Kraken Prospect Tyson Jugnauth Shines with Winterhawks

Vince Carbonneau
July 7, 2024  (8:06)

Tyson Jugnauth in action
Photo credit: West Kelona Warriors

Style is crucial for Kraken defensive prospect Tyson Jugnauth.

At the conclusion of the team's fourth-annual Development Camp, Jugnauth, 20, explained his signature look. He sports a single thick ring of tape around his shin pads, a jersey back-tucked, inspired by Kraken player development consultant Justin Rai, and a mop of brown hair longer than most of his fellow Kraken prospects.
Even his gear reflects his preferences, including the white stick he used to score the opening goal of the day's scrimmage just 15 seconds into the first period. Contrary to strategic reasons suggesting white sticks blend with the ice and confuse goaltenders, Jugnauth chose it simply because it «looked cool.»
«The better you look, the better you play,» he said with a laugh, flashing a gap-toothed smile.
Watching the 2022 fourth-round pick swiftly fire a blistering wrist shot past goaltender Victor Östman at his third camp with the Kraken, it's hard to believe Jugnauth ever lacked confidence. But his time with the University of Wisconsin's hockey team was challenging.
Despite recording 15 points and appearing in nearly every game for Wisconsin in the 2022-23 season, Jugnauth struggled to maintain his spot in the lineup. He was often a healthy scratch during the 2023-24 season, rotating between the third pair and seventh-defenseman position, recording just two points in 13 games.
Unhappy in Wisconsin, Jugnauth took matters into his own hands.
In December 2023, the Portland Winterhawks moved four draft picks to acquire Jugnauth's rights from the Kamloops Blazers, opening a path for him to transition from the NCAA to the WHL.
Making the decision to change teams was tough. A month of «back and forth» deliberation ensued before he made the move. «It took a lot of thinking, talking to my parents a ton, and consulting with Seattle's development staff,» he said.
Thanks to extensive team travel, Jugnauth quickly bonded with his Winterhawks teammates. He found «best friends for life» and was immediately entrusted with 20 minutes of ice time per night and power play responsibilities. Over the remaining 41 games of the season, Jugnauth scored 41 points, fully embracing his offensive potential.
«When I went to Portland, it was nice to be wanted. They really wanted me to come and play my game,» he said. «I gained my confidence quickly.»
Jugnauth bet on himself, and it paid off. Seattle's development staff encouraged the Toronto native to make the best decision for his growth.
«They left it up to me. They were going to support me no matter what,» Jugnauth said.
«I give Juggy a ton of credit. To make that change mid-season was a difficult decision, but he's lived up to his billing as an offensive player,» director of player development Jeff Tambellini said. He noted Jugnauth's dynamism and fluidity on-ice throughout camp as substantial improvements in his game. «We've been very happy with his progression.»
This offseason, Jugnauth's focus remains on bulking up and building strength to improve his speed, a goal whether he was preparing for a season in Wisconsin or Portland.
The Kraken want Jugnauth to keep embracing his style and playing with newfound confidence.
Kraken Prospect Tyson Jugnauth Shines with Winterhawks

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