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SEATTLE -- Berkly Catton wasted no time showing off his high-end offensive talent, dazzling in drills and scrimmages at his first development camp for the Seattle Kraken last week.

The 18-year-old center prospect, selected in the first round (No. 8) of the 2024 NHL Draft, and left a lasting impression on Kraken staff during the organization’s five-day camp with his elite stickhandling and playmaking.

“I thought, especially in the couple [scrimmages] we played at the end, you just saw how dynamic of a player he is,” Kraken coach Dan Bylsma said. “He’s a playmaker, quick with his stick. I really enjoyed watching him there in the last game we were playing, because he’s on full display for his skill and ability and playmaking.”

A native of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Catton spent the last two seasons playing across Washington State from Seattle and led the Spokane Chiefs of the Western Hockey League with 116 points (54 goals, 62 assists) as a 17-year-old.

After frequently crossing over the Cascade Mountains from Spokane these last two seasons to play games against the Seattle Thunderbirds and Everett Silvertips, Catton is familiar with the local hockey market in the Emerald City. This created a built-in familiarity between the Kraken and Catton, who called it "a comfort" to join Seattle's ranks.

“It’s pretty cool, always playing in Seattle,” Catton said. “Even when you go to Thunderbirds games, everyone’s wearing Seattle Kraken stuff, and it’s just… it’s a huge deal in Washington. And to get picked by them, even for all the Chiefs fans, they’re pretty pumped. Even for myself, it’s cool just being around all the time, then getting picked by this team, it’s super exciting.”

Catton drafted by Seattle Kraken

The Kraken see advantages in drafting talent from their backyard and demonstrated this by selecting Catton in the first round and following that up with Everett forward Julius Miettinen in the second round (No. 40).

“Our budget just went down for travel,” Kraken director of player development Jeff Tambellini said. “But to have Berkly Catton so close, to have Miettinen so close, it’s fantastic. Any chance they get to see our team play and be around our group, the better, so we’re really excited in the development staff that we’re going to see those guys a lot.”

There are several other players in the Kraken system who play junior hockey for nearby teams in the WHL, including defenseman Kaden Hammell, another Everett player who has seen firsthand the damage that Catton can do on the ice.

“Catton’s a phenomenal player,” Hammell said. “He’s kind of a guy that my job was to shut down this year, which is pretty funny. But, I mean, he’s a [heck] of a player. I don’t really know what the downside to his game is. He just reads the ice so well. He’s a player that definitely makes my job hard to defend.”

Catton knows there are many hurdles he will have to clear to reach the NHL, but he believes he has the skill and hockey smarts to make that leap in the near future.

“I think just my smarts will allow me to have success,” Catton said. “Look at a guy like [Wyatt] Johnston on Dallas (Stars) and just how much he can make those little plays, and they seem to add up over time. And I think that’s something that I have in myself too, which will translate.”

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