Seattle Kraken Prospect
The skating of Seattle Kraken 2023 1st-round NHL Draft pick Eduard Sale seems somewhat effortless. He appears to turn on the quickness or speed and change directions with the flip of a casual switch. That’s not to suggest more can’t be done with his stride or that he can’t get quicker or faster, but it’s a great starting point.
The quiet confidence on-ice seems to match his off-ice personality.
“My opportunity, (I’m a) good skater, play maker, a skill guy, and making players around me better,” Sale said after day-1 of Seattle Kraken Development Camp. “I need more kilos, we’ll see.”
The 18-year-old was referring to his size. He wants to add some weight and strength to his 6-foot-2, 175-pound (79 kg) frame.”
“With Eddy, just his speed, his power, he was one or two in the strength testing overall this week,” Seattle Kraken Director of Player Development Jeff Tambellini said after the camp. “To have a 1st-round pick that comes in ready off the ice, that’s really exciting, he’s got a frame where we can get him bigger and stronger. It’s a great package to work with.”
Sale won a silver medal with Czechia at the 2023 World Junior Championship where he had six points in seven games. His country lost out in overtime in the Gold Medal game to Team Canada and captain Shane Wright, now his fellow Seattle Kraken prospect.
“It was amazing,” Sale said, “it was twenty years since we’d won a medal. We had a good group there, played a good style, it was a good experience for all of us.”
“I remember him being one of their best players,” Wright said of Sale. “He’s tough to play against. I was on the ice a lot against him, I remember noticing him a lot out there. He had a cage on as an under-ager and he was making a big difference at the World Junior level with guys one or two years older than him.”
Earlier, Sale had 19 points in 18 games in the Under-18 version of the world tournament. That performance earned the Seattle Kraken’s 20th-overall NHL Draft selection plenty of admirers.
The Elite Prospects website praised his offensive abilities:
“He’s an exceptionally skilled passer who can feather the puck through layers to connect with his linemates with perfect touch. As a shooter, Šalé can fire the puck in-stride, with perfect mechanical form, off either leg, and hammer one-timers home from the faceoff circle.”
Sale showed off some slick moves in pulling away from pursuers late in the Development Camp scrimmage with a multi-deke breakaway goal that tied the game.
This past season he tallied 14 points in 43 games playing in the Czech pro league as a 17-year-old turned 18-year-old against grown men. He’s expected to play for the Barrie Colts in the Ontario Hockey League in 2023-’24. He doesn’t turn 19 until March, which means another crack at World Juniors starting in December in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Pros And Cons
There’s a whole lot to like at this point. The left winger is still growing physically while growing his game.
“I think I will be ready, I think I need more skills and I am working for all,” Sale told us.
“I love his hockey sense,” Seattle Kraken General Manager Ron Francis said during Development Camp. “Good skill set, skates well, just sort of calm, cool and collected while under pressure with the puck. I was at the World Juniors while they were playing Canada and he was not intimidated in any way, shape, or form in that game. We think we’ve got a real good player there.”
“I think I have a good hockey sense and good skills and I think I can play one day (in the NHL),” Sale stated at the draft.
“He’s a talented player and (I’m) definitely excited that he’s here in Seattle for sure,” Wright said.
“Really excited to have him in the fold,” Francis added.
More Seattle Kraken Prospect News:
— The Kraken’s Top-3 NHL Prospects