Kraken reportedly interested in former first-round pick

Jun 7, 2024, 3:04 PM | Updated: 3:04 pm

Seattle Kraken trade target...

Martin Necas of the Carolina Hurricanes celebrates a goal during a 2024 playoff game. (Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

(Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

The Seattle Kraken hope new head coach Dan Bylsma can elicit a spark and bring an up-tempo style to the young franchise, and they’re reportedly interested in a former first-round draft pick that could help build that identity.

Morosi: Why Dan Bylsma is ‘best possible’ coach for Seattle Kraken

In a recent segment on NHL Network, the NHL Tonight crew discussed potential landing spots for Carolina Hurricanes centerman Martin Necas. The Seattle Kraken were one of the teams mentioned as having interest.

“There are teams that have him on their radar, on their target list,” analyst David Pagnotta said. “Seattle’s on there, Nashville, Montreal, the Philadelphia Flyers, the Calgary Flames, as well. There’s a number of teams that are going to (general manager) Eric Tulsky and the staff in Carolina a call and see if they can pry him out of Carolina.”

Analyst E.J. Hradek described Necas as a player with “electric skills.”

“If you already have a team that has some for physical players or some good size, maybe a guy like Marty Necas comes in there and gives you that skill element,” he said.

Necas, 25, broke out for a career year in 2022-23. He produced 71 points (28 goals, 43 assists) while appearing an all 82 games and logging a career-best 18-minute, 24-second average time on ice. His production dipped a bit this past season with 53 points (24 goals, 29 assists) in 73 games. Most notably, Necas posted his first negative plus-minus rating (minus-nine) since 2019-20, his first full season in the NHL.

In 362 career games, Necas has 97 goals, 146 assists and plus-20 goal differential.

“The Carolina Hurricanes certainly love this player,” Pagnotta said. “They’re going to have a conversation with his agent about what an extension may look like, and speaking to people around the league, if he does go full-term, you’re looking at seven, 7 1/2 million on an AAV. That seems to be the consensus around some teams out there in their belief of what he may end up getting.”

However, there’s plenty of speculation that Carolina could trade the Nove Mesto na Morave, Czech Republic, native.

“Frankly, under (head coach) Rod Brind’Amour’s system, there’s some question marks as to whether or not he’ll be able to really exploit his talents in that regard,” analyst David Pagnotta said.

There’s also a connection to the Kraken for Necas. Seattle general manager Ron Francis held the same role in Carolina when the Hurricanes picked Necas 12th overall in the 2017 NHL Draft.

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