ECH Seattle Kraken Prospect Rankings
Criteria to qualify for prospect rankings:
- Must be younger than 23 years old for skaters, 25 years old for goalies
- Cannot have played more than 9 NHL games
- Must be either under contract or drafted by the Kraken
(Last updated May 1st, 2022)
Recently removed: Matty Beniers (Games Played)
1. Ryker Evans (D)
Acquired: 2021 Entry Draft, 2nd Round, #35 overall
Age: 20 (December 13th, 2001)
Most recent team: Charlotte Checkers (AHL)
Previous Ranking: #2
5/1/22 – With Matty Beniers exiting the rankings after playing his 10th NHL game, Ryker Evans moves into the top spot. Evans will join the Charlotte Checkers for their upcoming Calder Cup Playoff run.
3/1/22 – After an impressive training camp, Evans is having another point per game season in the WHL on a stacked Regina Pats team. Ron Francis highlighted Evans today as “having a terrific year” and said he expects Evans to come in and compete for an NHL roster spot next training camp. If he doesn’t crack the roster, he’ll head to the Coachella Valley Firebirds in the AHL to round out his game. Either way, we probably won’t have to wait too long to see Evans play for the Kraken.
10/18/2021 – Evans joined the Kraken for the team’s inaugural training camp in September and quickly became one of the stories of camp with his impressive play. He even caught the eye of Kraken coach Dave Hakstol who singled out Evans when asked what young players had stood out to him. While the 19-year-old defenseman was sent back to juniors for the upcoming season, he looks like a future top-4 defenseman and has a real shot at making the Kraken roster next year.
7/24/21 – Ryker Evans joins the Kraken’s prospect rankings after becoming the first defenseman the Kraken have ever selected in an NHL Entry Draft. The 2nd round pick was seen as a bit of a reach by some, but others pointed out Evans being ranked very highly by predictive models. This pick has Alexandra Mandrycky and the Kraken’s analytics team all over it. Evans projects as a slightly undersized puck-moving defenseman with playmaking ability.
2. Ryan Winterton (C)
Acquired: 2021 Entry Draft, 3rd Round, #67 overall
Age: 18 (September 4th, 2003)
Most recent team: Hamilton Bulldogs (OHL)
Previous Ranking: #3
3/1/22 – While Winterton stays at #3 in our rankings, you could make a good case he deserves the #2 spot. After a long layoff caused by missing all of last season, a training camp injury, and COVID-19, Winterton finally returned to OHL hockey in January. He had five points in his first game back and has set the league ablaze since, scoring 28 points in only 18 games. While Winterton still needs to get more games in at the junior level, the top-6 NHL forward upside is clear to see.
7/24/21 – At 17 years old, Winterton became the youngest player in the Seattle Kraken system when the Kraken drafted him in the 3rd round of the 2021 NHL Entry Draft. He lost the entire 2020-21 season due to the OHL shutting down because of the COVID-19 pandemic. He did, however, play for Canada at the U-18 Worlds in a fourth line role.
3. Ville Ottavainen (D)
Acquired: 2021 Entry Draft, 4th Round, #99 overall
Age: 19 (August 12th, 2002)
Most recent team: JyP HT Jyvaskyla (SM-liiga)
Previous Ranking: #4
3/1/22 – Ottavainen remains at #4 in our rankings, mostly because the players ahead of him have done so well. Ottavainen has progressed well in his second season in the Finnish SM-liiga, earning more playing time and tripling his point total. Ottavainen’s play was enough to earn him a spot on Finland’s World Junior Championship team. He played one game before the tournament was cancelled.
7/24/21 – Ottavainen fits in with the theme of Ron Francis selecting large blueliners for the Kraken early on. The Finnish defenseman is listed at 6’5 and 210lbs, making him the tallest and heaviest Kraken prospect. Ottavainen played for the OHL’s Kitchener Rangers in 2019-20 and played 24 total games in two levels of Finnish hockey last season.
4. Semyon Vyazovoi (G)
Acquired: 2021 Entry Draft, 6th Round, #163 overall
Age: 19 (February 26th, 2003)
Most recent team: Tolpar Ufa (MHL)
Previous Ranking: #5
3/1/22 – Vyazovoi jumps two spots in our rankings after another stellar season in the MHL, the Russian junior league. the future looks bright for the teenage goalie, whose next step will eventually be to play against men in the KHL.
7/24/21 – Vyazovoi, the first goalie ever drafted by Seattle, instantly becomes the Kraken’s top goalie prospect. He spent last season with Tolpar Ufa in the Russian junior league, the MHL. His 2.06 goals against average tied for 1st in the MHL among goalies of his age group.
5. Jacob Melanson (RW)
Acquired: 2021 Entry Draft, 5th Round, #131 overall
Age: 19 (April 22nd, 2003)
Most recent team: Acadie-Bathurst Titan (QMJHL)
Previous Ranking: #6
3/1/22 – Melanson stays at the 6th spot in our prospect rankings and has progressed normally this season. While his points pace is down, Melanson has more than doubled his career high in goals, with 19 in 31 games. As a 5th round pick, he still projects as a longer-term prospect.
7/24/21 – The Kraken’s 2021 5th round pick opens at 6th on our prospect rankings. Melanson scored 19 points in 18 games last season with the Titan in the QMJHL. He described himself as a two-way forward and said that his physical presence is the biggest part of his game.
6. Tye Kartye (LW)
Acquired: Signed as free agent March 1st, 2022
Age: 20 (April, 30th, 2001)
Most recent team: Soo Greyhounds (OHL)
Previous Ranking: NR
3/1/22 – Kartye joins the prospect rankings after Ron Francis announced the team had signed him as an undrafted free agent today. Kartye joined the Kraken for the team’s inaugural training camp last September before going back to the Soo Greyhounds for his 3rd junior season. Kartye has established new career-high goal and point totals in the OHL this year and projects to join the AHL’s Coachella Valley Firebirds next season.
7. Justin Janicke (LW)
Acquired: 2021 Entry Draft, 7th Round, #195 overall
Age: 18 (June 30th, 2003)
Most recent team: Notre Dame (NCAA)
Previous Ranking: #8
3/1/22 – Janicke had a slow start in his freshman season at Notre Dame but has settled in as a bottom-6 forward. Still only 18 years old, Janicke has a ways to go before being on the Kraken’s radar for a pro contract.
7/24/21 – Janicke was the Kraken’s final pick of the 2021 Entry Draft. He had 10 points in 18 games last season with the US National Team Development Program. Janicke projects as a 4th liner.
8. Luke Henman (C)
Acquired: Signed as free agent May 12th, 2021
Age: 21 (April, 29th, 2000)
Most recent team: Charlotte Checkers (AHL)
Previous Ranking: #9
3/1/22 – Henman falls to the 9th and last spot in our prospect rankings after an underwhelming rookie season in the AHL that saw him sent down to the ECHL for a brief stint in December. With nine points in 33 games for the Charlotte Checkers, Henman’s scoring ability just hasn’t transferred to the AHL level yet. At almost 22 years old, time is running out for Henman’s chances of making the NHL.
7/24/21 – Henman falls from the top spot in our Kraken prospect rankings by virtue of no longer being Seattle’s only prospect. He’s further along in his development than some of the names above him but lacks the upside that the 18-year-olds have. Look for him to compete for a big AHL role this September.
5/12/21 – The Kraken made Henman their first player in franchise history when they signed him to a three year entry-level contract on May 12th, 2021. As the Kraken’s first player, Henman instantly moves into the top spot in our Kraken Prospect Rankings.