The inaugural season was a tough one for the Seattle Kraken last year with the team recording just 60 points in the standings and finishing last in the Pacific Division. But through 18 games this season, things are clearly on the upswing for the NHL’s newest franchise.
Ahead of Wednesday evening’s game against the San Jose Sharks, the Kraken have a 10-5-3 record (23 points) and are in third place in the Pacific Division, meaning Seattle currently holds a playoff spot.
Someone who has played a big part in the success of the Kraken is winger Jared McCann, who signed a long-term deal to stay in Seattle last season.
A year after leading the Kraken in points and goals, McCann again is Seattle’s leading goal scorer, and he joined Seattle Sports 710 AM’s Bump and Stacy on Tuesday to discuss the team’s success and much more.
Jared McCann scores the first goal of the season 🔥 pic.twitter.com/j000l8SZea
— ROOT SPORTS™ | NW (@ROOTSPORTS_NW) October 13, 2022
First off, what was the goal for the Kraken after a rough 2021-22 season?
“We just kind of wanted to build. We made some great signings this summer and obviously added a lot more firepower, as you said, and things have been going well for us,” he said. “Obviously (goalie Martin Jones) has been playing great and he’s been kind of leading the way for us making some big saves.”
The Kraken have more confidence, McCann said, in part because of the offseason additions of Jones, defensemen Justin Schultz and wingers Oliver Bjorkstrand and Andre Burakovsky.
“With those signings, we have (more) guys that can put the puck in the back of the net,” he said. “But I think defensively we’ve been a lot better this year. We have more confidence in one another, and that’s good to see.”
Something the Kraken have been able to do this year compared to last season is really get to know each other off the ice. Seattle’s roster was formed last summer with the expansion draft, so the team didn’t have much time before the season began. Additionally, COVID-19 restrictions limited the Kraken’s ability to gel off the ice.
“As you’re trying to get to know people, you kind of have to do that away from the sport you play, and it was difficult doing that last year,” McCann said. “This year’s been a lot better. They’ve given us the opportunity to do things as a team, so this year we play golf and other things as well.”
Being that the NHL is still fairly new in Seattle, many fans are still learning about the game as well as players’ styles. How would McCann describe how he plays on the ice?
“I try to be a two-way player, play both ends of the ice, be good defensively and try to contribute offensively,” he said. “Obviously we have a lot of guys on our team, especially this year, that can put the puck in the back of the net, so some games you’ve got to just focus on playing defense. The goals will come. I’ll always get chances … so I just kind focus on when I get those chances, try to bear down and put them in the net.”
Listen to the full interview at this link or in the player below.