His last name pronounced similarly to the fancy French jewelry brand Cartiér (“cart-ee-yay”), Tye Kartye had quite the high end start for the Seattle Kraken in the Western Conference Quarterfinal Game-5 against the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday night in Denver. The 21-year-old left wing delivered three hits and scored the Kraken’s 2nd goal in his first ever NHL game of any sort, a 3-2 victory over the Avalanche.
His proud parents were in attendance to cheer him on and hug him afterwards.
“They were able to get here, they drove pretty fast from my hometown in Kingston (Ontario) to Toronto when I told them I was playing,” Kartye explained postgame, “and then they took the first plane to Denver to get here. I think they just missed the first two minutes or something, and then they were watching the whole game.”
They watched an outstanding performance by their son and the Kraken as a whole. The Avalanche never really seemed to get in sync, and when they did get an opportunity or two, goaltender Philipp Grubauer was there to thwart them.
Colorado’s first goal was a fortunate bounce off a superstar player and their second one was absolute dumb luck. The Kraken were able to squash any Avalanche hopes of completing the comeback.
Fitting The Kraken Brand
Kraken General Manager Ron Francis has built himself a strong team identity and head coach Dave Hakstol has garnered what’s referred to as “buy-in”. The players are on board with the systems and approach and in many cases that’s half the battle.
Kartye stepped right in and played an aggressive, physical game. He appeared to be where he was supposed to be almost all of the time and he was fully involved in the Kraken forecheck.
“That’s always been a part of my game and I’m going to continue that wherever I play, try to be physical and try to get in on the forecheck and stuff like that,” Kartye said.
Kartye’s goal came at the 9:59 mark of the second period and gave the Kraken a 2-1 lead just 2:04 after Nathan MacKinnon had tied things up. Jordan Eberle fed a pass from the left circle to the right circle where Kartye unloaded a one-timer.
“I was just trying to drive the net and I saw that he had the puck, so I tried to get open and obviously he made a pretty special pass there,” Kartye said. “They had just scored a goal too, so I was glad to put the boys back up 2-1.”
Kartye finished his three-year major junior career with a 45-goal, 79-point season in 2021-’22 with the Soo Greyhounds (Sault Ste. Marie) of the Ontario Hockey League. His 28-goal and 57-point effort this past season with the Kraken’s American Hockey League affiliate in Coachella Valley, California earned Kartye AHL rookie-of-the-year honors.
While Kartye and the Kraken were beating the Avalanche Wednesday night, his Firebirds teammates were 45-miles up the road in Loveland beating the Colorado Eagles 6-2 in Game-1 of an AHL 2nd-round series. Kartye had helped them win round-one and now he has a chance to do the same thing with the Kraken.
“A year ago, a year and a half ago, this was my wildest dream, this day has been pretty special.”