The Seattle Kraken have completed the first trade in franchise history, sending Tyler Pitlick to the Calgary Flames in exchange for a 2022 fourth-round pick. Pitlick was Seattle’s selection from the Arizona Coyotes Wednesday night, but he’ll end up just a footnote in the expansion saga, never playing for the team.
The 29-year-old forward scored 11 points in 38 games last season for the Coyotes but brings a ton of physicality and versatility to the table. Known more as a bottom-six option, he has moved up at times throughout his career and even has power play experience. Pitlick scored a career-high 14 goals and 27 points in the 2017-18 season with the Dallas Stars, and averaged more short-handed ice time than any other Arizona forward this year.
That versatility will be helpful in Calgary, though where Pitlick fits in is still to be determined. The Flames are going through a transition period after losing captain Mark Giordano last night and could be involved in several other transactions this summer. Adding Pitlick’s $1.75M cap hit shouldn’t change much, but it does give the team a potential replacement for some of the other bottom-six options that are set to hit free agency. Derek Ryan, Josh Leivo, and Buddy Robinson are all pending UFAs.
For the Kraken, this is the first of what could be several moves to add draft capital after Wednesday night’s event. Like Vegas a few years ago, many of the names picked through expansion will never play for Seattle, instead quickly packing their bags and heading to another North American city to continue their career.