The Seattle Kraken’s inaugural season hasn’t gotten off to the smoothest start. After a handful of players hit the COVID protocol only for most of them to be cleared just before the game last night, Marcus Johansson–one of the players to be cleared and play–has suffered a lower-body injury and will be out indefinitely. Johansson has been moved to injured reserve. The team has also swapped Kole Lind and Alexander True between the AHL and NHL rosters, with the former joining the Kraken for their journey to Nashville.
Johansson played more than 16 minutes last night, actually logging the sixth-most ice time among the team’s forwards. Now that he’s out, the team will have to reorganize their lines and find another option for the powerplay. The 31-year-old forward signed a one-year, $1.5MM deal with the Kraken this offseason after a disappointing season with the Minnesota Wild, but has long been a reliable two-way option that can play up and down the lineup.
With Calle Jarnkrok still listed in the COVID protocol, Yanni Gourde still working his way back and Johansson now shelved with an injury, the team is already getting thin on capable NHL forwards. This is the difficult part about having only a partial minor league affiliate, as the Kraken only actually have five forwards (not including Lind) in the AHL to draw from, meaning a rash of injuries could put them in a very tough spot. For now, things can be handled with a few recalls, but if many more serious injuries happen look for the Kraken to make a waiver claim, trade, or free agent signing to add to the group. Alex Barre-Boulet, exactly that kind of addition, was not active for last night’s game but could make his Seattle debut in the coming days now that there is another open spot.