6:17 p.m.: Per Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, Dunn’s new contract will come in at a four-year deal worth $29.4MM, or $7.35MM per season. It’s top-pairing money for the Kraken’s number-one defender, who could very well exceed that contract’s value if he continues on his current path. CapFriendly reports the breakdown of the deal is as follows:
2023-24: $9MM salary
2024-25: $8MM salary (full no-trade clause)
2025-26: $7MM salary (16-team no-trade list)
2026-27: $5.4MM salary (16-team no-trade list)
Seattle promptly confirmed the contract. Dunn will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of his deal, when he’ll be 30 in the offseason of 2027.
3:58 p.m.: By far the team’s most important restricted free agent heading into this summer, Kevin Weekes of ESPN reports the Seattle Kraken are closing in on an extension for defenseman Vince Dunn. After almost doubling his career-high in points this past season, Dunn was due for a healthy raise from the Kraken front office.
Dunn, who was originally the 56th overall pick of the St.Louis Blues back in the 2015 NHL Draft, never got a huge shot with the Blues. Seemingly capable of playing top-four minutes in his last year with St.Louis back during the 2020-21 season, Dunn was behind the likes of Justin Faulk, Torey Krug, Colton Parayko, and Marco Scandella on the team’s depth chart.
Nevertheless, he was always a capable contributor during his time with the Blues, scoring anywhere from 20-35 points a season, averaging a tad over 17 minutes a night in four seasons. Thankfully for Dunn, an opportunity came knocking during the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft, as St.Louis opted to protect Faulk, Krug, and Parayko, leaving Dunn exposed for the Kraken to select him at no cost.
As expected, most of the upstart Seattle roster struggled during their inaugural season in 2021-22, but Dunn managed to match a career-high in points, scoring seven goals and 28 assists in 73 games played. He was given ample opportunity on the team’s powerplay, a situation that was previously rare to him during his time with the Blues. The Kraken powerplay struggled overall in the team’s first year, only producing at a 14.55% clip, good for 29th in the league.
As the team grew closer, added more talent last offseason, and absorbed head coach Dave Hakstol’s tactics, Dunn and the Kraken put up an exceptional 2022-23 season. Early on, Dunn immediately earned the spot as the team’s top defenseman, quarterbacking a powerplay that took a 5.2% jump in one season. Overall, Dunn would score 14 goals and 50 assists in 81 games played, while 15 of those points would come on the Kraken powerplay.
Not only would Dunn lead all Seattle defensemen in points, but he also finished second on the team overall, only sitting behind forward Jared McCann by six points for the team lead. In 14 playoff games, Dunn would score one goal and six assists, helping the team eliminate the defending Stanley Cup champions, the Colorado Avalanche, in the first round of the postseason.
Still only 26 years old, Dunn picked a fantastic time to have a breakout campaign, as the Kraken currently have a decent cap situation to retain him for as long as they’d like. Proving to be the most offensively gifted defenseman on the roster, Dunn could become a staple on Seattle’s blue line for quite some time.