Seattle Kraken center Alex Wennberg (21) moves the puck against the Florida Panthers during a game Dec. 12, 2023, in Seattle. Wennberg was traded to the New York Rangers on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)

Seattle Kraken center Alex Wennberg (21) moves the puck against the Florida Panthers during a game Dec. 12, 2023, in Seattle. Wennberg was traded to the New York Rangers on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)

Kraken send Alex Wennberg to Rangers for 2 draft picks

Seattle nets second- and fourth-round picks in exchange for the 29-year-old center.

By Geoff Baker / The Seattle Times

SEATTLE — One day after the Kraken completed a strong, last-ditch bid to remain in playoff contention, the team has traded original member Alex Wennberg to the New York Rangers for a second-round draft pick this summer and a fourth-rounder next year.

The Kraken will also retain 50% of Wennberg’s salary.

The deal was announced Wednesday.

The Swedish native, selected from the Florida Panthers in the July 2021 expansion draft, had nine goals and 16 assists this season while seeing ample special-teams play. A dearth of available centers on the short-term rental market meant multiple NHL teams were vying for the services of the 29-year-old pending unrestricted free agent.

With the Kraken believed to be on the verge of promoting AHL centerman Shane Wright, their No. 4 overall draft pick in 2022, the moving of Wennberg frees up a roster spot for a player the team was not expected to keep beyond this season.

The move comes as the Kraken remained on the fringes of Western Conference wild-card contention with a road victory Tuesday night over the Winnipeg Jets following Monday’s win over the Calgary Flames. That left the Kraken six points behind Nashville and Vegas, holders of the conference’s two wild-card positions — with games remaining against both teams. The Golden Knights visit Climate Pledge Arena next Tuesday.

The Kraken also have a game in hand against Nashville, which they play host to March 16.

Trading Wennberg was always a strong possibility regardless of whether the Kraken remained in the race, namely because the team would like to get Wright up to the NHL playing center. Another possible trade commodity with an in-house replacement is defenseman Justin Schultz, also an unrestricted free agent whose lineup presence has been limiting the use of rookie defenseman Ryker Evans.

But dealing Schultz became more complicated Monday when defenseman Vince Dunn was injured on a check from behind into the boards by Calgary forward Martin Pospisil.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Sports

Jean-Luc Baker leads advanced students through a warmup during the Seattle Skating Club 2024 Your True Step figure skating seminar on Saturday, June 15, 2024, at Olympic View Arena in Mountlake Terrace, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Patterson: What’s next for local Olympian Jean-Luc Baker?

The Edmonds ice dancer brought Olympic gold medalist Nathan Chen to town with Your True Step.

Logan Gilbert of the Seattle Mariners throws a pitch during the second inning against the Texas Rangers at T-Mobile Park on June 16, 2024, in Seattle, Washington. (Alika Jenner / Getty Images)
Mariners week: Gilbert’s brilliance lifts Seattle to sweep

Seattle’s 8 1/2-game lead in the AL West is its largest since the 2001 season.

AquaSox week in review: Mariners’ Polanco does rehab stint

Everett wins five of six on the road against Eugene; Schreck and Garcia have big weeks.

Women’s PGA Championship offers fans chance to watch and learn

The women’s golf major tournament comes to Sahalee Country Club in Sammamish beginning Thursday.

Jackson senior and UNLV commit Yanina Sherwood is The Herald’s 2024 Softball Player of the Year. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
2024 Softball Player of the Year: Jackson’s Yanina Sherwood

With both her arm and bat, Sherwood led the Timberwolves to their second-straight state title.

Kamiak’s Synclair Mawudeku (2) pitches during a 4A softball game between Kamiak and Jackson at Kamiak High School on Tuesday, April 9, 2024 in Mukilteo, Washington. Jackson won, 9-0. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
The Herald’s 2024 All-Area softball team

Editor’s note: The Player of the Year and All-Area teams were chosen… Continue reading

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba catches the game-winning touchdown pass as Eagles cornerback James Bradberry defends in the fourth quarter on Dec. 18. (Yong Kim / Tribune News Service)
Seahawks look to fully unlock Jaxon Smith-Njigba’s potential

Seattle is expecting good things from the receiver, who was taken 20th overall in the 2023 draft.

Everett 8-year-old Ryder Romano was selected to compete in the prestigious Brick Invitational Hockey Tournament. (Photo courtesy of Brittany Walker)
Everett 8-year-old selected to prestigious hockey tournament

Ryder Romano will play at the Brick Invitational Hockey Tournament on July 1-7 in Edmonton, Alberta.

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Devon Witherspoon (21) celebrates a stop of Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard (20) during the fourth quarter at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Nov. 30, 2023. The Cowboys won, 41-35. (Tom Fox / Tribune News Service)
Captain of the Seahawks defense? Why it could be Witherspoon

The talented second-year cornerback brought ‘outrageous energy’ to Seattle’s minicamp.

Drew Bryson, the new Arlington boys basketball head coach, at Arlington High School on Tuesday, June 11, 2024. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Arlington taps alum Bryson to continue boys hoops tradition

The former Eagles star succeeds Nick Brown as Arlington’s head coach.

Why Seahawks are joining NFL trend with joint practices

Seattle will conduct practices with the Tennessee Titans prior to their preseason game.

Seattle Storm head coach Noelle Quinn on the sidelines June 15, 2023, during a game against the Las Vegas Aces in Las Vegas. (Ellen Schmidt / Las Vegas Review-Journal, file)
As WNBA exposure grows, Storm content to quietly stack wins

Amid the Caitlin Clark-fueled buzz, Seattle has won seven of its past eight.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.