The Seattle Kraken have added two more names to their ever-expanding scouting department, hiring Chris MacDonald and Eddie Olczyk Jr. The NHL’s 32nd franchise has continued to bring in experience and ability to the front office as they prepare to debut in 2021-22. The organization has announced dozens of hires over the last few months.
MacDonald comes to the team after serving as director of European amateur scouting with the Arizona Coyotes and previously working with the Vancouver Canucks. In the Kraken release, it makes sure to highlight MacDonald’s work with building the young core of the Canucks as he was part of the group that drafted players like Bo Horvat, Elias Pettersson, and Quinn Hughes.
Olczyk Jr. obviously comes with some name recognition, given his father’s long playing and broadcasting career. He’ll be helping the Kraken scout the USHL especially after spending several years as an assistant coach with Bemidji State.
While the pro scouts that will help the Kraken develop their expansion draft strategy are incredibly important to the team’s immediate success, it’s easy to forget just how much impact those amateur scouts had in the early days of the Vegas Golden Knights. While the team obviously put together a group of NHL players that went to the Stanley Cup Finals right away, the draft picks they acquired in that first season have been integral to keeping the Golden Knights at the top of the standings. Remember, both Nick Suzuki and Erik Brannstrom were first-round selections of the Golden Knights in 2017 before being flipped as the main assets in trades for Max Pacioretty and Mark Stone. This time around it may be even more important for the Kraken to draft well right from the start, given the experience NHL managers now have with the expansion process.