In a move that was not quite surprising but highly anticipated nonetheless, the Seattle Kraken announced that they signed their prized first-round draft pick from the 2021 NHL Entry Draft, Matthew Beniers, to a three-year entry-level deal this weekend.
Fans have been waiting for this moment since the team took Beniers second overall in the draft last summer. Shortly after he was selected, the now 19-year-old center decided to head back to the University of Michigan with several of his highly selected teammates to pursue the 2022 NCAA National Championship. After a 43-point (20 goals, 23 assists) season, his Michigan team lost in the Frozen Four to the Denver Pioneers.
Beniers is a smart, 6-foot-2, 175-pound two-way pivot that could be a top-line setup man for several years to come, which is something the Kraken have lacked all season. Combined with this year’s eventual lottery draft pick, the Kraken have the opportunity to draft another special player to join Beniers.
The entry-level contract is a typical three-year deal, but terms were not immediately disclosed. With only 10 games remaining in the season, Beniers is expected to make his NHL debut sometime this week.