Welcome to the 2021 Top Shelf Prospects series. As we go through the Summer of 2021 LWOH will be featuring a team-by-team look at the top prospects in the NHL. You can find all the articles here. Since we had an extensive NHL Draft preview, we will not be reviewing the players who were drafted in the 2021 draft, as there have been no games since then, and our reports on them will not have changed. Today, we look at the 2021 Seattle Kraken Prospects.
What we will be doing is linking you to those articles, as well as taking a look at prospects that were acquired before this year’s draft; their progress, and their chances of making the 2021-22 roster of the NHL team in question. We will also bring you one sleeper pick – a player who was either drafted in the 4th-round or later, or was an undrafted free agent signing who we pick as our dark horse to make the NHL. For those wondering, the cut-off for what is or isn’t a prospect is typically about 50 NHL games played (including playoff games) or is 25 years old. These are not hard or fast rules though, and we may make some exceptions depending on the circumstances.
2021 Seattle Kraken Prospects
It has been an exciting off-season for the Seattle Kraken. After years of waiting, fans have finally seen their team come together. The initial group featuring Mark Giordano, Jordan Eberle, Yanni Gourde, Jared McCann, Vince Dunn, Jamie Oleksiak, Adam Larsson, Chris Dreidger, Haydn Fleury and others was built through the Expansion Draft. The team then made a number of free-agent additions including Jaden Schwartz, Marcus Johansson, Philipp Grubauer, Alexander Wennberg, Riley Sheahan and Ryan Donato. However, the team doesn’t seem to be quite as strong as Vegas was in their expansion year and they must build their prospect pool to have success in the coming years.
2021 Top Seattle Kraken Prospect: Matthew Beniers
The Kraken drafted Beniers with the 2nd overall pick in this year’s NHL Draft. Prior to the draft, we took an in-depth look at Beniers. As there has not been a significant sample size of games played since that report; we will not repeat it. You can check out the reports here and here.
#2 Prospect: Kole Lind
Right Wing — shoots Right
Born October 16th, 1998 — Shaunavon, Saskatchewan
Height 6’1″ — Weight 178 lbs [185 cm / 81 kg]
Drafted by the Vancouver Canucks in the 2nd round, #33 overall, at the 2017 NHL Draft.
Selected by the Seattle Kraken in the 2021 Expansion Draft.
Kole Lind played eight games for the Utica Comets last year, putting up five goals and eight points in the AHL. He also made his NHL debut, playing seven games for the Vancouver Canucks. However, Lind is still looking for his first NHL point.
Lind is a very good skater. He has very good top-end speed and excellent acceleration. He can beat defensemen to the outside, drop his shoulder, and drive the puck to the net. Lind also has very good edgework and agility. His turns are sharp and crisp, and he picks up speed with effective cross-overs. He could stand to add some real muscle to his lower body though. The difference between being a very good skater and an excellent one is his strength on his skates and ability to fight off checks. Lind is very skinny right now, and some added muscle will help him to fight through hooks and holds, establish a position in front of the net, and win battles on the boards.
Lind is equally adept at both scoring goals and setting them up. He has an excellent wrist shot. It is accurate and powerful, and he gets it off with a quick release. His quick hands allow Lind to toe-drag the puck and change the angle on his release before letting it go. This can fool goaltenders. Lind also has an outstanding slap shot and one-timer. Lind has a knack for finding the soft spot in the defensive coverage and ripping his slap shot by the goaltender. He also has the soft hands to finish plays in close to the goal line. He gets to the net, where he creates a good screen. He can also use his soft and quick hands to get deflections and pounce on rebounds.
Solid stick handling and good puck protection skills allow Lind to extend plays and helps his teammates get open. He could be even better in the cycle game with added muscle though. Lind has a very good vision. When he gets an opening, Lind is able to feather a pass through a tight opening and land it on a linemates tape. His quick hands and solid lateral movement allow him to make quick moves to open up those passing lanes. Lind is willing to battle for loose pucks along the boards and gets in quickly on the forecheck. However, this is another area where he would benefit from some added bulk.
Lind works hard in the defensive end of the ice, but his game continues to be a work in progress. He is certainly more than willing to engage defensively and to battle for loose pucks, but his lack of upper-body strength again becomes a concern. He could also stand to work on his positioning without the puck. Like many young players, he takes some chances and tries to leave the zone early looking to get the transition going from time to time. However, it is not a chronic problem and should be fixable in time. It has already improved somewhat from his draft year, but there are still some reminders needed.
Lind heads to the Kraken training camp with an eye on making the team. The team is much deeper on the blueline than it is upfront and this is an advantage for Lind as he tries to find a permanent spot in the NHL. Even if sent to the minors, expect Lind to be one of the first call-ups if injuries hit. He could become a solid middle-six winger if he continues to improve his defensive game.
#3 Prospect: Ryan Winterton
The Kraken drafted Winterton with the 67th overall pick in this year’s NHL Draft. Prior to the draft, we took an in-depth look at Winterton. As there has not been a significant sample size of games played since that report; we will not repeat it. You can check out the report here.
#4 Prospect: Morgan Geekie
Centre — shoots Right
Born July 20th, 1998 — Strathclair, Manitoba
Height 6’3″ — Weight 192 lbs [191 cm / 87 kg]
Drafted by the Carolina Hurricanes in the 3rd round, #67 overall, at the 2017 NHL Draft.
Selected by the Seattle Kraken in the 2021 Expansion Draft.
Geekie played 36 games with the Carolina Hurricanes last season, putting up three goals and nine points. He also played in three playoff games but was held off the scoresheet.
Geekie continues to improve his skating, but there is still a bit more to go. While he once was considered slow, he is now at above-average speed. His first step and acceleration are also decent. While he does not blow anyone away, the fact that he is better able to keep up with the play has been a big key in Geekie’s improvement.
He also has improved his agility and edgework. Geekie is now making tighter turns, as well as generating better power and acceleration better with his crossovers. This along with better cuts has helped him to be more effective in both ends of the ice. He has good balance. It is tough to knock Geekie off the puck, and he wins battles in the corners as well as the front of the net.
Geekie creates most of his offence in the dirty areas of the ice. With the puck on his stick, he looks to manufacture offence by getting to the front of the net. From there he can dish the puck to a linemate through a tight opening, or finish in close to the goaltender. He has very good vision and makes smart plays with the puck on his stick. He also has the hands necessary to pounce on rebounds and to redirect shots into the net. Geekie has also really improved his one-timer and loves to let it go from between the face-off circles. He usually fires either a quick wrist or snapshot, with good power and an excellent release.
Geekie is not afraid to take punishment to make plays, and he battles hard in the corners and in front of the net. He cycles the puck well, protecting the puck while fighting through checks, and getting it to teammates. However, he is not the type to make a big hit. Geekie is not the most creative player with the puck. He prefers to keep the puck moving in the cycle game, looking for the short simple pass to a teammate. He is not the type to throw a lot of dangerous cross-ice passes through tight passing lanes. Instead he moves the puck quickly and then gets open for give-and-go type plays.
Geekie is also very good defensively. He is strong in the face-off circle and was a good penalty killer in junior and the AHL, though he was not used much in that role as a rookie with the Hurricanes. Geekie works hard to almost always be on the right side of the puck. He uses his body to block shots, as well as an active stick to cut down passing lanes. Geekie provides support to the defence down low and keeps his man to the outside when defending the cycle. He also transitions quickly to create offence when an opportunity presents itself.
Geekie is a good bet to take on a bottom-six role with the Kraken. He has NHL experience on a good team and so should be able to help the Kraken bottom-six forwards and kill penalties for the team. If some of the offence he showed in junior and the AHL can translate to the NHL game, he could move up the Kraken lineup.
#5 Prospect: Cale Fleury
Right Defence — shoots Right
Born November 19th, 1998 — Calgary, Alberta
Height 6’1″ — Weight 203 lbs [185 cm / 92 kg]
Drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in the 3rd round, #87 overall, at the 2017 NHL Draft.
Selected by the Seattle Kraken in the 2021 Expansion Draft.
Playing on a strong Laval Rocket team, Fleury picked up six assists in 22 AHL games. He played 41 NHL games for the Montreal Canadiens in 2019-20 picking up his first NHL goal.
Fleury is a very good skater, as his mobility allows him to play an effective two-way game. He has a good first step and strong acceleration. He also has very good top-end speed. This is true in both directions. Fleury is able to pinch in from the blue line, or join the rush and still get back defensively. He also has very good pivots, transitioning from offence to defence, and vice-versa very quickly. His lateral agility is good as well. This allows him to walk the line in the offensive zone, opening up passing and shooting lanes. It also helps Fleury to defend against the rush, keeping him between his man and the net. Fleury has good lower body strength. He is strong on the puck and has good balance when fighting for pucks in the corners or in front of the net.
Fleury has some offensive tools that showed at the junior level but have not really been on display as a professional yet. He has a hard and accurate point shot. Fleury makes good use of both his slap shot and wrist shot. He can sneak down from the point and get his wrister through traffic. It features good power and accuracy as well as a quick release. He also has decent puck handling skills and good vision and passing ability. Fleury makes a strong first pass to start the transition game, and also has the poise to quarterback the power play from the blue line.
Fleury sometimes tries a little too hard to push the play out of his own end. This can lead to taking risks, and to mistakes such as giveaways. However, he really reduced this tendency as the season went on, becoming more responsible defensively and picking his spots well under the coaching of Joel Bouchard. Fleury will need to continue this growth now in the Seattle system.
Fleury works hard in his own end, engaging physically in the corners and in front of the net. He has gotten stronger but still has room to grow. His positioning is good most of the time and he works hard to contain his man on the boards and in front of the net. Fleury’s skating helps him to keep his man in front of him and keep shots to the outside. He loves to throw big hits and will do so if a forward comes down his side of the ice with his head down. Fleury needs to be a bit more disciplined though, as he can get out of position looking for that hit.
With the depth on the Seattle blueline, Fleury is likely to start the season in the AHL. He could come up if injuries occur, or if the Kraken decide to trade some of their excess defenders for other assets, as the Golden Knights did following their expansion draft. Fleury could grow into a third-pair defender with a physical game at the NHL level. However, he will need to continue to round out his game.
#6 Prospect: Ryker Evans
Left Defence — shoots Left
Born December 13th, 2001 — Calgary, Alberta
Height 6’0″ — Weight 191 lbs [183 cm / 87 kg]
Drafted by the Seattle Kraken in the 2nd Round, #35 overall, at the 2021 NHL Draft.
Eligible but undrafted in the 2020 NHL Draft, Evans played his third WHL season last year. His offensive numbers (on a PPG basis) were greatly improved as he put up three goals and 25 assists for 28 points in 24 games with the Regina Pats. His 25 assists were the most by any defenceman in the WHL. Evans had seven goals and 24 assists for 31 points in 63 games in 2019-20. A 10th round pick, 216th overall in the 2016 WHL Draft, the Kraken made him their second-ever draft pick in the second round of the NHL Draft. He may have been a bit of a reach as he was not ranked in our top 100 draft prospects. Evans was ranked #243 by Future Considerations Hockey, #168 by McKeen’s, and #178 (North America) by NHL Central Scouting.
Evans is a strong skater. He moves well in both directions with good acceleration and top-end speed. Evans can pinch up the ice or join the rush and still gets back defensively. He also has very good edgework and agility. His lateral movement in the offensive zone allows him to open up shooting and passing lanes as well as the defensive end to maintain good gap control. He could stand to work on his pivots though, as they are a little wide and clunky. Evans also needs to get stronger on his skates. While he is willing to battle in the corners and in front of the net, his lack of physical strength can be an issue against bigger opponents. Evans could also stand to improve his balance and be stronger on the puck.
Evans is very good in transition. He combines his skating with good puckhandling ability to avoid forecheckers and skate the puck out of the defensive zone. He can continue to carry the puck through the neutral zone and makes efficient zone entries. Evans also has very good vision and passing skills. He makes a strong first pass out of the zone, hitting a teammate in motion and allowing them to transition into an offensive chance. Evans can also make a long breakaway pass to a teammate if they get behind the opponent. His passing skills and poise with the puck extend to quarterback the play from the blue line. He finds open teammates and can set them up for scoring chances.
Evans can use some work on his slap shot and wrist shot though. This may come with more upper body strength. His shot lacks power from the line. He does a good job of walking the line and opening up shooting lanes though. This means that he is able to get his shot on the net. Evans also understands how to keep his shot low in order to allow teammates to provide screens, tip-in shots, and pounce on rebounds. He is willing to join the rush and picks his spots well.
Evans defensive game is a bit of a work in progress. His skating is good and makes him hard to beat in one-on-one situations. However, Evans can use some work on his positioning away from the puck. He can sometimes get focused on chasing the puck and getting pulled out of position when he should stay with his man. Evans is also not the most physically involved defender. He could stand to use his size more to contain his man on the cycle game and to win battles along the boards and clear the front of the net. Evans ability to quickly transition up the ice helps him to avoid spending too much time in his own end though.
Evans is a few years away from NHL ready. He heads back to Regina and has had a good start to the WHL season with three assists in his first two games. He will likely play the season for the Pats for an overage season and then head to the AHL in 2022-23. If he develops to his potential, he could become a two-way defenceman on the second or third pair, capable of playing in all situations. There is quite a ways to go before he reaches that level though.
#7 Prospect: Will Borgen
Right Defence — shoots Right
Born December 19th, 1996 — Moorhead, Minnesota
Height 6’3″ — Weight 196 lbs [191 cm / 89 kg]
Drafted by the Buffalo Sabres in the 4th round, #92 overall, at the 2015 NHL Draft.
Drafted by the Seattle Kraken in the 2021 Expansion Draft.
Borgen played just 10 games for the Sabres last year as he broke his forearm in his fourth game of the season and was out for several months. He returned to the lineup before the end of the season but struggled at times, especially handling the puck. It is hoped that the injury is now behind him and he can take the next step with Seattle.
Borgen is a good skater. His edgework, agility and pivots allow him to cover a lot of ice and make him difficult to beat one-on-one. He has good speed moving both forwards and backwards. His first-step quickness and acceleration help Borgen to play a physical game in the defensive end. Opponents who try to beat him in one-on-one situations usually come out on the poor end of a hit. His speed is also good, both going forwards and backwards. Borgen is strong on his skates and able to win battles in the corners and in front of the net. He has really improved this aspect of his game as he has gotten stronger over the years.
Borgen doesn’t have a lot of offensive ability. He makes a decent first pass out of his zone to start the transition game. However, he is not the type to rush the puck up the ice or even join the rush. Instead, he is the classic stay-at-home defender. Borgen can make a decent pass in the offensive zone but does not have the poise or stickhandling to control things at the point. Instead, he moves the puck quickly, generally with a safe pass but not one that will create a lot of offensive opportunities. He leaves the creative plays to his partner or the forwards out on the ice. Borgen has a decent slap shot and does a good job getting it in on the net. Borgen keeps his shot low so that teammates can get deflections and rebounds.
Borgen is at his best in the defensive end of the ice. He is well-positioned, forcing his opponents to the outside and away from the net. Borgen uses his long stick to cut down passing lanes and create turnovers. He effectively uses his size and physical gifts to win battles on the boards and in front of the net. Borgen is not afraid to block shots. All of this helps Borgen to be an effective penalty killer. His strong skating helps him to maintain gap control and makes him tough to beat in one on one situations. His skating is good enough to retrieve dump-ins and move them up the ice. He is also good at starting the transition game when a turnover is created in the defensive end of the ice.
With the Kraken depth on defence, it will be difficult for Borgen to make the team out of camp. Instead, he will likely spend most of the season in the AHL. Expect Borgen to get called up if the Kraken need help due to injuries. In the AHL, he should work on his offensive game. He likely tops out as a 6th or 7th defenceman in the NHL.
#8 Prospect: Joey Daccord
Goalie — shoots Left — catches Left
Born August 19th, 1996 — Boston, Massachusetts
Height 6’2″ — Weight 197 lbs [188 cm/89 kg]
Drafted by the Ottawa Senators in the 7th round, #199 overall, at the 2015 NHL Draft.
Drafted by the Seattle Kraken in the 2021 Expansion Draft.
Daccord split last season between the NHL and AHL. He played two games with the Belleville Senators and eight games with Ottawa. He went 1-3-1 with Ottawa, with a 3.27 goals-against-average and .897 save percentage.
Skating and Talent Analysis
Daccord plays a hybrid style, while he can go down in the butterfly, he plays a bit more of a standup style. He gets well out of his crease in order to cut down angles and minimize the amount of net the opponent has to shoot out. This leaves him a bit vulnerable to a quick forward deking him and beating him to the backhand. He tracks the puck well though and gets across the crease on cross-ice passes. His strong legs give him a good lateral push. Daccord has quick legs and gets in and out of the butterfly well. Those quick and strong legs take away the bottom of the net. He is also quick to close the five-hole.
Daccord also has a good blocker and glove hand. He stays compact, closing the holes under his arms as well. However, he could stand to work on his rebound control. Daccord gives up a bit too much in front of him, instead of cushioning pucks or kicking them to the corners. He is extremely athletic though and Daccord can make a number of highlight-reel saves, getting himself back in position when he seemed to be out of the play.
Daccord is good at getting out of the net and retrieving dump-ins. He is able to make a quick pass to a defender, starting the transition game and helping to cut off the opponents’ forecheck. However, Daccord can have some issues in trying to make a long pass to catch a team on a line change, or speed up zone re-entry on the power play.
Daccord is calm and composed in the net. He reads the play well, anticipating passes and getting into position quickly. He also does a good job of dealing with traffic in front of him. Daccord does not allow a bad goal to get to him. He does not allow things to spiral out of control. Instead, he quickly recovers and is ready for the next face-off.
Daccord will likely head to the AHL this year as the third goalie for the Kraken. With both Phillip Grubauer and Chris Driedger signing on for multiple years, his path to earning a spot in Seattle seems to be blocked off though. If Daccord can improve and becomes ready for the NHL, he could be used as trade bait in the future. For now, he is injury insurance and a starter for the AHL squad.
#9 Prospect: Alex True
Centre — shoots Left
Born July 17th, 1997 — Copenhagen, Denmark
Height 6’5″ — Weight 200 lbs [196 cm/91 kg]
Signed with the San Jose Sharks as an undrafted free agent, July 2017.
Drafted by the Seattle Kraken in the 2021 Expansion Draft.
True had a strong season with the San Jose Baracuda in the AHL. He scored nine goals and 20 points in 27 games. He also played seven games for the Sharks in the NHL but was held to just one assist. The big Dane represented his country at the World Championships. In seven tournament games, he scored one goal and one assist.
Coming in at 6-foot-5, True is one of the bigger players in the Kraken system. However, his skating is a bit of a weakness. True needs work on his first few steps and his acceleration. Once he gets going, he has good speed and can keep up with the play. However, since hockey is mainly a game of stops and starts the lack of quickness can hurt him at times. True is also a little wide on his turns. He can stand to improve his agility and edgework. True also needs to get stronger. His lanky frame has room to add muscle. This would help him to win more battles on the boards and improve his balance, making True stronger on the puck.
True uses his long stick to protect the puck and can control the play down low. He is very smart and gets into good positions both with and without the puck. True has the vision to see what is happening on the ice, and the hockey IQ to read the play and make smart passes with the puck. He keeps it moving in the cycle game and then looks to get open for the give-and-go. True also can make a pass to a teammate through a tight passing lane when he sees them get open. He is also able to carry the puck through the neutral zone and get strong zone entries.
True can also be a goal scorer. He has an accurate and powerful wrist shot that he uses from inside the faceoff dots. His release is not the quickest but is decent given his size and long stick. Combined with the quality of his shot, it gives goalies issues. He also has the size to get to the front of the net and score in tight. True is willing to play a physical game, getting in on the forecheck and battling for loose pucks. However, he could be even more effective if he filled out his frame.
True is willing to work in his own end of the ice as well. He supports the defence down low and works to contain the cycle. His long stick is good at cutting down passing lanes and creating turnovers. However, lack of lateral mobility is an issue, as is True’s discipline. He can sometimes be beaten by quick forwards. When this happens, True can sometimes get caught using a hook or a hold to keep his man in check. This has led to penalty issues, though he has been improving his discipline in recent years. There are still times it rears it’s head though.
True has been waived and sent to the Charlotte Checkers in the AHL. If he impresses, he could be one of the Kraken’s first call-ups if injuries hit. His combination of size and skills is very intriguing. However, his skating is the real liability and is likely the difference between True being a good AHL player and a bottom-six player in the NHL. He could be an injury call-up, but there may not be much more there than a possible 13th forward.
#10 Prospect: Carsen Twarynski
Left Wing — shoots Left
Born November 24th, 1997 — St. Albert, Alberta
Height 6’2″ — Weight 198 lbs [188 cm/90 kg]
Drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 3rd round, #82 overall, at the 2016 NHL Draft.
Drafted by the Seattle Kraken in the 2021 Expansion Draft.
Twarynski was limited to just nine games last season (two in the AHL and seven in the NHL), as he spent much of the year on the Flyers taxi squad or as a healthy scratch. In 2019-20, Twarynski played 15 NHL games, scoring his first NHL goals. He also put up seven goals and 12 points in 31 NHL Games.
Twarynski has good size and skating skill. His stride features good technique and power. This gives him good acceleration and top-end speed. His strong skating ability allows Twarynski to get in on the forecheck as well as to get back defensively. He can keep up with the play. Twarynski also has good edgework and agility. This helps his lateral movement and his ability to avoid defenders both with and without the puck. His strength helps him to fight through checks and maintain control of the puck. It also helps him to win battles on the boards as well as in front of the net.
Twarynski is not the most talented offensive player. He is best known as a hard-working grinder. With his speed and size, he gets in quickly on the forecheck and forces opposing defenders to move the puck more quickly than they want to. He also does a good job of battling for loose pucks in the corners and at getting to the front of the net and creating a screen for the opposing goalies. However, Twarynski lacks the skill to make much of an impact at the NHL level. He can provide some offence from his hard work, but he does not have the passing or shooting skills to consistently put up points.
Twarynski lacks the vision and passing skills to be overly creative with the puck. Instead, he focuses on finding a short pass to an open teammate and keeping the cycle game going. He will then get open and look for the return pass. Twarynski will cause havoc in front of the net and does a good job of providing a screen but lacks the skills to get a lot of deflections or the quickness to reach rebounds. He is simply a role player at the NHL level.
Twarynski is able to play solid defensive hockey thanks to his high-end work ethic. He brings his physical game in all three zones, consistently getting involved in battles for loose pucks as well as looking for a big hit on a puck carrier. His positioning is good and Twarynski does a good job of cutting down passing and shooting lanes. Once a turnover is created, he looks to get the puck out of the zone as quickly and safely as possible. Twarynski is willing to backcheck and support the defence down low.
Twarinsky has been assigned to the Charlotte Checkers in the AHL after training camp. He is likely to be a veteran leader for the AHL squad and injury insurance for the NHL team. There does not seem to be a lot here, though he could make the NHL as a possible thirteenth forward at some point. He mainly brings energy and solid defensive hockey.
Sleeper Prospect: Luke Henman
Center — shoots Left
Born April 29th, 2000 — Halifax, Nova Sscotia
Height 6’0″ — Weight 168 lbs [183 cm/76 kg]
Drafted by the Carolina Hurricanes in the 4th round, #96 overall, at the 2018 NHL Draft.
Signed by the Seattle Kraken, May 2021.
Drafted by the Carolina Hurricanes but unsigned before the 2020 deadline. Henman returned to the QMJHL. He was the captain of the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada last year, as he played his overage season. Henman put up 16 goals and 27 assists for 43 points in 32 regular-season games. He also scored nine goals and 12 points in nine playoff games. Henman was the first player signed by the Seattle Kraken in their history.
Henman is a good skater and this helps him in both ends of the ice. His first few steps are quick. He also has a nice stride that gives him good acceleration and top-end speed. Henman can take a defender wide and still drive hard to the front of the net. His agility and edgework are also good. They allow Henman to weave in and out of traffic and avoid defenders both with and without the puck. Henman could add some muscle to his frame though. His strong stride helps him to fight through checks. However, if he was stronger he would have better balance and do a better job of fighting for loose pucks in the corners and for his position in front of the net.
Henman is an excellent playmaker. He has soft hands and the ability to handle the puck and make plays while moving at top speed. Henman has very good vision and sees the play in front of him. He reads the play well and makes smart plays with the puck. With his quick hands, Henman is able to create off the rush. He also carries the puck through the neutral zone and generates good offensive zone entries. Henman is able to control the puck in the cycle game and create time and space for teammates. When they do get open, he can make a quick move to open a passing lane and get the puck to his teammate for a scoring chance.
Henman could be a goal scorer but does not use his shot enough. His wrist shot and snapshot are both powerful and accurate. With his quick hands, Henman is able to toe drag the puck and change the release point on his shot. This helps him to fool goaltenders and beat them from further out. Henman has improved his scoring as he works harder to get to the front of the net. With his soft hands, he can score goals in tight to the goalie. Now that he is more willing to get to the net, his offence has improved. However, he needs to continue to add muscle to his frame to play this style in the AHL.
Henman’s defensive game is still a bit of a work in progress. He is not a physical player and while he skates to support the defence down low, he really doesn’t get involved physically. Henman tends to reach for the puck or go for a poke check rather than use his body to win battles along the boards. He also struggles to contain bigger opponents in the cycle game. Henman must add muscle to his frame in order to improve these areas of his game. This becomes even more true as he heads to the AHL this year and will begin to face bigger and stronger opponents.
Henman could become a bottom-six centre if he develops properly, but there is quite a bit of work to do. He is a long-term project, at least three or four years away from making an impact in the NHL. Following training camp, Henman has been assigned to the Charlotte Checkers of the AHL. He will get decent minutes at the AHL level and attempt to round out his game. He will also get the chance to prove that his scoring was not just the product of being an older player in junior hockey but that it can translate to the professional level.
Other 2021 Seattle Kraken Prospects
A brand new team, the Kraken don’t have a lot of quality prospects or depth at this point in their life cycle. As they build the team and make trades for more picks and prospects, the groups should grow quickly in the coming years.
2021 Seattle Kraken Prospects Main Photo:
EDMONTON, AB – DECEMBER 25: Matthew Beniers #10 of the United States skates against Russia during the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship at Rogers Place on December 25, 2020, in Edmonton, Canada. (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images)