Breakout Seattle Kraken Jared McCann has jumped on his opportunity

Feb 5, 2022, 9:44 AM | Updated: 9:46 am

Seattle Kraken Jared McCann...

Seattle Kraken left wing Jared McCann gestures after scoring a goal against the Islanders. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

(AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

With the first season of any expansion team, you can pretty much count on at least one player who hadn’t received a shot with his previous teams turning in a breakout year. After the first half of the first Seattle Kraken season, Jared McCann is the most obvious example for the NHL’s newest franchise.

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McCann is only 25 years old, but the lefty-shooting forward is already in his seventh NHL season and on his fourth team. With Seattle, though, he’s getting his biggest opportunity yet on NHL ice, and he’s making the most of it. He leads the team with 30 points and 19 goals, the latter of which is already tied for his career-high.

Coming off the heels of the Kraken’s 3-0 win over the New York Islanders on Wednesday night, which sent Seattle into the All-Star break with its first-ever shutout, McCann joined 710 ESPN Seattle’s Wyman and Bob on Thursday to talk about his season and the team.

When McCann was taken by the Kraken from the Pittsburgh Penguins in the expansion draft last summer, he knew it a big opportunity for him to take a significant step in his career. Knowing the stories of some players on the NHL’s previous expansion team, the Las Vegas Golden Knights, played a role in his excitement.

“I was definitely very, very excited about it – you know, the new opportunity,” McCann said of being picked by the Kraken. “I saw kind of the way things went for some of the players in Vegas there, they were given some great opportunities to play and to grow as players., and I kind of thought the same was gonna come for me. And it’s been awesome for me, it really has. I love the city and the organization’s been great. So, you know, I hope to be here for a long, long time.”

Playing time isn’t an issue with Seattle for McCann like it had been during his previous stops in Pittsburgh, Florida and Vancouver. He’s averaging 16:04 of ice time per game, nearly a minute more than in any of his previous seasons.

“I’ve been on some teams in the past where they’ve had their go-to guys with high-end talent and I really wasn’t really given the chance there,” he said. “So here, it’s been an awesome. I’ve had every opportunity to succeed and I’m just trying to take advantage of it.”

The Kraken get a week off between games with their next contest set for Feb. 9 against Arizona, and they go into their break on a bit of a roll having won five of their last nine, including victories over two of his former teams – the Atlantic Division-leading Florida Panthers (32-10-5) and a tough Pittsburgh squad (27-11-8).

While the season overall has been a struggle – Seattle has a 15-27-4 record – McCann can feel the team is finding its identity.

“I feel like we’re very close. You know, we we’ve beaten some of the best teams in the National Hockey League. And, you know, I think that it comes down to just individually as players, we’ve got to be more focused and come out with better results in the end. We’ve shown that we can hang with the top teams in the league.”

You can hear the full interview with McCann in the podcast at this link or in the player below.

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