Welcome to the Seattle Kraken Mailbag here at The Hockey Writers. This monthly column will allow members of the Kraken team to answer any Kraken-based questions from social media. Make sure to keep an eye out for next’s month call for questions at the beginning of November.
In this month’s edition of the mailbag, we answer questions about the new Kraken mascot, prospects in preseason action and more.
Aside From His Suspension, How Has Jacob Melanson Looked? Projection?
It is very hard to judge Jacob Melanson’s performance as he only played 3:03 before getting ejected and later suspended. The Kraken’s fifth-round pick from 2021 didn’t really stand out in the prospect camp, training camp or preseason much, but that is not unexpected for a later-round draft pick attending just his second camp. He has already been sent back to the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) and should remain there for the rest of the season.
As for his projection for 2022-23, he should again play a big role for the Acadie-Bathurst Titan. Last season, he finished with 35 goals and 56 points in just 54 games. He had a great season debut with a goal and six shots, so expect him to be in the point per game or above range once again.
Which of the Remaining Bubble Players Have to Clear Waivers to Be Coachella-Bound?
Waivers are a complicated system that is based on a player’s age, when they signed their contract, played their first game and how many games they have played at the pro level. Based on the Kraken’s roster as of Oct. 1, 2022, they have 37 players that would require waivers to be sent down to the American Hockey League (AHL). Some players that do not that should end up in Coachella Valley include Ville Petman, Peetro Seppälä and Ryker Evans.
The Kraken have a few players they may lose via waivers. The first is Alex True. There isn’t much room up front, and it looks like he is headed for the AHL once again. On defence, one name to watch is Cale Fleury. Do not be surprised to see the 23-year-old on the waiver wire as the season gets closer. He is another player that looks bound for the Firebirds but could be snapped up before he has a chance to get to Coachella Valley.
Which Prospect Has Impressed You the Most in the Preseason So Far?
Evans has played very well this preseason. In two games, he has three shots on goal, and a power play assist. He also has thrown five hits and blocked two shots while recording a 50 Corsi-for percentage at even strength. The only issue is that Seattle hasn’t found the right partner for him just yet. While he most likely will end up in the AHL to start the year, do not be surprised if he is the first call-up when an injury on defense occurs.
Ty Kartye also stood out in his one preseason game so far. The free agent signing played against the Vancouver Canucks and was a physical presence throughout. He finished with six hits, created a takeaway and scored a goal on the power play. While it is hard to predict what his NHL future will look like, this kid impressed and should get plenty of opportunities with the Firebirds this season.
Thoughts on the New Kraken Mascot?
In case you missed it, the Seattle Kraken unveiled its new mascot and wow is probably the best way to describe him. “Buoy” is a troll with blue hair, an earring and a whole lot of personality. The mascot is based on the Fremont Troll, which is a famous sculpture in the Seattle area.
There is a lot to take in when it comes to this mascot. Yes, it honours the city where the Kraken play, but the design is not great. It was also surprising that they didn’t go the nautical route considering their team’s theme. While they couldn’t have done an octopus as that already belongs to the Detroit Red Wings, a pirate captain or maybe even a squid would have been better.
As for fan reaction, people on social media seem to dislike the new mascot. Most are confused by the design or think it is the stuff of nightmares. During the intermission of the Canucks vs. Kraken game where the mascot was unveiled, a kid was asked what he thought of “Buoy” and without hesitation said, “I don’t like it.” Who knows, maybe fans will grow to love him, but for now, the reviews are not positive.
Thank you for all your questions this month. Don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled early in November when we will once again look to fill the mailbag with inquiries and debates. In the meantime, make sure to keep it locked here on The Hockey Writers for all your Seattle Kraken and hockey needs.
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Adam is excited to be joining The Hockey Writers as part of the Seattle Kraken and Vancouver Canucks team. His work can also be found at area51sportsnet.com where he covers the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League.