KRAKEN

A look at first Seattle Kraken free agency adds, Burakovsky and Schultz

Jul 13, 2022, 2:11 PM | Updated: Jul 18, 2022, 3:30 pm


              Colorado Avalanche forward Andre Burakovsky, left, chases the puck in front of Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Columbus, Ohio, Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Paul Vernon)
            WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 03: Justin Schultz #2 of the Washington Capitals and Jordan Staal #11 of the Carolina Hurricanes go after the puck at Capital One Arena on March 03, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) 
              Colorado Avalanche left wing Andre Burakovsky, left, turns and celebrates after netting a goal for his first career hat trick as Florida Panthers center Sam Bennett looks on in the third period of an NHL hockey game Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021, in Denver. Colorado won 3-2. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
            EDMONTON, AB - MARCH 10:  Jordan Eberle #14 of the Edmonton Oilers pursues Justin Schultz #4 of the Pittsburgh Penguins on March 10, 2017 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images) 
              Colorado Avalanche left wing Andre Burakovsky is congratulated for his goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the first period in Game 2 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final, Saturday, June 18, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/John Locher)
            GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 12:  (L-R) Benoit Pouliot #67, Justin Schultz #19, Jordan Eberle #14, Mark Letestu #55 and Leon Draisaitl #29 of the Edmonton Oilers celebrate after Schultz scored a second-period power-play goal against the Arizona Coyotes during the NHL game at Gila River Arena on January 12, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Seattle Kraken are keeping pace at the start of NHL free agency.

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Two major signings by the Kraken were made Wednesday, headlined by defenseman Andre Burakovsky, who was a standout for the Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche last season.

Seattle is building up depth for the debut season of its minor league affiliate, the Coachella Valley Firebirds of the AHL, and the Kraken suitably also announced a number of smaller signings Wednesday afternoon: forwards Jesper Froden, Cameron Hughes, Austin Peganski and Andrew Potularski, goalies Magnus Hellberg and Martin Jones, and defenseman Brogan Rafferty.

You can listen to Kraken general manager Ron Francis speak to the media about Wednesday’s moves in the tweet embedded below:

Here’s a quick look at the two biggest names coming to Seattle so far.

Andre Burakovsky, LW

The 27-year-old Burakovsky is joining the Seattle Kraken on a five-year deal worth $5.5 million per season, and he’s certainly a notable get for the young franchise.

Burakovsky scored 61 points on 22 goals and 39 assists in 80 regular season games last season with Colorado, all career-high numbers for him. He also ran a plus-minus of +12.

“Andre brings offensive skill and creativity to our forward group,” Francis said in a press release. “He has won two Stanley Cups, has good size and has been a very productive offensive contributor. We are excited he is signing with us.”

Hailing from Austria, Burakovsky is coming off a successful three-year tenure with the Avalanche after five seasons with Washington, who drafted him 23rd overall in the first round of the 2013 NHL Draft.

In the playoffs this spring, Burakovsky scored eight points (three goals, five assists) in 12 games and was +3.

Justin Schultz, D

The Seattle Kraken are bringing a local product back to the Pacific Northwest in Schultz, who grew up in Kelowna, British Columbia, about a 5 1/2-hour drive from Seattle.

A 10-year NHL veteran, Schultz has played for the Edmonton Oilers (2012-16), Pittsburgh Penguins (2016-20) and Washington Capitals (the last two seasons). He scored four goals and made 19 assists in 74 games in 2021-22.

“Justin is a dependable, right-shot defenseman that will help balance out our blueline,” said Francis. “He brings a veteran presence and we’re happy to welcome him to Seattle.”

Anaheim selected Schultz in the second round of the 2008 NHL Draft, and he played alongside Kraken All-Star Jordan Eberle when both were with the Oilers.

Schultz is signing a two-year deal worth roughly $3 million with the Kraken.

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A look at first Seattle Kraken free agency adds, Burakovsky and Schultz