There have been very few bright spots for the Seattle Kraken’s inaugural season, but Colin Blackwell in the middle-6 has been one of them. Being selected from the New York Rangers during the 2021 expansion draft, the right-winger has proved his worth to the team, despite only being able to participate in 38 games this season. Blackwell has 8 goals and 8 assists for the Kraken so far this season, and if the Canes are looking for some more depth scoring, he may be a good fit.
If you could pick one word to describe Blackwell’s career to this point, it would be “resilient”. Colin was a 7th round pick of the San Jose Sharks in 2010 and did not sign his first professional contract until he got his first AHL contract in 2016 with the Sharks’ minor league affiliate. After only recording 11 points in 57 games, the San Jose Barracuda did not re-sign him. Colin spent a year with the Rochester Americans, where he recorded 45 points in 61 NHL games.
As a free agent, Blackwell signed with the Nashville Predators on a two-year deal in hopes of finally making his NHL debut. After playing most of the season with the Predators’ AHL affiliate the Milwaukee Admirals Blackwell was recalled and played in 6 NHL games during the 2018-19 season. Blackwell played in both the AHL and NHL, scoring 23 points in 26 games for the Admirals whilst recording 3 goals and 7 assists for the Predators in 27 games.
Blackwell put himself on the map during his tenure as a New York Ranger. Colin signed a 2-year contract with the Rangers before the 2020-21 season. Blackwell was able to attain 12 goals and 10 assists during his first season as a full-time NHLer, getting into 47 (of 56) games on the season. This season with the Kraken he hasn’t scored at that same pace, but he hasn’t been far off despite the time spent out of the lineup due to injury.
The Carolina Hurricanes are reportedly just looking at defensemen, but if the opportunity arises, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to load up even more at forward. For just $725,000, Blackwell’s production is more than a bargain. He has experience playing with top-6 players in New York, and could potentially replace Martinook’s infamous spot on the second line. Unless a bidding war breaks out, it is very unlikely that Blackwell will go for more than a mid-round pick. If the Canes are looking for cheap and efficient depth for the bottom-6, Colin Blackwell may be a perfect fit.