Some Seattle Kraken fans weren't necessarily expecting the arrival of Shane Wright, but on the player side, no one is going to complain, especially Matty Beniers.
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The latter will be able to deploy all his talent alongside the fourth pick of the most recent amateur draft over the next few years if all goes as planned. Selected second overall in the 2021 auction, Beniers, 19, continued to amass points (20 goals and 23 assists, for 43 points in 37 games) with the University of Michigan during the 2021-2022 season, and the presence of another promising striker should help him flourish. Who knows, the two men may be in uniform in Seattle during the next campaign.
"We were lucky enough to get Shane and many other great hockey players," the American, who was able to chat with his future teammate during a Mariners game on Sunday, told NHL.com. We got to know each other a little more by talking about our cities of residence, the things we followed when we were children. It wasn't hockey stuff."
On the other hand, Beniers and Wright also have the opportunity to learn more about each other these days at the Kraken development camp. “Every time you're on the ice, you have an opportunity to improve. Of course, you show up to meet everyone and build this team chemistry, an organizational culture that we are trying to build.
“Everyone is training to be ready for the season. We are all excited, hoping for a better outcome than last year. This is the goal, and I believe that everyone is committed to achieving it, ”he also recalled.
So the Kraken will obviously want to do better than in 2021-22, when they finished 30th overall in the National League with 60 points. The good news is that Wright has the potential to add more punch to an offense that scored 216 goals last season. The 18-year-old had 94 points, including 32 goals in 63 outings, with the Kingston Frontenacs of the Ontario Junior League last regular season.
As for Beniers, he played his first 10 career games on the Bettman circuit late in the campaign and did well with three goals and six assists.