Morosi: Why Sale was ‘a really good 1st pick’ for Seattle Kraken

Jul 1, 2023, 9:05 AM | Updated: 9:07 am

Seattle Kraken draft Eduard Sale...

Eduard Sale is selected by the Seattle Kraken with the 20th overall pick on June 28, 2023. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

(Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The Seattle Kraken kicked off their 10-man NHL Draft class by selecting Czech winger Eduard Sale (pronounced Shal-la) with the 20th overall pick.

Seattle Kraken take Czech winger Eduard Sale 20th overall

Sale, a left-handed shot who stands 6 foot 2 and 174 pounds, was rated as the fourth-best international skating prospect in this year’s draft by ESPN.

Sale is the third first-round pick in Kraken history, joining Matty Beniers (No. 2 overall in 2021) and Shane Wright (No. 4 in 2022).

Was the selection of Sale a good one for the Kraken at No. 20 overall? NHL Network reporter Jon Morosi thinks so, as he told Seattle Sports’ Wyman and Bob on Thursday.

“I think Sale was a really good first pick for them,” Morosi said. “And certainly when you’re not picking in the top few picks as they were the last couple of years, there’s a little bit less certaint. You’re a little bit less likely to get a ‘perfect player.’ And Eduard Sale, for me, is someone who has in terms of pure playmaking ability, he is one of the best playmaking forwards in the draft, which is exciting because I think that the Kraken, when you talk about what their club is gonna look like in the years to come, they still need a little bit more high-end offense, and Sale is the kind of guy that you could see playing very well with Beniers in the future, and maybe Shane Wright depending on how the lines work out.”

“I think he was the best player that they could get at that point,” Morosi later added.

In general, Morosi said, most NHL executives and scouting directors favor centers or right-handed defenseman in the first round. Sale is neither of those things as a left-handed winger.

“It says a lot that in the case of Sale for the Kraken, they took a wing,” Morosi said. “Which means that they believe that there was enough of a delta in between what his potential is and the other available centers or defenseman at that moment that they wanted to take the higher-end skill. And I would say this – Sale is not nearly as sure of a thing as Beniers. And there are maybe even those that would say he’s not even sure of a thing as Wright. But he does do something in terms of his offensive creativity and playmaking that is special.”

Sale, Morosi said, is expected to come to North America for this upcoming season and play in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), which is where Wright spent most of the 2022-23 season.

“(Sale) was playing last year in one of the top junior leagues in the Czech Republic,” Morosi said. “… He’s got a chance to play on the North American-sized rink, get more used to the North American schedule and travel a little bit. I think it’s gonna be really nice way for him to transition his game over to North America.”

Morosi also shared where Sale has the most room to grow as he comes to North America.

“I think they got a really good player, someone who if he figures out the defensive side of things could be someone who makes an impact on this club in the next – I would say it would be asking a lot for him to play this year, obviously, but I think in the next two to three years you could see him at the NHL level just because of his talent,” he said. “He’s got very, very high-end offensive skill. And the idea will be by playing in the OHL, acquire enough positional awareness and know how and honestly the demands and the work ethic required to really handle your end of the ice. I think all of those traits will become evident for him probably during the course of this year in the OHL.”

Listen to Wyman and Bob’s full conversation with Morosi at this link or in the player near the top of this story.

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Morosi: Why Sale was ‘a really good 1st pick’ for Seattle Kraken