3 Kraken Targets with 35th-Overall Pick of 2022 NHL Draft

The Seattle Kraken own four second-round picks in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft, including the 35th overall selection. This is the same selection the Kraken had in the 2021 NHL Draft, where they selected defenceman Ryker Evans from the Regina Pats. Other players that were selected 35th overall include Jamie Langenbrunner (1993), Marc-Édouard Vlasic (2005) and Sebastian Aho (2015). Here are three prospects the Kraken should consider if they are available at that point in the draft.

Ty Nelson – Defenceman

One area of need for the Kraken is on the right side of their defence. Ty Nelson fits that need. The offensive defenceman out of the Ontario Hockey League’s (OHL) North Bay Battalion registered 51 points in 66 games this past season. The recently turned 18-year-old led all rookie defensemen in points and was the league leader in assists by a rookie with 42. His efforts helped the Battalion finish with 93 points this season and the third-best record in the entire OHL.

Ty Nelson North Bay Battalion
Ty Nelson, North Bay Battalion (Josh Kim / The Hockey Writers)

As for Nelson, he is one of these new age, smaller defencemen who can quarterback the power play while being defensively sound in his own zone. His game is similar to players like Quinn Hughes, Samuel Girard or Torey Krug in that he can use his exceptional skating to transition the puck while using strong defensive positioning and a strong stick to ensure he is not a defensive liability in his own zone. He could become the steal of the draft, especially if he drops into the Kraken’s lap at 35.

Nathan Gaucher – Center

Nathan Gaucher of the Québec Remparts is a big, two-way center who dominated in his third Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) season. This season saw him post 31 goals and 57 points in 66 games, including five shorthanded goals, which was tied for the league lead. At 6-foot-3, 207 pounds, he can play a physical game which allows him to steal pucks off opponents and shield it from defenders in the offensive zone.

Related: 2022 NHL Draft Guide

Gaucher slipping into the second round is not a statement of his potential but more of the vast amount of forwards available this year. If he continues his development track, he could develop into a player like Ryan O’Reilly, Bo Horvat or Roope Hintz. The Kraken do not have a center with his size and skill on their roster, so he could be very valuable to the organization once he transitions to the NHL.

Filip Bystedt – Center

Filip Bystedt is a highly-skilled center who registered 49 points in 41 games for Linköping HC J20 of the Swedish J20 Nationell league. He also saw time in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL), playing 15 games with Linköping HC. He was only one of 23 U-18 skaters to play in the SHL, racking up two points in 15 games.

Bystedt is described as a two-way center who is known for his playmaking skills and skating ability. He is an extremely smart player that can read the play and find open teammates with accurate passes that set up high danger chances. At 6-foot-4, 187 pounds, if developed properly, he could develop into a player like Kirby Dach, Dylan Cozens or William Karlsson.

Great Opportunity for Kraken at 35th Overall

Whether it is a defenseman who can transition the puck or a center that can provide solid two-way play, there are plenty of strong options available at 35th overall this year. The Kraken have a fantastic opportunity to build up their prospect pool while also adding a player that could be a key piece down the line. The draft is set for July 7, 2022, in Montreal with the 35th pick announced on July 8, 2022.

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