Matty Beniers has officially signed his entry-level contract and is expected to make his Seattle Kraken debut in the near future. At just 19 years old, the second overall pick from the 2021 Entry Draft already has one of the most impressive resumes of a player who has yet to enter the NHL. Here are some of his achievements.
United States National Development Team
Before being drafted by the Kraken, Beniers was dominating for the United States National Development Team (USNTDP). He played for the U17, U18 and junior teams from 2018-20, where he registered 131 points in 155 games. During his time in the program, he captured a Bronze medal at the 2019 Under-18 World Championship.
Beiners split time in the 2018-19 season between the U17 and U18 teams. While he had success at the U17 level registering 23 points in 42 games, it was his time with the U18 team that caught people’s eye. In 20 games, he had 20 points which included eight goals. What was impressive about being called up to the U18 squad, however, was that it was a stacked team that included Jack Hughes, Cole Caufield, Trevor Zegras and Matthew Boldy. Despite all the star power, he was able to stand out, which helped the scouts identify him as a player to watch for the 2021 Entry Draft.
Related: Matthew Beniers – 2021 NHL Draft Prospect Profile
His most impressive season came in the 2019-20 season when he was named an assistant captain. In 44 games, he registered 41 points and led the team with 18 goals. His strong play led to recruitment by the University of Michigan, which is one of the top NCAA hockey universities in the United States.
University of Michigan
During his two years at the University of Michigan, Beniers was a force in the NCAA, pilling up 67 points in 61 games. In his first season with the Wolverines during the 2020-21 season, he finished with 24 points in 24 games and was tied for the team lead with 10 goals. He was later named to the NCAA Big Ten Division all-rookie team and was part of the honourable mention all-star team that season as well.
Beniers stepped up his game this past season as in 37 games, he doubled his goal total to 20 and raised his point total to 43. He led all University of Michigan players in points as well as all Big Ten Conference players. Overall, he finished 14th amongst all NCAA players in points. For his efforts, he was named to the Big Ten first all-star team and to the American Hockey Coaches Association West first all-star team. Lastly, he was a Hobey Baker finalist, which is given out to the best player in the NCAA every year. Despite a disappointing finish as the Wolverines were eliminated in overtime during the Frozen Four, his success in the NCAA will not soon be forgotten. It will hopefully transfer to his time with the Kraken.
Beniers’ International Career
Beniers has been a staple for Team USA since the 2018-19 season. Since then, he has represented his country at the U17, U18, World Juniors, IIHF World Hockey Championship and the Olympics. During that time, he has collected two Bronze medals and a Gold. In the 30 games he has played at these tournaments, he has 13 points, including seven goals.
The 2022 Olympics was arguably his most impressive tournament despite Team USA finishing fifth. He played over 18 minutes per game and finished with a goal and an assist in four games. During their loss to Slovakia in the quarterfinals, he was arguably their best player as he was tied for the lead with five shots on goal and played 19:57 of ice time. Of his almost 20 minutes that game, 3:11 occurred during overtime which showed how much confidence coach David Quinn had in the young center. Based on his track record and potential, Kraken fans should expect him to play in more tournaments for Team USA during his NHL career.
Time To Get Kraken
Kraken fans should be excited as Beniers has shown he can produce and be a dominant player regardless of what league he plays in. The focus will now shift to where he fits in their lineup, with his expected debut being either April 12 or April 13, 2022. It’s time for him to get Kraken, where he is projected to be a major part of this organization for many years to come.