The NHL's newest franchise seems to have found their No. 1 goaltender, as well as a solid forward. The Seattle Kraken have signed both Philipp Grubauer and Jaden Schwartz to long-term contracts.
Philipp Grubauer, who was expected to remain with the Colorado Avalanche, has earned himself a six-year deal, with an annual average value of $5.9M. Jaden Schwartz, meanwhile, signed a five-year, $27.5M deal with an annual average value of $5.5M.
Grubauer was among the most sought-after goaltenders on the free agency market today. The German-born goaltender spent the first six years of his career as a member of the Washington Capitals. He was the backup to Braden Holtby for the majority of these years. In 2018, the Capitals then traded Grubauer and Brooks Orpik to Colorado in exchange for a second-round draft pick. This trade did wonders for Grubauer's career as he became the starter in Colorado. In the 2021 season, he began to gain recognition as an excellent starter.
Grubauer had a memorable feud with St. Louis Blues goalie Jordan Binnington in the first round of the 2021 NHL Playoffs. Following the Avalanche eliminating the Blues in a four-game sweep, Grubauer trolled Binnington on Instagram with a simple caption.
On the other hand, Jaden Schwartz has spent the entirety of his ten-year career thus far with the St. Louis Blues. Schwartz was a highly touted prospect entering the league. The now 29-year-old was the 14th overall pick in the 2010 NHL Draft.
Schwartz has never materialized into the goal-scoring machine many scouts thought he would become, but he has always been a solid player. His career-high in goals is 28, and he achieved this in the 2014-15 season.
With the Kraken's current crop of left-wingers consisting of Schwartz, Brandon Tanev, and Carsen Twarynski, Schwartz is likely to find himself the franchise's No. 1 left-winger.