NHL News: Seattle Kraken win first game; Sami Vatanen heads to Swiss League; and NHLN top 10 players

The Seattle Kraken make their preseason debut and more.

Seattle Kraken Golden Knights
Sep 26, 2021; Spokane, Washington, USA; Seattle Kraken wave to the crowd after a preseason ice hockey game against the Vancouver Canucks at Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena. The Kraken won 5-3. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Kraken played their first game as a franchise in Spokane, Washington last night and picked up a win. Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena was electric as Kraken fans from all over the state came to see their new team.

Down by 2-0 to the Vancouver Canucks, the Kraken rallied for a 5-3 victory with Riley Sheahan scoring the first Seattle goal.

NHL News: Kraken win first game

As the fans in Spokane were enjoying the festivities, the new franchise was pouring it on against the Canucks. They scored three power play goals en route to victory and Morgan Geekie scored twice, including the game-winner in the opening minute of the third period.

“It was exciting coming in,” Ryan Donato who also scored said. “I think we knew how much of a blessing it was to be able to come here with the excitement and everything. I think that got to us a little bit at the beginning.”

Head coach David Hakstol was pleased with what he saw, understanding there’s still work to do. “We had quite a few opportunities and I think naturally, that is going to happen if you’re able to gain some zone time,” he said. “[Donato’s line] was able to generate possession which leads to offensive zone time and the power play is the first place to start with that possession.”

Ryan Donato
Sep 26, 2021; Spokane, Washington, USA; Seattle Kraken center Ryan Donato (9) participates in a shoot against Vancouver Canucks goaltender Spencer Martin (30) after a preseason ice hockey game at Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena. The Kraken won 5-3. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Sami Vatanen heads to Swiss League

It looks like 30 year-old righty defenseman Sami Vatanen is not waiting around any longer. Although rumors persisted that several teams were considering giving him at least a PTO for camp, it never came to fruition.

The Genève-Servette Hockey Club announced today that they have signed Vatanen for this season.

“The arrival of Sami offers us a lot of possibilities and stability,” sports director Marc Gautschi said in a statement. “He is capable of playing in all phases of the game and his great offensive talent will help us a lot. It’s a chance for Genève-Servette to be able to count a player like him in its ranks. With Henrik Tömmernes, we have an exceptional duo of foreign defenders.”

NHL Network announces NHL Top List

NHLN released their top 50 players in the league this summer in 10 player blocks. Yesterday, they announced the Top 10. They are as follows:

10. Brad Marchand
9. Artemi Panarin
8. Victor Hedman
7. Andrei Vasilevskiy
6. Auston Matthews
5. Sidney Crosby
4. Nikita Kucherov
3. Leon Draisaitl
2. Nathan MacKinnon
1. Connor McDavid