COVID-19 has been showing its ugly head in the NHL, let alone the world, at a higher rate over the past month, and the Seattle Kraken have earned no exceptions. For several of their American Hockey League (AHL) prospects, they’ve gotten the call to join the taxi squad, and some even got into games.
For those elsewhere, some got the opportunity, albeit brief, to represent their country in the World Junior Championship before its cancellation. Others stuck with their club teams and have continued in their development in more familiar territory. Let’s get started on the third Kraken Prospect Report.
Bubble, Minor League Kraken See NHL Ice and Taxi Squad
Lind finds himself back on the taxi squad, and has only seen one game in his latest stint. Unfortunately for him, it’s been more of the same; limited ice time and opportunity. He played 7:23 time on ice, in just 11 shifts, registering a hit and winning one of two face offs.
In the AHL, he’s improved both offensively and with his discipline since the previous Prospect Report, and now has six goals and 14 points, with 48 penalty minutes, in 23 games. That’s doubling his season point total in that six-game span.
True, similarly to Lind, finds himself playing limited minutes in a limited role for the Kraken. He’s yet to register a point, and even saw a season-low in ice time on Dec. 29, playing just 10 shifts for 6:58 time on ice. A bright spot is his willingness to engage physically, as he’s tallied 15 hits in his NHL six games this season.
He hasn’t seen much AHL action since the last time we visited him, just one goal in one game, but his 18 points are still third on the team. With a 9:47 career average time on ice, he needs a better opportunity to really show if he can be successful at the NHL level.
Despite not having the best record, Daccord is on pace for his best statistical AHL season. His numbers with the Charlotte Checkers are easily better than his with the Kraken. He has a 2.07 goals-against average (GAA) and .923 save percentage (SV%) in 10 games, the most games of any Checker goaltender.
He has been called back to the taxi squad along with Lind, but unless Philipp Grubauer or Chris Driedger get hurt, or enter COVID protocol, it isn’t likely he’ll see any ice time. He has a 3.81 GAA and .866 SV% with the Kraken. Practicing with the big club is always good, but those in-game reps in the AHL may be more beneficial to him. Though, it doesn’t look like the Kraken have much of a choice.
Kraken Sent 2 Prospects to the World Junior Championship
The Kraken saw two prospects head to the World Junior Championship, and they each played a single game prior to its cancellation. Matty Beniers tallied an assist for the United States, and Ville Ottavainen tallied two penalty minutes for Finland.
Related: 2022 World Juniors: Award Contenders
Beniers hasn’t seen much collegiate action since the last report; in his final two December games, he scored two assists, which brings his total to 11 goals and 22 points in 20 games. So far this season, Ottavainen has tallied four goals and nine points, with 26 penalty minutes, for the Finnish Elite League’s (SM-liiga) JyP HT Jyvaskyla.
Kraken Prospects in Juniors
In his last eight games, Evans has tallied a goal and eight points, bringing his team-leading total to 30 points in 31 games. He also leads the Western Hockey League’s (WHL) Regina Pats in assists with 25.
The Kraken’s inaugural second-rounder is definitely someone to keep an eye on throughout this season, especially since the Kraken have just two rostered defensemen signed long-term.
Vyazovoy is still a dominant goaltender in the Molodyozhnaya Hokkeinaya Liga (MHL), the Russian junior hockey league, for Tolpar Ufa. He’s even improved his overall numbers in just three games since our last report. He won all three games, and had a shutout in one of them. His season totals are now a 17-5-1 record, with a 1.64 GAA and .944 SV%. That shutout was his fifth of the season.
It’s interesting to be tracking each prospects progress throughout the year, big and small. Despite the Kraken suffering from inconsistencies, and getting closer and closer to drowning, seeing their prospects performing well is like a light at the end of the tunnel. Stick with The Hockey Writers for more, especially as the NHL Entry Draft approaches.
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Sean Raggio lives for hockey. He will be covering the Seattle Kraken, and is a co-host of “What’s Kraken” for THW. Sean gained experience in writing for television, print and radio while studying journalism at Quinnipiac University and being an active member in the student media organizations there. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to reach out on Twitter! A link can be found at the bottom of his articles, such as this one.