Jon Morosi’s picks for 1st Seattle Kraken draft pick, head coach hire

Jun 13, 2021, 9:58 AM
Seattle Kraken Matthew Beniers...
Matthew Beniers (10) is a top draft prospect and could be the Seattle Kraken's pick at No. 2. (Getty)

The next month or so figures to be an exciting time for fans of the NHL’s newest team, the Seattle Kraken, as they will be quite busy with a number of key moves.

Expansion Seattle Kraken get No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 NHL Draft

The Seattle Kraken will have their expansion draft on July 21, and then just a few days later they will take part in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft, where they will have the No. 2 overall pick. We learned that is where Seattle would be picking last week during the NHL Draft lottery.

In addition to the Kraken adding players not only to the main NHL roster but also their farm system, Seattle should be hiring the first head coach in franchise history very soon.

As we get ready for NHL hockey in Seattle, someone who has some thoughts on what the Seattle Kraken should do in the coming weeks is Jon Morosi. Yes, you probably know Morosi from MLB Network and as a guest on 710 ESPN Seattle to regularly discuss the Mariners, but Morosi also covers the NHL for NHL Network.

After talking to 710 ESPN Seattle’s Wyman and Bob about the Mariners on Friday, Morosi was asked about the Seattle Kraken and who they should pick with the No. 2 overall pick in next month’s NHL Entry Draft.

“I’m going to go right now with Matty Beniers,” he said.

“Matty” Beniers is better known as Matthew Beniers, an 18-year-old a forward at the University of Michigan who is also a member of Team USA.

In 24 games for the Wolverines in 2020-21, Beniers scored 24 points to earn an a All-Big Ten honorable mention selection and a spot on the Big Ten’s all-freshman team. He ranked third in the conference in freshman scoring and was fourth in the NCAA in freshman scoring.

“He’s been projected by a lot of different scouting services (who) have him No. 2,” Morosi said. “Of course, I’ve watched him play a lot this year for Team USA this year at the World Juniors, the World Championships.”

As someone who’s seen Beniers up close recently, Morosi had quite a lot to say about the young draft prospect.

“Tremendous motor. He brings a lot of energy and enthusiasm,” he said. ” … Tremendous competitiveness, great integrity, great motor. (He has) a great shot and I think eventually he’s going to be a goal scorer in this league.”

So if Beniers is Morosi’s pick for who the Kraken take in the NHL Entry Draft, who is his pick to be the franchise’s first head coach?

“I think for Kraken fans out there, be paying very close attention,” he said. “Rod Brind’Amour, of course a longtime teammate of (Kraken general manager) Ron Francis in Carolina.”

Brind’Amour, 50, was a center who played for the Hurricanes alongside Francis for four seasons. Brind’Amour was the head coach of the Hurricanes for the last three seasons, Carolina made the playoffs in each of those three seasons. He has a 120-66-20 record as an NHL head coach.

“He has not signed an extension to coach the Hurricanes and he is what I would describe as a game-changing coach in the NHL,” Morosi said. “If the Kraken hire Brind’Amour, oh my goodness, that would be a home run hire. So stay tuned there. Brind’Amour is still a possibility for the Kraken.”

Listen to Morosi on Friday’s edition of Wyman and Bob at this link or in the player below.

Follow Brandon Gustafson on Twitter.

Salk: What kind of player should be Kraken’s first NHL Draft pick?

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