The Kraken could be down several players when it opens its season in Las Vegas on Tuesday night.
After Calle Jarnkrok entered COVID-19 protocol late last week, he was joined Monday by Jared McCann, Jamie Oleksiak, Marcus Johansson and Joonas Donskoi, according to coach Dave Hakstol.
A team source on Monday night said it appeared Johansson could exit the protocol and play Tuesday, but the roster still was left with question marks ahead of the regular-season opener against the Vegas Golden Knights.
Jarnkrok will miss the game, but the team hopes Donskoi, Oleksiak and McCann can play, the source said.
“We’ve already started working toward (a) plan,” Hakstol said after practice Monday at the Kraken Community IcePlex. “Things happen quickly and sometimes at inopportune times. There’s different challenges that you go throughout the course of the season. This is one of them for us early on.”
Seattle claimed forward Alex Barre-Boulet from the Lightning on Monday morning, and he was part of the season-opening roster announced by the team early Monday night.
Oleksiak is the only defenseman in the protocol, and the Kraken has several defensemen who could jump into action — including Jeremy Lauzon, Dennis Cholowski and Will Borgen.
At forward, it’s more complicated. Yanni Gourde, who has been practicing in full, is considered day to day because of shoulder surgery and won’t play at Vegas. A team source said Monday that Gourde will be placed on injured reserve. If he had been available, that would have filled at least one forward — and center — spot. Kole Lind, who was waived last week, was at practice Friday and made the roster.
Nathan Bastian was fighting for a final forward spot and also made the roster. He seems likely to get into the opening lineup with four forwards missing. No other players from the AHL or training-camp cuts was on the ice Monday, giving the Kraken a short group to work with.
McCann had primarily centered the top line with Jordan Eberle and Jaden Schwartz throughout camp, and the only other center they worked with was Gourde.
Here is the Kraken’s season-opening roster announced Monday:
Forwards: Mason Appleton, Alex Barre-Boulet, Nathan Bastian, Ryan Donato, Jordan Eberle, Morgan Geekie, Marcus Johansson, Kole Lind, Jaden Schwartz, Riley Sheahan, Brandon Tanev, Alexander True, Alex Wennberg.
Defensemen: Will Borgen, Dennis Cholowski, Vince Dunn, Haydn Fleury, Mark Giordano, Adam Larsson, Jeremy Lauzon, Carson Soucy.
Goalie: Philipp Grubauer, Chris Driedger.
Players enter COVID-19 protocol in the NHL if they exhibit symptoms, test positive or could be a close contact. Jarnkrok has been in protocol since Friday, but the other four all practiced Sunday afternoon.
Giordano named captain
Mark Giordano was named Kraken captain Monday. It is his ninth consecutive season serving as captain after he had that role in Calgary the past eight seasons. Jordan Eberle, Jaden Schwartz, Yanni Gourde and Adam Larsson were named the team’s inaugural alternate captains.
Eberle has served as an alternate captain in Edmonton and with the Islanders. Larsson also wore an “A” on his jersey in Edmonton the past four seasons. Schwartz, like Gourde, has won a Stanley Cup, and he was an alternate in St. Louis the past three seasons.
“Nothing but good things to say about Gio,” Schwartz said. “He’s an awesome guy in the locker room, a really, really important player for us. I don’t think anyone is really surprised to see Gio as captain.”
Kraken claims Barre-Boulet
The Kraken claimed Lightning forward Barre-Boulet on waivers in light of its COVID-19-depleted roster. The 24-year-old played with Gourde in Tampa Bay last season and was a junior teammate with Kraken prospect Luke Henman in the QMJHL. Barre-Boulet’s contract carries a salary-cap hit of $758,333.
In 15 NHL games last season, Barre-Boulet scored three goals. He played most of the season with AHL Syracuse, for which he notched 12 points — eight goals — in 10 games.
The Kraken might need more center depth while Gourde is out, and Colin Blackwell is out indefinitely because of a lower-body injury, Hakstol said.
Seattle Times reporter Geoff Baker contributed to this report.