On December 4th 2018, the National Hockey League officially approved a proposal for a new franchise in
Seattle, Washington. Discussions about what the team would be named soon followed, and by July 2020
it was revealed that this new NHL team would be called the Seattle Kraken. The Kraken will be the 32nd
NHL franchise and are set to begin playing in the 2021-2022 season at Climate Pledge Arena. The team
will be part of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference.
The expansion draft for the Kraken to select their team is scheduled for July 21 st 2021. Although the
majority of the team has yet to be chosen, on May 12 th 2021 Seattle officially signed their first player,
Luke Henman. Henman has been playing in the QMJHL (Quebec Major Junior Hockey League) for the
Blainville-Boisbriand Armada since 2016 and was drafted by the Carolina Hurricanes in 2018 but did not
sign with them. He is currently the only player on the Kraken roster and has signed a three-year, entry-
level contract with the team.
Along with the signing of Henman, the Seattle Kraken also hired their first general manager, Ron Francis.
Francis is an ex-NHL player, having played for the Hartford Whalers (which became the Carolina
Hurricanes in 1997), the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Carolina Hurricanes, and the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Francis also served as GM of the Carolina Hurricanes after his retirement from playing. In addition, onJune 24 th 2021, the Kraken announced that their first head coach would be Dave Hakstol, former head coach of the Philadelphia Flyers and former assistant head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The expansion draft coming up in just over two weeks is sure to be an exciting event, with many fans
making predictions about which players they think Seattle will select and who will be protected by the
existing teams. Check back in with Unbenched soon for a mock draft and more coverage as the Seattle
Kraken build their team.