Non-Kraken, Berkly Catton and Jordan Gavin

Kraken Weekend: SEA WJC Hosts?, Happy Spokane

Kraken Hospitality

Our pal Mike Benton over at Kraken radio broke the news that the Kraken and Climate Pledge Arena will be looking to host the 2026 World Junior Championship, presumably Group-A and the medal rounds. The city or region would need a second fan-friendly venue large enough to host the preliminary Group B games.

The 6,000-seat accesso ShoWare Center in Kent, home to the Seattle Thunderbirds of the Western Hockey League would be a likely choice, as would the 8,000-plus seat Angel of the Winds Arena, home to the Everett Silvertips. According to the story and Canadian sources, Seattle could be up against St. Louis, Minneapolis/St. Paul, and Las Vegas, all vying to be host city.

Buffalo is the last US metropolis to host the international event, both in 2011 and in 2018.

Gothenburg, Sweden will host the 2024 WJC, with Ottawa slated for 2025.

Plymouth Wrap

We’ve been following the progress of Seattle Kraken prospects at the 2023 World Junior Summer Showcase in Plymouth, Michigan all week. The event wrapped up on Friday.

In the next to last game Team USA Blue edged Team Sweden by a final score of 5-4. The American squad trailed 4-1 after the 1st period, only to storm back with two goals in the 2nd period and two more in the 3rd to win it.

Kraken 2023 6th-round draft pick, Swedish forward Zeb Forsfjall didn’t factor into the scoring.

In the concluding game of the event, Team Finland beat USA White 4-3.

Finnish goalie Niklas Kokko, Seattle Kraken 2022 2nd-Round NHL Draft pick, stopped 26 of 29 shots-on-goal for the victory. Fellow Kraken 2nd-rounder Jani Nyman opened the scoring for the Finns in the 1st period, tying the game at 1-1.

All four teams finished the short week with records of 2-and-2. There is no tournament arrangement, no medals, the event is set-up to show off the skills of the players from three countries looking to lock up spots in the 2024 WJC.

Nyman and Kokko appear to be locks for Finland. Kraken 2023 6th-rounder Visa Vedenpää should very well be that country’s back-up goalie come December in Sweden.

Happy, Productive Chief

Spokane Chiefs captain Berkly Catton (photo left) is having himself one heck of a Hlinka Gretzky Cup tournament over in Slovakia and Czechia. His latest effort, two goals for Team Canada in a 7-2 semi-final victory over the United States on Friday.

It’s nothing new. Catton tallied a goal and two assists in Canada’s 9-6 loss to Finland on Monday, two goals on Tuesday in the 14-4 win over Slovakia, and two more in Wednesday’s 5-0 victory against Switzerland.

Catton turns age-18 in January and is NHL Draft eligible next summer. He’s coming off a 55-point season in 63 games for the Chiefs. Team Canada also features 16-year-old Tri-City Americans center Jordan Gavin (photo right), pointless in three games.

Canada will play co-host Czechia for the Gold Medal on Saturday while the United States will take on Finland for the Bronze.

Happy Spokane Chiefs captain.
Silvertips Coaching Accusations

Here’s the link to our Friday summary and here’s the link to Rick Westhead’s story on the TSN website relating to an investigation by the U.S. Center for SafeSport into alleged behavior by Everett Silvertips head coach Dennis Williams.

The entity was formed in 2017 by the U.S. Olympic Committee to independently investigate allegations of misconduct in amateur sports. The accusations involving Williams, the head coach of the Silvertips since 2017 and Team Canada’s head coach for their 2023 WJC Gold Medal, involve three separate incidents.

More Kraken Prospects:

— Seattle Kraken of the Future: Oscar Fisker-Mølgaard

— Seattle Kraken of the Future: Ryan Winterton

— Seattle Kraken of the Future: Eduard Sale

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.