Firkus makes a name for himself as a Kraken prospect
SEATTLE – Jagger Firkus is yet to play his first NHL game, but the 18-year-old Seattle Kraken forward already has a catchy nickname and has been compared to one of the league’s top scorers.
“He scores goals, and he scores goals in a lot of different ways,” Kraken general manager Ron Francis said after Seattle selected Firkus in the second round (35th overall) of the 2022 NHL Draft. “It has the fancy nickname with the ‘Firkus Circus.’ He finds a way to score goals and it’s hard to do. Hopefully he can score goals for the Seattle Kraken.”
Firkus (5-foot-10, 153 pounds) had 80 points (36 goals, 44 assists) in 66 games with Moose Jaw of the Western Hockey League last season. He finished the season ranked 12th among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting. That’s when some scouts compared him to the Toronto Maple Leafs forward Michael Marnerwho finished 10th in the NHL last season with 97 points (35 goals, 62 assists).
“It’s really cool to be compared to Mitch Marner,” Firkus said at Kraken’s dev camp last week. “It’s mind-blowing to me. I think it’s really cool if people say that. It’s a really big compliment to me, so I’m never going to deny it. I think his creativity is awesome.”
Firkus also had ties to his new team before Seattle picked him with one of its four second-round selections. He’s from Irma, Alberta, the same hometown as the Kraken defender Carson Soucya lifelong friend of Firkus’ older brother, Ambrose.
“We come from a town of 500 people and it’s a very small town,” Firkus said. “It’s pretty cool that I can come here. [Soucy has] Been my older brother’s best friend since I can remember. I remember playing mini sticks with him since I was 3 or 4 years old. So that’s pretty cool. It’s incredible.”
Firkus caused a stir with his performance in the CHL’s Top Prospects Game on March 23, when he scored a goal and an assist and was named player of the game.
“I’ve always been a very confident guy and always will be, but I think it was an eye opener for me,” Firkus said. “I know there are a lot of people watching this game. There’s a lot of media around this game so it was great to go there. I thought it was just another game for me. I didn’t think too much about it; it was just I go out there and play my game and I’m glad it opened a few eyes.”
Firkus will most likely return to Moose Jaw after training camp in Seattle this fall. Whether the Kraken have the next Marner on their hands remains to be seen; for now firkus is soaking up everything he can and trying to adjust to things like having fans in practice which was the case during development camp and something he never seen before.
“It’s a bit more pressure in this kind of training than in regular training,” he said. “But you just have to treat it like training and just go for it. You just try to get better and better. You can’t be afraid of making mistakes. That’s a great thing.
“If you make mistakes, it’s still a workout, and you can always go through another rep in about 10 minutes or whatever. Don’t worry. Go ahead and try to do your best.”