The Kraken’s first-ever draft pick is arriving in Seattle. The team has announced that 2021 second-overall pick Matty Beniers has signed a three-year entry-level contract to join the Kraken. Beniers is expected to join practice with the team Monday and travel with the squad on their road trip to Calgary and Winnipeg. Kraken GM Ron Francis made the following statement on Beniers’ signing:
We’re excited to officially welcome Matty to our organization. He capped off a productive career at Michigan with a trip to the Frozen Four and has impressed our staff over the past couple of years with his leadership and strong two-way game. We’re looking forward to working with him as he takes the next step in his development.
With this signing of his professional contract, Beniers, 19, ends his college career at the University of Michigan. Beniers played two seasons with the team, starring as an offensive dynamo, two-way stalwart, and heart-and-soul leader. Beniers finishes his Michigan career having scored 67 points in 61 games. The Hingham, Massachusetts native is a coach’s favorite and has impressed with his all-around game and work ethic at every level he’s played at.
In addition to his success at Michigan, Beniers also caught the eye of selectors for the United States’ Beijing 2022 Olympic squad. Beniers played in four games at the Olympics and recorded two points. Beniers is a natural center and could become the first true star player in Kraken history if he lives up to the lofty expectations set by his number-two overall draft slot. He may take some time to adjust to the rigors of the NHL, but given the state of the Kraken and their lackluster forward corps, Beniers has a strong opportunity to quickly become an impact NHL player as well as a fan favorite.