The Kraken’s first ever selection in the NHL Entry Draft appears to be poised to sign his first contract with the team on Sunday, acording to…well,. according to the man himself.
After being selected 2nd overall in the 2021 draft, center Matty Beniers returned for one more season at the University of Michigan, along with three other top-5 picks from that same draft. Michigan came up short in the Frozen Four on Thursday, losing in overtime to Denver. With their NCAA seasons over, Beniers joins teammates Owen Power (1st overall) and Kent Johnson (5th overall) in signing his first NHL contract. The team soon confirmed that Beniers has indeed sign an entry-level contract to play in Seattle for the final weeks of the season.
Beniers scored a career-high 20 goals and 23 assists in 37 games with Michigan this season. He was one of 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Award, given to the best men’s hockey player in the NCAA every year. Beniers also played for Team USA at the 2022 Olympic Games, where he notched a goal and an assist in four games played.
The Kraken had themselves a fire sale at the trade deadline, leaving plenty of room in the forward group for Beniers. While his offense took an impressive jump this season, it’s still his 200-foot game that gets talked about most among NHL analysts. Beniers is an extremely strong defensive forward, which should blend well with Dave Hakstol’s style.
While there’s no word yet on when he’ll make his Kraken debut, he could be available as soon as this coming week in Calgary and/or Winnipeg. The first time we’ll see him at Climate Pledge Arena, in all likelihood, will be Saturday April 16th when the Kraken host the New Jersey Devils.