Caden Price, selected No. 84 overall by the Seattle Kraken in this week’s NHL Entry Draft, is a 6-foot-1 left-handed defenseman who has played the last two seasons with the Kelowna Rockets of the WHL.


One pick after selecting Lukas Dragicevic, the Kraken seized the opportunity to select another quality defense prospect who slid down the draft board unexpectedly. He was No. 50 in our composite analytics ranking and No. 55 in my NHLe calculation. Price does not have the offensive upside of Dragicevic, profiling more as a bottom-four defenseman, but scouts credit quality mobility and transition skills.

On the other hand, Pice’s counting stats may overrate him a bit because he was thrust into a featured role due to lack of other options in Kelowna. On the ice, scouts – some of whom saw Price as a potential first-round pick at the beginning of the season – saw an up-and-down season from a player who didn’t display standout carrying traits indicative of an NHL future with nearly enough consistency.

That said, there are several reasons to believe a breakthrough could be coming for Price. First, born in late August, 2005, he was the fourth-youngest prospect drafted in the 2023 draft. There is a lot of development runway left here. Second, he tested well athletically at the combine, checking in at No. 30 in our composite athleticism ranking based on public information. He was a top-25 performer in seven different tests. Finally, he will keep getting opportunities in Kelowna because the team doesn’t have any defense prospects coming for his role. Repetitions in high-leverage offensive and defensive situations could lead to a step forward in his skills.

Caden Price player profile

Left defenseman | Kelowna Rockets (WHL) | Age: 17 | Height: 6’0.5″ | Weight: 190 lbs | Left shot

2021-22Kelowna RocketsWHL4721921
2022-23Kelowna RocketsWHL6553540
Source: HockeyDB

What does the Big Board say?

Price was ranked at No. 50 on the Sound Of Hockey Big Board. His highest ranking was No. 28 by Dobber Prospects. Recruit Scouting (32) and Elite Prospects (37) also had Price as a borderline first-round prospect. Bob McKenzie, our best barometer of league thoughts on a player, had him at No. 67 in his final ranking.

How does he look on the ice?

What are scouts saying?

Visualization by Mitchell Brown of Elite Prospects

“Price is a strong skater who can skate pucks up ice well, and can close effectively on his checks. He has good skill with the puck and can take an extra second with the puck to make a play. He’s not the most physically imposing defenseman either in size or with his physical play. He makes stops in junior due to his skating and decent-enough sense and compete. I think he will be a full-time third-pair defenseman who contributes but doesn’t stand out at either end.” – Corey Pronman of The Athletic

“Who is the true Price? A mistake-prone, out-of-sync defenceman or the most NHL projectable blueliner on this side of the Atlantic? At his best, Price makes every play in the book, offensively and defensively. He’s a defensive stopper, a puck-mover, and a playmaker. Improving his mobility would give him more freedom to activate offensively and play aggressively defensively.” – David St-Louis of Elite Prospects

Where can I find more information?

  • Corey Pronman of The Athletic (link) ($$) ranked Price No. 51 overall
  • Scott Wheeler of The Athletic (link) ($$) ranked Price No. 46 overall
  • Chris Peters of FloHockey (link) ranked Price No. 47 overall
  • Smaht Scouting (link) ranked Price No. 50 overall

Last thoughts

We are still getting to know Seattle’s draft tendencies, but one recurring theme I have noticed: Seattle is willing to take a prospect who was thought of as a high-end prospect early in his development, but experienced a disappointing pre-draft year. This was true of Ryan Winterton (lost his draft year entirely to the COVID shutdown), Shane Wright (delivered an excellent scoring season rather than a truly dominant one), Eduard Sale (low production and compete questions this past year), and Caden Price (up-and-down play). This may be a coincidence. It also could be that the Kraken – an analytically inclined team – are attempting to find advantage in the “recency bias” of NHL decision makers. This will be something I monitor going into the 2024 draft.