Former Mudbugs goalie Castor signs PTO with Kraken
The NHL’s Seattle Kraken have signed former NAHL and Shreveport Mudbugs netminder Jaxon Castor to a professional tryout, as their training camp roster (announced yesterday) confirmed he’ll be at the Kraken’s main camp starting next week.
Castor is beginning his pro career a tad late at age 26 but does so after a spectacular final collegiate season with St. Cloud State in 2022-23. It was quite a rise for Castor, who spent five seasons at the university – the first of which was spent playing club-level hockey in the ACHA II division. He would serve as the main team’s backup for three more years before finally getting a shot as a starter.
He took advantage of the opportunity, capturing an NCHC tournament championship with the Huskies and earning an All-Tournament Team nod. Castor played in 23 games for St. Cloud last season, posting a 2.02 goals-against average, .924 save percentage, four shutouts, and a 14-8-1 record. At the end of the season, he made his pro debut, appearing in two games for the ECHL’s Florida Everblades and recording a .912 save percentage.
During the 2017-18 season, Castor appeared in 18 games with the Shreveport Mudbugs during the regular season and posted a 10-5-1 record with a 1.50 goals against average and a .931 save percentage. During the Robertson Cup Playoffs he appeared in 12 games and posted a 1.66 goals against average and a .929 save percentage, helping Shreveport win Robertson Cup Championship and was also named playoff MVP.
No matter the outcome of his camp, Castor will be suiting up in the Kraken organization next season. He’s already signed an ECHL contract for 2023-24 with the Kansas City Mavericks, Seattle’s second-tier minor-league affiliate behind the AHL’s Coachella Valley Firebirds. He could go so far as to earn a two-way AHL contract from Coachella Valley if he impresses in Kraken training camp, though, which would improve his odds of a recall to the reigning AHL Western Conference champions.
Castor will supplement Joey Daccord, Chris Driedger and Philipp Grubauer as the fourth goalie listed on Seattle’s main camp roster. Currently, he sits sixth on the Kraken organizational goalie depth chart behind the three aforementioned netminders, European free agent signing Aleš Stezka, and former University of Minnesota starter Jack LaFontaine, who is under AHL contract with Coachella Valley.