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Kraken re-sign Ryan Donato to 1-year deal

A fan favorite returns to Seattle!

Los Angeles Kings v Seattle Kraken Photo by Christopher Mast/NHLI via Getty Images

The Seattle Kraken announced on Wednesday that they have re-signed forward Ryan Donato to a one-year, $1.2 million contract.

Donato finished 4th in goal scoring on the Kraken in 2021-22, setting a career-high with 16 tallies. Fans were rightfully surprised to see him not receive a qualifying offer earlier this month, rendering him an unrestricted free agent. General manager Ron Francis told reporters the reason for that was to avoid arbitration with Donato and maintained that he could still be back with the club this coming season.

“Ryan elevated his game last season and we’re happy to have him return to the Kraken,” said Francis. “He completed a career year and will hopefully eclipse that in 2022-23.”

The fan reaction at the time of what appeared to be the end of the Donato era in Seattle was quite passionate, with many fans wondering why a goal-scoring winger was leaving a team that desperately needs goal-scoring.

Donato will have to work even harder to earn his ice time this year, now that the Kraken have added wingers André Burakovksy and Oliver Bjorkstrand to go along with Jordan Eberle and Jaden Schwartz. Jared McCann will likely get more looks on the wing as well should both rookies Matty Beniers and Shane Wright stay at the center position along with Yanni Gourde. It’s suddenly a much tougher lineup to crack into, but Donato has the soft hands to make the cut.

Welcome back Donnie!