If the Stanley Cup should grace Seattle while they’re here, two-time champions Andre Burakovsky and Justin Schultz are experienced hosts.

Burakovsky won it in June with the Colorado Avalanche. During the short summer that follows, each player gets to spend a day with the trophy at a location of their choosing. Burakovsky and more than a hundred guests admired the Cup at two parties near his hometown of Malmo, Sweden — one in the morning, one after dinner.

“It was a great day. It was a long day,” he said.

“Everyone really enjoyed it.”

Burakovsky and Schultz signed with the Kraken as free agents in July, looking for bigger roles on the NHL’s newest team. They join another two-time champion, Yanni Gourde.

Burakovsky is the only one of the three to win it with different teams. He said he’s looking for more responsibility in Seattle — out of the shadows of league superstars he’s played with.

He was drafted by the Washington Capitals and part of their 2018 Cup run, along with Kraken teammates Philipp Grubauer and Michal Kempny. He contributed six points in 13 playoff games but was “far behind” the likes of Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, T.J. Oshie and Evgeny Kuznetsov.


“It was like a very close family in Washington,” Burakovsky said. “I want to bring that family environment that we had.”

He got a fresh start in Colorado and was often the one called up to the top line when wingers Gabriel Landeskog or Mikko Rantanen missed time. He was a 20-goal scorer two of his three seasons with the Avalanche and registered a career-high 22 goals, 39 assists and 61 points last season. He became known for his quick-release wrist shot, helpful if streaky scoring and heavily referenced status as team goofball.

Burakovsky added eight points (three goals) in 12 games during the playoffs. He was scratched for two games during the second round and later played through a broken ankle. He scored in each of his two Stanley Cup Final games, including the overtime goal in Game 1, before a broken thumb ended his postseason. The Avalanche went on to win in six games and secure Burakovsky his second ring.

Still, he was headed for free agency. Burakovsky said he heard through his agent that Seattle was interested “early on in the season.”

“When they show interest that early, you know that they want you,” he said. “Right away, it kind of felt like the right spot for me.”

Burakovsky was born in Austria while his father played there, but he represents Sweden and knows Alexander Wennberg from international competition. Wennberg and Grubauer were among the first to reach out after Burakovsky signed a five-year, $5.5 million average annual value deal with Seattle.


“When it came down to it, it was kind of an easy choice, to be honest,” Burakovsky said.

The housing search has narrowed to Kirkland and Bellevue. His girlfriend identified The Pink Door as a restaurant they might like to try. In his limited experience with the city, somehow, Burakovsky has already been there.

“Obviously I want to help the team as much as I can, first of all to get to the playoffs, then hopefully to win another Cup,” Burakovsky said. “That would be great.”

Schultz, 32, won back-to-back titles with the Penguins in 2016-17. Between the defenseman’s two days with it, the Cup visited a golf course, hospital and winery near Kelowna, B.C., less than six hours from Seattle. The proximity to home spoke to Schultz and his family.

With the Capitals, Schultz split 50 points over the past two seasons.

Jordan Eberle, a former teammate with Edmonton, must have heard early rumblings and checked in before the Kraken announced a two-year contract with an AAV of $3 million. General manager Ron Francis described Schultz as a “dependable, right-shot defenseman that will help balance out our blue line.”


He was reportedly hotly pursued by the Oilers out of college but eventually was swapped for a third-round pick.

“Wasn’t really expecting it to go that way in Edmonton,” Schultz said. “Kind of had to build my confidence back, and got to play on some really good teams and learn a lot from really good players. Hoping I can bring that to this team.”


The Kraken announced that Frans Nielsen, Justin Rai and Doug Wilson Jr. were added to the team’s hockey operations staff. Nielsen and Rai are set to serve as player development consultants, working with Kraken players and prospects around the world.

After 15 NHL seasons, Nielsen retired in May following Denmark’s elimination at the World Championship. He was the first Danish citizen to play in the NHL. He’ll be based out of Malmo, the team said.

Wilson joins the organization as an amateur scout. He was the director of scouting in San Jose and responsible for running the team’s past six drafts.