Seattle Kraken, Ryan Winterton

Seattle Kraken Of The Future: Ryan Winterton

Seattle Kraken Prospect

We included Ryan Winterton in our Top-3 Seattle Kraken NHL prospects article last week, but a more robust version of his profile was required since our last full feature on this player came on Halloween, 2022. Let’s just say we’re pulling all of the pieces together.

That would be a fair description of what Winterton is up to as well, having recovered from multiple injuries the last couple of seasons to come out the other end with flying colors.

“This is the first time I’ve been on ice here,” Winterton said at Seattle Kraken Development Camp in early July. “I’ve been here three years and it’s the first time I’ve been on the ice, so it was pretty fun and I’m looking forward to main (Kraken training) camp.”

Winterton showed up the last two summer development camps to familiarize himself with the club and its facilities, but he mainly familiarized himself with the medical and training staffs.

“The first two years I was here and I was just working on my shoulder, rehabbing and stuff, so it was great to get out there,” he added.

He did well. An understatement if you review some of the thoughts from Seattle Kraken management. They see his potential starting to shine through.

“For him to come in and win strength testing, I think that surprised a lot of people,” Kraken Player Development Director Jeff Tambellini said at the end of camp. “Just coming off two injuries like that usually sets a player back, but he had a fantastic playoff run and has come in and made a big statement that he’s ready to play.”

That playoff performance for the London Knights in the Ontario Hockey League included an OHL postseason high 12-game scoring streak and a total of 29 points in 21 games. His performance helped lift his club all the way to Game-7 of the OHL final where the Knights lost to the Peterborough Petes.

Highlights

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 including Shane Wright.

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 with the Anaheim Ducks.

Winterton was traded to the Knights during the off-season in 2022.

Pros and Cons

Winterton has a wicked shot. That would be his peak offensive attribute, although he is a productive puck distributor as well. He’s also a conscientious two-way player. His overall efforts and the reviews we’ve heard are why we put him on our Top-3 list.

He has the skill set and mind for the game, it’s just a matter of turning up the intensity, which should come as he continues to put the injury issues behind him.

Winterton will continue to strengthen and grow into his 6-foot-2 frame. He’s entering the 2nd year of a three-year, two-way, entry-level contract.

He’ll be a guy to watch at training camp,” Tambellini said.

Other Recent Seattle Kraken Prospects:

— Seattle Kraken of the Future: Eduard Sale

— Seattle Kraken of the Future: David Goyette

Rob Simpson

Rob Simpson has covered the NHL in five different decades. He’s authored 4 books on hockey and is a veteran TV and radio play-by-play man and reporter.
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Bane
Bane
10 months ago

Winterton did not play in the Calder Cup playoffs last season, but is he ready for the AHL this year? Given that injuries have significantly shortened his career in the juniors, has he had enough time at that level to prepare to play with and against professionals? With the numbers that he put up in the OHL there is no doubt that he has the talent to be a productive pro, but does he have the pollish? Could he perhaps spend some time in the ECHL to refine his skills?