Without a minor league squad to draw from, the Seattle Kraken would have a relatively thin group to take part in training camp this season. That explains why they’ve added another two players on professional tryouts today, signing Aaron Ness and Brent Gates according to CapFriendly. The pair join Scott Wilson and Ryan Lohin who had already been reported on tryout contracts.
Ness, 31, is a top minor league defenseman who has continually registered huge point totals over a long career. In 2018-19 with the Hershey Bears, he hit a career-high of 55 in 71 games and has 260 overall in his 536-game AHL career. Last season, he was stuck almost exclusively on the taxi squad of the Arizona Coyotes, playing in just a single game at any level. Ness does have 72 games of NHL experience, and is exactly the kind of defenseman that seemed necessary for the Kraken earlier this summer–one who could clear waivers without much issue but still be a useful call-up if necessary.
Gates meanwhile has still never played in an NHL game, despite being the 80th overall pick in 2015. The 24-year-old center split last season between the Tulsa Oilers, Indy Fuel, San Diego Gulls, and Rochester Americans. He has found some success at the ECHL level, but it seems very unlikely that Gates will earn an NHL contract with the Kraken. Instead, he’ll just be another body to help fill out the camp and get a chance to showcase himself to other organizations around the league.