In this edition of Kraken Weekly, these are highlights from this week in the Seattle Kraken hockey community.
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First-Ever Kraken Captain Giordano Traded After 55 Games
On Sunday, the Kraken traded its first captain in franchise history, defenseman Mark Giordano, to his hometown Toronto Maple Leafs along with forward Colin Blackwell in exchange for a 2022 second-round pick, 2023 second-round pick, and 2024 third-round pick at the NHL Entry Draft. Giordano became the first-ever Kraken captain on Oct. 11, 2021, after the team completed its training camp ahead of its inaugural season. He was selected from the Calgary Flames at the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft on July 21, 2021, and had served as the Flames’ captain since 2013. His short tenure with the Kraken comes to an end after posting 23 points (six goals, 17 assists) in 55 games.
“I’m honored obviously to be given responsibility to be captain of this group of guys and a new organization, a new team,” Giordano said after he was named the first captain in Kraken history. “It means a lot to myself. I told them yesterday I’ll try to do everything I can to lead the group the best way I can. It means a lot to me to be given this responsibility, for sure.”
“We want to thank Mark for his time with the Kraken,” general manager Ron Francis said after Giordano’s trade to Toronto on Monday. “As the organization’s first captain, he made an immediate and lasting impact both on and off the ice.”
Sprong Scores Goal in Kraken Debut After Acquisition from Capitals
On Monday, the Kraken acquired forward Daniel Sprong along with a 2022 fourth-round pick and 2023 sixth-round pick from the Washington Capitals in exchange for forward Marcus Johansson. In Sprong’s first game wearing a Kraken uniform, he scored a goal and led all Seattle forwards with five shots in Tuesday’s 4-2 win at the Arizona Coyotes. He joined the Kraken after posting 14 points (eight goals, six assists) in 47 games with the Capitals this season. Through 187 career NHL games with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Anaheim Ducks, Capitals and Kraken, he has 65 points (41 goals, 24 assists). The 25-year-old is looking to establish himself as an NHL regular and is off to a great start at proving himself in Seattle.
“I’m an offensive player,” Sprong said after being acquired by the Kraken on Monday. “I think I got a pretty good shot and I think I can be a threat offensively. The puck really hasn’t been going my way this year, but there’s been a lot of chances and good opportunities. I know I can score and produce in this league.”
“I was a little snakebit in Washington, but I can shoot the puck,” Sprong said after his Kraken debut on Tuesday. “I got an opportunity and I made the most of it.”
Beniers Continues to Celebrate Big 10 Championship Win
Kraken forward prospect Matty Beniers continues to celebrate after leading the Michigan Wolverines to a Big 10 Championship victory, 4-3 at the Minnesota Golden Gophers last Sunday. After scoring a goal and an assist in a 2-1 semifinal win at the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, he tallied an assist to tie the championship game 1-1 at 18:43 of the first period. In 34 games with the Wolverines this season, he has 41 points (19 goals, 22 assists). He and the Wolverines now advance to the NCAA men’s ice hockey championship in hopes of becoming national champions. Beniers is putting together a fantastic season in his sophomore year and is likely to make his NHL debut with the Kraken by the end of the season.
“We’re very excited about Matty’s season,” Kraken assistant general manager Jason Botterill said prior to the championship game. “He’s worked extremely hard on and off the ice to help Michigan get to the Big 10 championship game.”
“It’s great he is helping out a talented team. He is a clutch performer in big games.”
Tom Pepper is a columnist at The Hockey Writers since June 2020. He is a diehard fan of the St. Louis Blues.