The Seattle Kraken have placed defenseman Dennis Cholowski on waivers, according to Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet. The Kraken got good news on several players that were in the COVID protocol just ahead of their game last night, meaning Cholowski–who started the year on the injured/non-roster list–isn’t needed right away, and will likely be assigned to the minor leagues should he clear.
Cholowski was expected to play last night for the Kraken until Jamie Oleksiak cleared at the last minute, making it curious how he was even moved to the non-roster list at all. The team could have submitted him to waivers with the purpose of assigning him to the AHL, which would force them to send him down at least temporarily should he clear. While that may have not been the ideal situation for the team, they were going to have to waive defensemen eventually after collecting so many in the offseason.
Without him on the roster, the team is still carrying eight options at the position. William Borgen and Carson Soucy were both scratched last night, but either is more than capable of stepping into the lineup if needed. They also likely pose more of a waiver claim risk, even with Soucy’s $2.75MM contract. After Cholowski’s disappointing 2020-21, he very well could clear unscathed.
A first-round pick in 2016, the 23-year-old defenseman has not developed the way the Detroit Red Wings hoped and finds himself battling to even stay in the NHL. The Kraken are currently sharing the Charlotte Checkers as they wait for their own AHL affiliate to start play in 2022-23, meaning that’s where Cholowski would likely end up should he go unclaimed.