Nothing like being a rookie getting called up for the Seattle Kraken’s 5th game of the Stanley Cup playoffs and holding your own. That would summarize the effort from winger Tye Kartye, who was tossed on to the Kraken’s top line following the injury to Jared McCann in Game-4 against the Colorado Avalanche.
While he may have been bounced around a bit physically by some big NHL bodies during his run, his energy and physicality never waned. His shot is something to behold … an absolute rocket. Just ask Dallas Stars goalie Jake Oettinger, who was twice frozen in place as Kartye ripped snipes past him.
Kartye finished the postseason with three goals and two assists in his ten games with a very impressive shooting percentage of 23.7%. That’s large, but if you’ve seen his release, you’d understand.
The experience he gained is invaluable as he’ll enthusiastically come out of the summer looking forward to Seattle Kraken training camp.
Usually these highlight sections are reserved for prospects and their efforts in juniors or the minors, but obviously Kartye has a little something extra from which to draw.
His first NHL goal came against the Avalanche in his first appearance, blasting a one-timer past Alexandar Georgiev in the 2nd period of Game-5 to give the Kraken a 2-1 lead. A delightful bonus; his parents had the opportunity to leave Kingston, Ontario, rush to a flight, and see the goal and game in person.
The goal came with Kartye getting just 8-and-a-half minutes of ice time. By his third game, he was up to 11:45. By the next to last game of the Dallas series, he saw 15:17 in ice time.
Great signs moving forward, because to some degree, ice time equals value.
During his rookie season with the Seattle Kraken’s AHL affiliate in Coachella Valley, Kartye tallied 57 points in 72 games, including 28 goals. With the Stanley Cup playoffs done for the big club, he can now return to help the Firebirds win a Calder Cup.
The AHL campaign followed a 79-point season in his last of three years in the Ontario Hockey League where he played for the Soo (Sault Ste. Marie) Greyhounds.
The recently turned 22-year-old (April 30th) plays larger than his 5-foot-11, 200-pound stature. Even if he’s done growing, he’s definitely not done getting stronger.
Pros and Cons
Much like the NHL team he just played for in the postseason, Kartye has something to prove. Passed over in the NHL Draft prior to the Kraken’s existence, he signed as a free agent at the end of his OHL career with Seattle Kraken GM Ron Francis last March.
Also mirroring the big club, Kartye earned a reputation for work ethic and competitiveness. There weren’t a lot of expectations for him when he arrived to the AHL Firebirds last fall and began play on the 4th line. Through diligence, he rose through the ranks to become the American Hockey League rookie-of-the-year.
Like a few of the prospects we’ve profiled for the Seattle Kraken, including 2022 first round pick Shane Wright, Kartye missed a season of development when the OHL shut-down for 2020-’21 due to the Covid pandemic.
It turned out to be a blessing in disguise for Seattle. “Late-bloomer” or not, Kartye’s break-out year came along just in time for the Kraken to snatch him up.
Elements of his skating could improve, but even speed can be added with technique training and power skating. His coaches love his hockey sense and his desire to play a strong 200-foot game.
Kartye’s work ethic fits right in and his desire to improve goes hand-in-hand with that of the Seattle Kraken organization. And watch out for that shot!