The Seattle Kraken have signed the former University of Michigan forward Matthew Beniers to a three-year entry-level contract.
#BeniersWatch is officially over 🙌
— Seattle Kraken (@SeattleKraken) April 10, 2022
Matthew Beniers Signed To Entry-Level Contract
The Seattle Kraken selected Beniers with the second overall pick in the 2021 NHL Draft. He was their first-ever draft pick. Several other Michigan Wolverines also went high in that draft. Defencemen Owen Power and Luke Hughes went first and fourth overall, respectively, and centre Kent Johnson was fifth.
In two seasons with Michigan, Beniers recorded 30 goals and 37 assists for a total of 67 points through 61 games. The Wolverines made the semifinals of the Frozen Four before falling to Denver, the eventual tournament champion. Beniers also played in the 2022 Winter Olympics and won the gold medal in the 2021 World Junior Championships for the United States.
What This Means for the Future
The inaugural season of the Seattle Kraken did not go as planned. They have been sitting at the bottom of the Pacific Division for quite a while. The Kraken struggled with a lack of elite players – their approach in their expansion draft left many puzzled. However, in signing Beniers, Seattle has acquired a prospect with the potential to be a cornerstone of their forward group in the future.
With many of Beniers’ Michigan teammates signing with their respective teams as well, it wouldn’t be surprising to see several Wolverines getting a chance at some action before the season’s end. Especially since Seattle’s season is a lost cause at this point, they will likely opt to let Beniers show them what he can do at the NHL level. In the unlikely event that he doesn’t get called up for the last few games of 2021-22, he should at the very least be an important part of the lineup in the 2022-23 season.
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