As soon as the Kraken's first season in the NEFHL wrapped up, the Seattle management team planned for the future. The team has accumulated a plethora of draft picks (including 3 first rounders in 2023) and hopefully had a successful 2022 NEFHL entry draft with high picks like Cutter Gauthier, Ryan Chesley and Reid Schaefer. It appears that the team is set up for potential long-term success.

That being said, successful sports franchises always need a bit of luck on their side. To that end, the Kraken could use some luck in the upcoming draft lottery. But even as importantly, the Kraken have to hope that a lower-end prospect or two develop better than originally expected and contribute to the franchise's success down the road. Do the Kraken have such a prospect (or two)? Hard to say at this point in time, but here are a few candidates who could potentially be professional Seattle players down the road:

Winger - Aidan McDonough

McDonough had a very successful career at the NCAA level at Northeastern University. Over his four seasons, McDonough put up 66 goals and 124 points in 124 games. Following his senior season, McDonough signed his entry-level contract with the Vancouver Canucks and even got into six NHL games (and scoring his first NHL goal). At 6'2" and 200 pounds, McDonough unquestionably has the size required to excel at the pro level. Can he put it all together? McDonough figures to play at the AHL level next season, but seems like a decent long-term bet to have a strong professional career.

Defence - Matthew Kessel

Kessel was acquired by Seattle in a pre-expansion draft trade with the Calgary Flames last summer. Kessel, only 22 years old, played his first season at the professional level in 2022-23, putting up an impressive 33 points in 71 games at the AHL level. Kessel also made his NHL debut for the St. Louis Blues, playing two games. Overall, Kessel's ability to move the puck gives him a chance to become an NEFHL regular in the future. 

Could either of these Kraken prospects develop into NEFHL regulars? Only time will tell, but Kraken management thinks they both have a chance...