The Seattle Kraken have made another move in the front office. Alexandra Mandrycky has been promoted to the role of Assistant General Manager, according to reports by Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times, and confirmed by the team later Wednesday morning. Mandrycky was previously the Director of Hockey Strategy and Research, a title she has had for three years — before general manager Ron Francis was hired.
Mandrycky spent four years as a data analyst with the Minnesota Wild before coming to Seattle. She earned that job after spending time building the hockey analytics blog WAR On Ice alongside Andrew C. Thomas (who would also go on to work in the Wild analytics department) and Sam Ventura (currently Vice President of Hockey Strategy with the Buffalo Sabres). Yeah, this blog sent people places.
Mandrycky has overseen one of the more robust (for hockey, anyway) analytics departments in the NHL during her time here. But perhaps more important than the actual analytical work she and the rest of her team are responsible for is the way she connects the analytics and scouting departments in a positive manner. Here’s what Ron Francis had to say on the subject, from Baker’s initial report on the hire:
“We ask the scouts to understand analytics. But we also need the R&D team to understand the scouts. So it’s going back and seeing games and watching the video and seeing that this is what we’re talking about. So certainly her willingness to do that has helped bridge that gap. So putting in that time and effort garners her respect. You don’t just come and ask for it. You have to earn it. And that’s what she’s done.”
From the team’s official press release announcing the hire later Wednesday morning, Mandrycky had this to say:
“I am extremely honored to step into this role with the Kraken,” said Mandrycky. “I’d like to thank my team, who have been an essential part of the day-to-day success of our department and organization. I appreciate the trust Ron and Tod Leiweke have shown in not only me, but our whole department, and I’m excited to continue to grow with this team.”