Finding New Kraken
It seems pretty quiet, but there are upcoming hockey events that will impact Seattle Kraken scouting and development.
While the World Junior Championship starting in late December is considered a “19-year-old tournament”, featuring the best post-NHL Draft talent representing their respective countries, the Hlinka Gretzky Cup is one of the premier world events featuring pre-draft prospects. Dozens of high-end hockey teenagers will be showing off their abilities in Breclav, Czechia and Trencin, Slovakia between August 1st and 6th.
USA Hockey’s Under-18 Select team will get a couple of warm-up games under their belts before starting the tournament. They’ll take on Slovakia on July 29th and then Czechia two nights later. Team USA’s preliminary round games are against Sweden and Germany on August 1st and 2nd.
Scouts from the Kraken and every NHL organization will be on hand.
This best-on-best event started in 1991 as the Phoenix Cup, changed its name to the Hlinka Cup in 2007 and then added the “Great One’s” name five years ago. The late Ivan Hlinka, one of the all-time greats of Czech hockey, played for the Vancouver Canucks for two seasons in the NHL, coached the Pittsburgh Penguins for two years, and was a International Ice Hockey Federation Hall of Famer. He died in a car accident in 2004.
Besides Vince Dunn of the Kraken, there are a handful of other prominent NHL’ers looking at the prospects of an arbitration hearing.
Three goalies stand out: Filip Gustavsson of the Minnesota Wild, Ilya Samsonov of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Jeremy Swayman of the Boston Bruins.
Along with Linus Ullmark, Swayman helped win the William Jennings Trophy this past season for having the fewest goals against. Samsonov won 27 games for the Leafs with a 2.33 goals against average and a .919 save percentage. Gustavsson had even better numbers in 39 games for the Wild, including a .931 save percentage.
Among skaters, Troy Terry of the Anaheim Ducks would be the biggest name out there, with his arbitration date set for August 2nd. He’s tallied 60 goals and 128 points over the last two seasons.
Speaking of the Ducks, they announced the signing of 2023 2nd-overall NHL Draft pick Leo Carlsson to his three-year entry-level deal on Wednesday. He was ranked 1st on the NHL Central Scouting Bureau’s ranking of international skaters and was named Swedish junior hockey player of the year.
Playing in the top Swedish Hockey League with Orebro, he put up 25 points, including 10 goals, in 44 games.