Meet the Seattle Kraken: Carson Soucy
In anticipation of the Seattle Kraken’s inaugural season, we at The Hockey Writers are taking a deep dive into every player. This installment focuses on defenseman Carson Soucy the Kraken selected from the Minnesota Wild in the 2021 NHL expansion draft.
Team 2020-21: Wild of Minnesota
2020-21 season: Soucy appeared in 50 regular season games with the Wild last season and four in the playoffs. The stoppage defender had a career year with 17 points and a plus / minus plus-22.
Acquisition type: Extension project.
Soucy stops him
Soucy is the definition of a stopping defender. At 6-foot-5 and 212 pounds, he’s not afraid to throw big punches or drop the mittens. He had 62 hits last season, as well as a team record 51 penalty minutes. While not the fastest player in the league, he doesn’t get caught much and was able to jump in the rush every now and then.
Soucy has also shown that he can knock out some of the Pacific Division’s best players five-on-five last season. Players like Phil Kessel, William Karlsson, Vladimir Tarasenko and Jeff Carter were all left off the scoresheet while on the ice. He was also a shorthanded force where the Wild allowed just five goals in 49 minutes of ice time. His play in his own zone will make him a valuable part of the Kraken organization next season.
Soucy’s versatility is the key to the back-end
What makes Soucy such a special player is his ability to play on both sides of the ice without major loss of performance. In 2019-2020, he played both sides of the ice with relative success. His main partner on the left side was Brad Hunt. In 337 minutes, the duo had an expected goal percentage of 54.2%. On the right side, he was associated with Jonas Brodin for 263 minutes. Both had an expected goal percentage of 50.5%. Each pairing also had a positive plus / minus this season.
Based on the roster projected for next season, Soucy may need to play on the right side. Mark Giordano, Haydn Fleury, Vince Dunn and Jamie Oleksiak all play on the left side. The right side is a bit more open, with Adam Larsson the only guarantee of being on the list of those who played prominently on the right side last season. If he can partner up with Oleksiak next season, we might consider one of the best closed pairs in the Pacific Division.
Soucy’s offensive abilities
Soucy has shown that he can generate offensive chances. He has a career shooting percentage of 55.7%, with 47 of his 84 shots on net last season. He’s not a player who will score a lot of goals, but his ability to put the puck in the net and pass to open up his teammates. For example, last season he managed to create 18 scoring chances. During his career, he has also had more primary assists (13) than secondary assists (10). He projected a 26-point pace in 82 games last season, so we should expect 20-25 points this season. He has the tools to deliver offensively; now we have to see if he will be able to pull it off next season.
A smart selection
Based on the Wild’s protected roster, Soucy was a safe and intelligent selection of the Kraken. The only other player considered was goalkeeper Kappo Kähkönen, but the Kraken’s eyes were fixed firmly on Chris Driedger and Vitek Vanecek, so bringing him in didn’t make sense. Instead, they have a defender who has just entered his prime, whose costs are under control for the next two seasons, and who fills a need at the back. Soucy was a good selection and should have a successful year with the Kraken next season.
Adam is excited to join The Hockey Writers on the Seattle Kraken team. His work can also be found on dubnetwork.ca where he covers the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League. Adam is excited to be a part of the Kraken’s inaugural season and ready to give you in-depth coverage of the 32nd NHL team.