Seattle Kraken re-sign Ryan Donato as big offseason continues

Jul 27, 2022, 1:15 PM | Updated: 4:10 pm
Seattle Kraken Ryan Donato...
Ryan Donato of the Seattle Kraken skates against the Anaheim Ducks. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The offseason for the Seattle Kraken took another positive turn Wednesday with the return of a key figure from their inaugural season.

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Center Ryan Donato re-signed with the Kraken out of free agency on a one-year contract worth $1.2 million. The 26-year-old Boston native comes back to the team after scoring 31 points on 16 goals and 15 assists over 74 games in 2021-22, all marks that were career-highs for the five-year NHL veteran.

Donato also holds a pretty important distinction in the team’s history, having scored the franchise’s first goal.

“Ryan elevated his game last season and we’re happy to have him return to the Kraken,” Kraken general manager Ron Francis said in a press release. “He completed a career year and will hopefully eclipse that in 2022-23.”

The 2014 second-round NHL Draft pick by the Boston Bruins will have significantly more help around him next season.

The Kraken added first-round pick Shane Wright, who many though would be the No. 1 overall selection, in the draft earlier this month, giving them two talented young centers along with 2021 first-round pick Matty Beniers. Seattle also signed left wing Andre Burakovsky away from the Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche early in free agency, then made a splashy trade last week with Columbus for right wing Oliver Bjorkstrand.

The Kraken will also benefit from the returns of left wing Brandon Tanev and center Jaden Schwartz from season-ending injuries.

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