The Seattle Kraken have added some more depth on defense, signing Gustav Olofsson to a one-year, two-way contract. The deal will be worth $750K at the NHL level. Olofsson reached Group VI unrestricted free agency this summer after his most recent one-year deal with the Montreal Canadiens expired. GM Ron Francis released a short statement on his newest player:
Gustav is a smart, two-way defenseman. We believe his size and willingness to play with physicality matches the style we want to play and are happy he is joining our blue line.
As we examined recently, the Kraken are in an unusual situation in regards to their NHL roster. The team has a strong depth chart on defense, but all of them are no longer waiver-exempt and many would be at risk of a claim. Adding players like Olofsson, who will likely clear waivers without issue (as he has several times in the past) gives Francis and company some insurance to stash in the minor leagues.
That’s not to say that Olofsson can’t play in the NHL in a pinch. The 26-year-old defenseman has 59 games under his belt, most of which came with the Minnesota Wild in 2017-18. His last appearance was with the Canadiens in 2019-20, as he spent the entire 2020-21 season on the taxi squad or with the Laval Rocket, racking up 12 points in 24 games.
The Kraken are now 11-deep at defense, with Dennis Cholowski still to sign. There could be more movement to change the makeup of that group, but additions like this ensure that they’ll have call-up options even if they lose a player or two in a preseason roster crunch.