The fast success of the Vegas Golden Knights going all the best way to the Stanley Cup Last of their inaugural season is a tricky act to observe. GM Ron Francis was not capable of exploit the commerce market the best way George McPhee was capable of. Maybe the remainder of the league was somewhat extra gun-shy to commerce picks and prospects to guard sure gamers. That left Francis with the enlargement draft, entry draft, and free company as his major sources of participant recruitment.
Francis collected an excellent group, higher than a mean enlargement group, however a far cry from a Stanley Cup Contender, and nearer to a draft lottery than a playoff group.
Seattle is at the moment sharing an AHL affiliation with Florida and can start with their very own AHL group in Palm Springs for the 2022-23 Season.
With an inflow of prospects coming within the 2023 draft and a devoted AHL improvement group coming the longer term appears to be like brighter, but it surely’s going to be a protracted street.
- Matty Beniers, C – Michigan College (NCAA)
Drafted: 2021 spherical one, second general by Seattle Kraken
Beniers had an amazing draft season as a freshman with the Wolverines scoring 24 factors in 24 video games. He actually made an affect on the World Junior with USA successful the Gold Medal and scoring three factors. Beniers acquired a preview of professional hockey with USA once more on the World Championship after the Wolverines season ended, including a Bronze Medal to his rising assortment of accolades and trophies.
The massive three from the 2021 draft all returned to Michigan and can chase a NCAA Championship. Beniers has surpassed the purpose per sport tempo as a sophomore and once more performed for USA this time on the Olympics the place he notched two factors in 4 video games. Search for Beniers to characterize USA once more when the rescheduled WJC resumes in August earlier than he begins his professional profession.
Beniers could not have been the prospect with essentially the most offensive upside in his draft class, however he’s a really dependable guess to be an impactful NHL participant within the fast future. Beniers has a motor that by no means quits. He’s very versatile as he can play an offensive sport, shut it down defensively and play bodily. Seattle could have drafted their first franchise participant as Beniers has Jonathan Toews upside.
- Ryker Evans, D – Regain Pats (WHL)
Drafted: 2021 spherical two, 35th general by Seattle Kraken
Seattle chosen the overage Evans from the WHL with their second general choice of their inaugural draft. Evans might have made the transfer to the AHL this 12 months however moderately than let him play in a cut up affiliate scenario he was returned to the WHL for his overage season. He’s been is getting large minutes and dominating the league. For the second season, Evans has surpassed the purpose per sport tempo as a defenseman and is on tempo for a 70+ level season with over 100 penalty minutes as effectively.
Evans excels at retrieving pucks and making a fast transition to offense. He’s a late bloomer each bodily and talent clever. His bodily sport is an asset as he continues to develop and fill out his body. Evans ought to see some professional adjustment and improvement time subsequent 12 months when the Kraken prospects debut in Palm Springs. The wait time for Evans to be NHL prepared will likely be brief and his path to the NHL has fewer obstacles because the Kraken are a younger group.
- Ryan Winterton, RW – Hamilton Bulldogs (OHL)
Drafted: 2021 spherical three, 67th general by Seattle Kraken
Winterton didn’t play in any league video games in his draft 12 months because the OHL was locked down and he didn’t discover a membership in a European league. Winterton performed in simply seven video games for Crew Canada on the U-18, the place he performed effectively posting 4 factors.
An damage price him to overlook a major chunk of time in his D+1 season as effectively however when he has performed, he has been excellent. The massive ahead has produced 13 targets and 28 factors in simply 19 video games for the Bulldogs.
Winterton is among the youthful, however greater gamers within the 2021 draft. He’s a really versatile participant in that he can play all three ahead positions, can drive offense together with his talent, and is used defensively as effectively. He makes use of his measurement effectively and drives the online. The Kraken appear to have a mode of participant they like and Winterton matches that to a tee. His improvement in his D+1 season is rewarding the Kraken of their religion in choosing him 67th general with such a small pattern measurement.
- Kole Lind, RW – Charlotte Checkers (AHL)
Drafted: 2017 spherical two, 33rd general by Vancouver Canucks
Chosen within the enlargement draft from the Vancouver Canucks, Lind started the season within the NHL enjoying 5 video games and recording two assists earlier than being reassigned to the AHL. Drafted again in 2017, Lind now has 169 profession video games performed within the AHL with Utica and the Checkers. The 23-year-old has 103 profession factors in that span, performs an influence ahead type of sport.
He’s a flexible ahead that may play all three positions and is an efficient defensive participant as effectively. Lind has proven regular and constant improvement over his profession and is on the cusp of breaking into the NHL on a full-time foundation. The priority for Lind has been his skating, he lacks velocity on the NHL stage.
- Joey Daccord, G – Charlotte Checkers (AHL)
Drafted: 2015 spherical seven, 199th general by Ottawa Senators
It has been a protracted street to the NHL for Daccord, the son of Mind Daccord who’s the present Assistant GM for Arizona Coyotes and was the Toronto Maple Leafs Goalie Coach on the time of his draft. Daccord performed for the Arizona State Solar Devils within the NCAA for 3 seasons after his draft and established himself as one of many premier goalies within the NCAA.
After turning professional in 2019 he rapidly moved up from the ECHL to the Belleville Senators with a robust 15-6-3 report. Daccord performed in eight NHL video games in the course of the 2020-21 COVID season on a challenged Ottawa Senators group however performed effectively.
With Philip Grubauer because the beginning goalie in Seattle, the Kraken have allowed Daccord extra improvement time within the AHL with Charlotte. The problem for Daccord to crack the roster is that Driedger is underneath contract by means of the 2023-24 season and Daccord is already 25 years previous.
- Alexander True, C – Charlotte Checkers (AHL)
Drafted: Signed as a free agent by San Jose Sharks in 2018
The massive Danish heart performed three seasons within the WHL in Seattle for the Thunderbirds however was handed over in drafts attributable to skating deficiencies. True is a talented ahead and makes use of his measurement to muscle opposition off pucks, insulate and defend the puck and get underneath the pores and skin of the opposite group.
The Sharks initially signed True out of the WHL to an AHL contract with the Barracuda whereas a rookie, True posted 28 factors incomes his ELC with the Sharks. True reward them by posting 55 factors in his sophomore season after which making his NHL debut the next season.
True has been splitting time between the NHL and AHL and represented Denmark within the 2021 WC with two factors in seven video games there. True started the season within the AHL after being chosen from the Sharks within the enlargement draft and was recalled for eight NHL video games with the Kraken and has since been returned to the AHL.
True matches the mildew of what Seattle is searching for – an enormous bodily and expert participant. If his skating issues might be improved, he might develop right into a strong bottom-six ahead, however at 24 years previous, the clock is ticking.
- Ty Kartye, C – Soo Greyhounds (OHL)
Drafted: Signed as free agent in 2022 by Seattle Kraken
Seattle dipped into the free agent pool to signal undrafted prospect Ty Kartye from the OHL. The 20-year-old Kingston native posted 53 factors in 64 video games in his draft season again in 2020 with the Soo however went undrafted. With no OHL play in his D+1 season to showcase himself he was undrafted once more in 2021.
Kartye was already on the Kraken radar at this level as he was invited to the Kraken coaching camp this previous September. Now at 20 he has returned to the OHL and sits 5th within the league in scoring with 33 targets by means of 46 video games. His play this season was sufficient to persuade Ron Francis to supply Kartye his ELC. Kartye will flip professional following the conclusion of his OHL profession and with such a shallow prospect pool, may very well be on a brief monitor to the NHL.
- Luke Henman, C – Charlotte Checkers (AHL)
Drafted: 2018 spherical 4, 96th general by Carolina Hurricanes
Initially drafted by Ron Francis with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2018, Henman went unsigned and have become a free agent. Francis made Henman the primary participant in Seattle Kraken historical past when he signed him as a free agent to his ELC on Could 12 in 2021. Henman performed his junior hockey within the QMJHL with the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada, the ultimate two as group captain and posting effectively over a degree per sport manufacturing.
Henman is 6-0 however has a slight body and wishes so as to add some bulk as a rookie on the professional stage. He began the season within the AHL and was despatched to the ECHL for a quick three-game tour. After scoring six factors with the Allen People, he was recalled to the AHL the place he now has 9 factors by means of 34 video games. Henman might want to add some energy and discover his offensive sport on the AHL stage to be given severe consideration for the Kraken roster.
- Jacob Melanson, RW – Acadie-Bathurst Titan (QMJHL)
Drafted: 2021 spherical 5, 131st general by Seattle Kraken
Yet one more large robust energy ahead with talent. Melanson can be a flexible ahead, able to becoming into the Titan roster at totally different positions and in any scenario. Melanson was chosen 15th general by the Quebec Ramparts within the 2019 QMJHL Entry Draft.
After a commerce demand following his rookie season the place he recorded ten factors in 39 video games, he was restricted to only 18 video games in his draft 12 months however posted 19 factors. Now in his D+1 season, he continues to supply at a degree per sport tempo with 19 targets and 29 factors by means of 32 video games, with 51 penalty minutes.
Melanson performs a bodily sport, has good talent and imaginative and prescient however could must work on skating abilities to achieve success on the professional stage. Melanson has yet another season of junior eligibility earlier than he embarks on his professional profession.
- Ville Ottavainen, D – JYP (Liiga)
Drafted: 2021 spherical 4, 99th general by Seattle Kraken
The towering Finnish defender is a fluid skating defensive defender. Ottavainen is a bodily presence on the again finish, and considerably of a throwback to the old-fashioned large imply bodily defenseman, however his skating is a energy in his sport. Ottavainen will seemingly by no means run the primary unit energy play or be an enormous offensive chief.
Ottavainen performed his D-1 season within the OHL with the Kitchener Rangers and had 15 factors in 53 video games. The OHL didn’t play the next season, so he spent his draft 12 months in Finland enjoying professional hockey with JYP in Liiga. Named to the Finnish WJC roster and enjoying one sport earlier than the match was canceled and he must be named again when the match resumes in August.
With professional expertise and measurement underneath his belt, the Kraken may very well be seeking to signal him to his ELC for the 2022-23 season and produce him again to North America within the Kraken improvement system.