Haydn and Cale Fleury, formerly of the Anaheim Ducks and Montreal Canadiens, respectively, are reuniting on the ice for the first time since their childhoods after the Seattle Kraken selected the brothers in the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft on Wednesday. Haydn, a left-handed defenseman, has played in 179 NHL games, tallying 27 points (seven goals, 20 assists) in his time with the Carolina Hurricanes and brief 12-game stint in Anaheim. His brother, Cale, is a right-handed defenseman with just 41 NHL appearances thus far, all in the 2019-20 season with Montreal, recording one goal.
At 25 and 22 years old, respectively, Haydn and Cale are young, developing players with time to prove themselves to the Kraken. If they both work their way onto the roster, whether that be this season or later, we may get to see a Fleury-Fleury defensive pairing take the ice in Seattle someday.
Haydn and Cale Played Major Junior Hockey Nearby in Western Canada
Haydn and Cayle were both drafted to the NHL from the Western Hockey League (WHL) in 2014 and 2017, respectively. In fact, Kraken general manager Ron Francis drafted Haydn when the former was a member of the Hurricanes’ front office. Haydn played his entire major junior career, spanning five seasons, with the Red Deer Rebels. In 259 WHL games, he recorded an impressive 134 points (30 goals, 104 assists). He also helped Team Canada to a bronze medal at the 2014 IIHF World U18 Championship, winning the tournament’s Best Defenseman honors.
Leading up to the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, Haydn said that he models his game after Jay Bouwmeester, who was well-known for his skating abilities throughout his 17-year NHL career. His player comparison was backed by the words of his Rebels head coach and current general manager, Brent Sutter, who said “[Haydn’s] biggest strength is his skating ability…being able to carry the puck and get back into defensive position quickly.”
Cale, on the other hand, played four seasons with the Kootenay Ice and one with the Regina Pats. Over his five-year WHL career, he tallied 127 points (32 goals, 95 assists) in 269 games. Like his brother, his strong defensive positioning and skating skills helped land him with the Canadiens organization in 2017. He was also a member of Team Canada’s 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship roster, recording an assist in five games.
220 NHL Games Combined for the Fleury Brothers
While Haydn leads the way with 179 NHL games, Cale played half of a season (41 games) for the Canadiens during the 2019-20 season. Haydn has now played in four consecutive NHL seasons, primarily with the Hurricanes. In 167 games for Carolina, he recorded 24 points (five goals, 19 assists). Traded to the Ducks last season in exchange for defenseman Jani Hakanpaa and a sixth-round pick in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft, he tallied three points (two goals, one assist) in 12 games.
Cale’s professional career has primarily been played with the Laval Rocket in the American Hockey League (AHL). In 92 games with the Rocket, he recorded 34 points (11 goals, 23 assists). In 2019-20, he made the Canadiens’ opening night roster out of training camp, but only managed to score one goal in his 41 NHL appearances before being sent back to Laval. It is likely that he will start his Kraken tenure with the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers so that he can continue developing into an NHL-caliber defenseman.
Haydn and Cale likely have a few more seasons to go until we see their full potential unlocked. Francis has clearly put an emphasis on building a strong defensive prospect system, and adding the Fleury brothers bolsters that plan with two young defensive defensemen with some NHL experience already under their belts. Starting fresh together with a brand new franchise will almost certainly help motivate the two brothers to become the best hockey players they can possibly be. If their hard work pays off, they may soon become the NHL’s newest sibling duo.
Tom Pepper is a Seattle Kraken columnist and show host at The Hockey Writers. He joined THW in June 2020 and has been writing about the Kraken since June 2021. He also hosts the THW What’s Kraken show every week on iHeartRadio. Outside of THW, he is an undergraduate student at Ryerson University and covers U Sports hockey at the Eyeopener student newspaper. Follow him on Twitter at @TomPepper.