Conference doesn’t have any true favorites, so this could absolutely be a year that Calgary can make a run. They’ve already indicated that that’s the plan, having acquired Tyler Toffoli a few weeks ago.

The best word to describe what Jarnkrok will bring to Calgary is reinforcement. He can kill penalties, which the Flames are already great at doing (fourth in the NHL), and he can contribute on the power play, an aspect in which his new club also excels (10th in the NHL).

No team can ever have too much help in either of those areas, however, which makes a player like Jarnkrok extra valuable. He is also a versatile forward that will give Calgary increased flexibility at even strength.

The Calle Jarnkrok trade will benefit the Flames and the Kraken.

In this instance, the Flames do not emerge as the only winner in this trade. The Kraken have had an underwhelming inaugural season, as their 18-38-6 record puts them above only the Montreal Canadiens in the league standings.

Jarnkrok was a good player for Seattle, but being able to pull in three draft picks is a great move for the league’s newest franchise. For starters, this team clearly does not have what it takes to reach the postseason, and constructing a championship-caliber team will not be a quick process. These picks will help make that process smoother.

In addition, when I think back to the Vegas Golden Knights’ expansion strategy, stockpiling draft picks was a big part of it. Whether those picks were used to draft future Knights or as trade chips to acquire impact players, Vegas’ surplus enabled them to bring in talented players and have an immediate impact on the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

If Seattle can learn from the way the Golden Knights added and used draft picks, then it might be able to do something similar. Three picks in this trade, including a couple in early rounds, is a great start.

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The Flames will continue to bolster their roster, while the Kraken will most definitely trade another veteran before the deadline passes. The Jarnkrok trade is a useful start for both teams in those pursuits.