A somewhat related series of upcoming events will keep Seattle Kraken scouts busy over the next week or two.
The World Junior Summer Showcase cranks up on Saturday in Plymouth, Michigan at the home rink for USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program and features rosters from the host country, Sweden and Finland.
Kraken forward prospect Jani Nyman is picking up some frequent flyer miles along with his fellow Finns, goalies Niklas Kokko and Visa Vedenpää. They were recently all at Seattle Kraken Development Camp at the Kraken Community IcePlex.
Nyman, a 2nd-round pick of Seattle in 2022, was recently reassigned and returned to Ilves Tampere in his country’s top pro league. He was taken 49th-overall by Seattle, while Kokko was taken nine picks later.
The Kraken took Vedenpää in the 2023 6th-round just last month.
It’s possible it’ll be an all-Kraken goalie tandem for Team Finland come December at the WJC tournament in Gothenburg, Sweden. The third Finnish backstop at this week’s showcase, Noa Vali, went undrafted this summer.
Sweden’s showcase team will feature one Kraken draft choice, undersized lefty center Zeb Forsfjall. He also went in the 6th round this summer, 12 picks after Vedenpää.
Seattle is not represented on Team USA.
Take It Down A Notch
Or in this case, take it down one birth-year.
As we described earlier in July, the Hlinka Gretzky Cup cranks up July 31st with games in both Czechia and Slovakia. This is the next wave of NHL Draft picks, and for that matter, the next wave of World Junior Championship participants. It’s a prestigious Under-18 tournament that will draw scouting eyeballs from across the globe.
Neither of the two players from the state of Washington who were in consideration made the final cut for Team USA.
As for getting plenty of attention, the same can be said for the Under-17 Five Nations Cup that cranks up in Czechia from August 4th to the 8th. Same story, just another birth-year later. This would be a somewhat early look at your 2025 NHL Draft class.
The beat goes on.
Big Name Moves Along
Vladi Tarasenko has moved yet again, this time landing in Canada’s capital city. The goal scoring winger who tallied 50 points in 69 games last season between the St. Louis Blues and New York Rangers signed a deal with the Ottawa Senators on Thursday that pays him $5-million for one season.
The 31-year-old won a Stanley Cup with the St. Louis Blues in 2019 with future Kraken Vince Dunn and Jaden Schwartz.
“Vladimir’s a natural goal-scorer,” Senators General Manager Pierre Dorion said in a statement. “He’s a dynamic player who can score from anywhere in the offensive zone, as well as an underrated play maker who’s made a career out of driving offense for he and his linemates. An established performer in the regular season and in the playoffs, we’re thrilled to add a player of his caliber to our lineup.”
The Rangers had added Tarasenko to their star-studded line-up in February a month ahead of the NHL trade deadline as a playoff rental. He helped out with four points in seven playoff games as the Broadway Blueshirts were bounced by the New Jersey Devils in the 1st-round.
3-time Stanley Cup winner with the Chicago Blackhawks Patrick Kane was added three weeks later. He helped with six points in the playoffs as a rental. He remains a free agent, as does his longtime former teammate, friend, and captain, Jonathan Toews.
— Kraken: Top Pacific Division 1-2 Centers