Beniers joins Kraken; Michigan’s latest star to jump into the NHL

The Seattle Kraken signed with top prospect Matty Beniers on Sunday, making him the latest University of Michigan player to jump straight to the NHL.

Beniers posted an illustration of himself standing on a frozen Elliott Bay gazing at the Seattle skyline with the message “See you soon” after finalizing his entry-level three-year contract. He should join the team right away.

“We are thrilled to welcome Matty to our organization,” said General Manager Ron Francis. “He capped off a productive Michigan career with a trip to the Frozen Four and impressed our staff over the past two years with his leadership and strong two-way play. We look forward to working with him as he takes the next step in his development.

The 19-year-old playing center had 43 points in 37 games for the Wolverines, who reached the semi-finals before dropping two wins short of a national title. Beniers had one goal and one assist and was one of America’s top performers at the Beijing Olympics.

Beniers was the second pick in the 2021 draft and the first in expansion franchise history. He should also be Kraken’s first choice to play for them.

“I can’t wait to get started,” Beniers said. “Although we didn’t reach our goal, I loved my time at Michigan and I’m looking forward to the next step in my journey. Being drafted last summer was surreal, and I’m thrilled to arrive in Seattle.

Beniers joins Michigan teammates Owen Power, Kent Johnson and Nick Blankenburg in the NHL after all signing contracts since the overtime loss to Denver on Thursday night. Vegas prospect Brendan Brisson could be next.

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