Kraken Notebook: Jaden Schwartz, Jordan Eberle Research Chemistry; Yanni Gourde participates in training
Jaden Schwartz and Jordan Eberle have been the longtime high profile wingers when the Kraken come into play.
Who is between them at the center while waiting for the return of Yanni Gourde is another question. At the opening of Thursday’s training camp at Kraken Community Iceplex in Northgate, it was Jared McCann. Subsequently, coach Dave Hakstol said there was no need to read this too deeply.
It’s safe to assume that Schwartz and Eberle will be spending a lot of time together, however, and Thursday’s first look had some good signs.
“I think it’s going to be important to develop this chemistry,” Eberle said. “I am a firm believer in playing with guys for a long time; you get better and better and start to know the trends of guys. Playing with Schwartzy, I’ve known him since I was 10 years old.
Eberle said they played together in Saskatchewan, where they are both from, and even their siblings have played together.
“I know their family very well,” he said. “I know his game. Even before that we were trying to work on stuff together just to try to get some chemistry. “
The Kraken took Eberle from the Islanders in the expansion draft, and Schwartz joined from St. Louis via free agency. On a list without a ton of top-six depth, the plan has always been to build offense around them and Gourde.
If those two click, it would be one more step for the Kraken to have a solid top line, something that was more needed in the NHL.
“You look at some of the best lines in the league over the last few years, and one of the most obvious ones is Boston,” Eberle said. “They’ve been together for years and years, (and) they make it seem effortless.”
The Kraken are far from establishing years of chemistry, but if their top two attacking talents are on the same page, it’s a good start.
Finding them a center without a Gourde is the next challenge. It could be McCann, or it could be Alex Wennberg, who skated with the other unit on Thursday.
They have time to understand, but not much.
“We only have a while, so we would like to put some combinations together and see what the chemistry looks like,” Hakstol said. “Maybe even leave it together through an exhibition match and then have the opportunity to watch a different combination. We want to make sure that everything we do has some ease, not all over the map. We don’t. has no time to do too many different things.
Updating the gourd
Gourde was a full participant in a contactless red jersey, and general manager Ron Francis has said Gourde may return before the initial screening in early December.
“I would say he’s definitely ahead of schedule,” Francis said. “In summer, I waited for December. Now before that.
Gourde underwent right shoulder surgery on July 21. He was on the ice for the entire second session on Thursday and other than the contact he didn’t seem to have any restrictions.
“I think he looks like he’s ahead of his schedule,” said goaltender Chris Driedger. “Things are looking good. “
The first combinations of lines
The Kraken skated in two sessions on Thursday and will be doing it again the next two days of training camp, so there were a few line combinations.
It’s early days and most of those lines probably won’t be what we see when the team takes the ice on Sunday at Spokane, but they were the first lines of the Kraken. This is what the leaf looked like:
Jaden Schwartz-Jared McCann-Jordan Eberle
Ryan Donato-Morgan Geekie-Joonas Donskoi
Mason Appleton-Tye Kartye-Scott Wilson
Brent Gates-Cole MacKay-Luke Henman
Jamie Oleksiak-Mark Giordano
Jeremy Lauzon-Will Borgen
Cale Fleury-Gustav Olofsson
Marcus Johansson-Calle Jarnkrok-Alex Wennberg
Brandon Tanev-Nathan Bastian-Riley Sheahan
Jacob Melanson-Alexander True-Carsen Twarynski
Yanni Gourde (red) -Ryan Lohin
Vince Dunn-Adam Larsson
Connor Carrick-Carson Soucy
Haydn Fleury-Dennis Cholowski
Forward Colin Blackwell hasn’t skated with any of the groups, and after training Hakstol said he was on a daily basis due to a lower body injury.
Confirmation of vaccine
Francis confirmed on Thursday that the Kraken are 100% fully vaccinated, joining an abundance of teams across the league.
“I had a conversation with the league, and they agree with me to comment on that,” he said. “We are 100% vaccinated. ”