The Seattle Kraken kick off official hockey activities with a two-day rookie camp on Monday and Tuesday, before the full training camp starts Thursday. A lot of the players that will attend the rookie portion are players we saw in the development camp the Kraken hosted in July, but expect higher intensity these next couple days.
A lot of these Seattle Kraken prospects could be years away from making their regular-season NHL debuts, and many will never play for the Kraken. But I always enjoy getting an up-close viewing of Kraken prospects at this point in their careers. Here are four players I am particularly excited about watching.
Calling out Carson Rehkopf is not exactly going out on a limb. He was the Kraken’s second pick (50th overall) of the most recent NHL Entry Draft, but I feel he could be one of those players we talk about years from now that other teams missed when they had the opportunity to draft him.
I tend to overvalue a prospect’s shooting abilities when compared to his peers, and Rehkopf’s shot really stood out in the group of players at development camp. Another aspect of his game that raised some eyebrows was his poise with the puck. He seemed very patient and often avoided making the obvious pass to instead create an even better scoring opportunity for his team. The sample size was small, and the scenarios were a little different in dev camp, so I hope his performance this week will be consistent with what we saw in July.
2023 fourth-round selection, Andrei Loshko, will not stand out like some prospects in terms of dangles or wicked shots. He is better known for his strong two-way game that could translate to the NHL one day. Originally from Belarus, Loshko has played the last two seasons with the Chicoutimi Sagueneens of the QMJHL, where he put up 70 points over 67 regular-season games in 2022-23. He is considered a bit of a sleeper, so it will be fun to set a baseline at this rookie camp to start tracking his progress over the next few years.
I figure that any hardcore Seattle Kraken fan will have plenty of opportunity to see Lukas Dragicevic this season by watching the Tri-City Americans any time they are playing your local US Division WHL team. But it will also be exciting to see how he stacks up against the Kraken prospects. What really fascinates me about Dragicevic is that he switched to defense four seasons ago, explaining his high-end offensive skill. The word around the campfire is that Dragicevic will need to develop his defensive skill, but in the meantime, I will enjoy seeing his offensive prowess on display.
It was not until the OHL playoffs that I watched a lot of Tucker Robertson, and he was a big reason the Peterborough Petes won that league’s championship. The OHL Final was particularly impressive. Robertson had nine points in the series against the London Knights, including one goal and one assist on the Petes’ 2-1 series-clinching victory in Game 6. Robertson might be that elusive right-handed center the Kraken could be looking for. He is expected to be in Coachella Valley this coming season.
If you are not able to attend either of the rookie camp on-ice sessions, a lot of the young players should stick around for at least several days of the main training camp that starts Thursday. The entire schedule can be found here.
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