Seattle Kraken Second Pair
From St. Louis, Vlad Tarasenko was the first choice many Seattle Kraken fans wanted in the expansion draft. Understandably so with his track record of high-powered offense. The pick Seattle made will most likely be on the left side of the second pairing come October 12th, 24-year-old Vince Dunn.
Drafted 56th overall in 2015, Dunn has been a part of the offensive attack from the blueline his whole career. He routinely puts up 0.5 points per game. It seems that in St. Louis, Dunn’s style of play clashed with head coach Craig Berubes’ idea of how Dunn should play, and trade rumors constantly swirled around him.
Vinces’ strength lies in his transition game. His quick decision-making in the defensive zone drives the play out into the neutral zone and his creativity brings it into the offensive zone. That instinct seemed to be hindered in St. Louis by his slot in the team hierarchy. Watching him play, it’s hard not to see a little Adam Fox in his game.
With his skillset and the style of play the Kraken seem to be set up for, it’s not a stretch to see Dunn put up 40 or so points this season… maybe more. His age and his desire to prove St. Louis wrong should make Dunn an exciting player to watch and a fan favorite for Kraken fans.
At first, I had Adam Larsson playing with Giordano. The more I thought about it, with the way he plays, Larsson is the perfect compliment to Vince Dunn. Before his draft year scouts were calling him the best defenseman in his draft (some compared him to Nik Lidstrom) and that he makes his partner better because he has defensive calmness. Larsson makes quick decisions and first passes, has his head on a swivel, and can skate with the best of them.
The reason I moved him to be with Dunn is simple: Larsson will let Dunn spread his offensive wings while Oleksiak would not. If Gio decides to leave or retire next season, this pair will slide right into the top pairing without missing a beat. The poise that he shows is going to be a great model to emulate for the younger D the Kraken selected in the expansion draft.
And we can’t discount the chip-on-the-shoulder attitude a lot of these players will be playing with. It happened in Vegas their first year, discarded players wanting to show the hockey world a mistake was made and Larsson fits in that category. I’m not quite sure he needs that extra motivation, but it couldn’t hurt. Expect a minute muncher that blocks a ton of shots (128 last season) and plays a ton on the penalty kill.
I hope it’s clear to you how strong the defense for this team is going to be. To score on them is going to be a tall order. And having Grubauer back there as the last line of defense is going to be huge. Keep your eyes on this pair, Larsson and Dunn, they are going to be fun to watch!
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