With all the excitement of the Seattle Kraken’s inaugural season, it’s easy to forget that they still have players under contract in the minor leagues and prospects playing in juniors. Now that we’re a month into the season, it’s time to take a look at some potential future Kraken and see how their 2021-22 season has started off.
Kraken in the American Hockey League
Alexander True has had a great start to the season, and it’s surprising that he wasn’t given the nod for a game with the Kraken after they were hit with some injuries and COVID protocol. He has scored four goals and eight points in seven games for the American Hockey League’s (AHL) Charlotte Checkers. Seven of his points came on a four-game point streak to start the year.
True should be at the top of the list of potential call-ups. However, it would make sense that they would rather have him getting top-line minutes with the Checkers rather than play minimal NHL minutes. His production looks like it’s going to surpass his previous AHL career-high of 55 points.
Kole Lind’s two points in five games is a slightly slow start given his previous season’s rate of production. Last season, he had eight points in eight games for the AHL’s Utica Comets.
With Max McCormick having been called up, Lind is playing on the first line with True and Florida Panthers prospect Logan Hutsko. True and Hutsko have combined for six goals and 15 points in seven games. If Lind can get into a rhythm with them, his production should increase.
He’s a call-up bubble player for the Kraken right now. While top-AHL minutes will help him, an increase in production could see him get the nod for a call-up in the future. He has played a game for the Kraken before being demoted to the Checkers, so they’ll be watching him closely.
Cale Fleury has yet to find his offensive stride since graduating from junior hockey and has an assist through seven games for the Checkers. He is inked to a one-year deal with the Kraken, but may not need to duplicate his offensive statistics to stick around with them following this season.
He is an alternate captain despite being just 22 years old, which displays his leadership potential. As of his most recent game, where he tallied his lone assist, he was playing on the top defensive pair. The Kraken are deep on the blue line, which gives him more time to ease into his development. It could also mean that his name might not get thrown into the mix often, but watch for him to have a sneaky-good year.
Potential Future Kraken off To Strong Starts in College and Juniors
Matty Beniers is playing on a University of Michigan team that looks like a human cheat code. He is sixth on the team in scoring, and four of the five players ahead of him were first-round draft picks. For more on Beniers, THW’s Michael Ingram took a deeper dive into the start of his sophomore season.
Ryker Evans is following up an over-a-point per game season for the Western Hockey League’s (WHL) Regina Pats by starting this season off on a point per game pace. His 12 points in 12 games tie him for first on the team, as a defenseman, and are double the next highest defenseman’s total.
Evans earned WHL Player of the Week honors this past week with a goal and four points in two games. As was pointed out in his THW prospect profile ahead of the draft, he needs to work on his physicality, pivot agility and pass reception. If he keeps improving, and his offensive production continues, look for him to have a really productive year for his development.
The Kraken’s inaugural fifth-round selection is off to a good start to his third Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) season. He has seven goals and nine points in 12 games for the Acadie-Bathurst Titan and has been resilient in getting to this point in his young career.
“As much as being determined and uncompromising are two integral parts of his being, backing down and quitting are not”From “Amherst’s Jacob Melanson hopes his relentless style earns an NHL place in Seattle” by Darrell Cole, SaltWire, July 26, 2021.
Jacob Melanson is a fighter. The 18-year-old has already been through two shoulder injuries prior to being drafted. Not only could overcoming this adversity help him when he makes the jump from junior, but if he works his way to the Kraken, it will endear him to fans.
Stick with The Hockey Writers for more updates on the Kraken’s minor leaguers and prospects as the season rolls on.
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.