Seattle Kraken Prospect
This is a combination Seattle Kraken prospect profile and injury update, considering Ryan Winterton hasn’t played a game this season and isn’t expected to until December.
But presuming he recovers completely from off-season shoulder surgery, and is patient, Kraken fans can be patient too. This is a teenager who’s already had to miss a hunk of his Ontario Hockey League career because of the Covid pandemic.
When he’s up and running, Winterton is a prospect to watch; a two-way, right-shot center who doesn’t mind playing right wing.
The Seattle Kraken selected Winterton high in the 3rd-round of the 2021 NHL Draft, 67th-overall, out of the OHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs, where he had a 23-point season in 53 games as a 16-year-old. Covid wiped out the following season, obviously impacting his draft status, as it did for many in the Ontario league.
In 2021-’22, Winterton tallied 20 goals and 46 points in 37 games, and despite injury, helped carry his Bulldogs to the Memorial Cup Final where his team lost to the Quebec league’s St. John Sea Dogs 6-3. For those unfamiliar, the Memorial Cup is the round robin ‘tournament of champions’, crowning the top team in all of Canadian junior hockey. Of course the Western League and OHL include American teams like the Seattle Thunderbirds.
Winterton was a point-a-game player in the postseason. It didn’t hurt that the Bulldogs also featured 2021 3rd-overall pick, lefty center Mason McTavish, now an Anaheim Duck.
Pros and Cons
Winterton has a wicked shot. That would be his peak offensive attribute, although he is a productive puck distributor. More importantly he started to play a more conscientious two-way game.
His stunted progress due to injury makes it tough to pinpoint his maturity level, with lack of ‘battle’ being one of his early knocks. He has the skill set and mind for the game, it’s just a matter of turning up the intensity. Hopefully the injury issues and mindset don’t prevent him from taking the next steps.
He’ll continue to strengthen and grow into his 6-foot-2 frame. Winterton is presently in the first year of a three-year, two-way, entry-level contract. Dormant at the moment, this is a player for the Seattle Kraken to start keeping an eye on once the holidays roll around.