Seattle Kraken forward Matty Beniers has been crowned the Calder Memorial Trophy winner as the league’s top rookie. Beniers beat out Edmonton Oilers netminder Stuart Skinner and Buffalo Sabres defenseman Owen Power for the award.
Beniers was drafted by the Kraken second overall in 2021 and burst onto the scene this year, finishing the year tied for the rookie lead with 24 goals while he led all rookies with 57 points. The 20-year-old was asked to do a lot for the Kraken and was a big part of why the club reached the playoffs in just their second season of existence.
The native of Hingham, Massachusetts, played over 17 minutes a night in his rookie season and was a solid two-way contributor for the team. Despite being a rookie, Beniers rarely resorted to cheating, as he took just a single minor penalty this season and appeared extremely detail-oriented in the defensive zone.
Beniers continued his good showing in the playoffs helping Seattle knock off the defending Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche in the first round. He had three goals and four assists in 14 playoff games and was a big reason Seattle was able to push for their first series win.
The Calder Trophy puts a cap on what has been an incredible rookie season in what is sure to be a long and productive NHL career.