Dave Hakstol makes franchise history, named Kraken head coach on June 24, 2021. Joins NHL's 32nd team after deep search by GM Ron Francis, who sought leader with NHL head coach experience, plus emphatically checks boxes for leadership, character and player development: "Dave is confident, strong on technical aspects of playing three-zone game."
Returning to NCAA hockey program for which he played four seasons and captained two, transformed U of North Dakota into Division I powerhouse. Made Frozen Four in first year, qualified for 11 straight NCAA tournaments and seven Frozen Fours overall.
Hired in 2015 by Philadelphia Flyers, Hakstol was third-ever NCAA college coach to move straight to NHL heading coaching job, first since 1982. Led Flyers to playoffs in first season (after PHI missed postseason year before), qualified for two of his three full seasons.
As assistant coach with Toronto (2019-2021), Hakstol was largely responsible for team defense. For 2020-21 regular season Toronto was fifth-best in NHL for preventing shots against per 60 minutes of full-strength five-on-five play.
» Record as Flyers head coach (2015-2018) was 134-101-42 over 3+ seasons
» Coached mix of future NHLers/college-only players with varying skill levels
» More than 30 UND players coached by Hakstol advanced to play nearly 8,500 games
» Pronounced "Hack-stall," known for consistent, clear messaging & philosophy
» Expects to win. Will have opportunity to build out his own coaching staff
"Tracking back to University of North Dakota days, Dave is a coach who cares about his players. At times, a coach's messages can get diluted. Players want to understand what the coach wants them to do. Dave communicates clearly and concisely. Players like that."
--- Ron Francis, General Manager, Seattle Kraken
"We are so proud of the momentum built for this franchise to launch. From an incredible fan base came a brilliant arena, a world class training center and agreement by a Hall-of-Famer to become our GM. And today is another major step forward. On behalf of David Bonderman and our entire ownership group we welcome Dave Hakstol to Seattle and to the Seattle Kraken."
--- Tod Leiweke, CEO, Seattle Kraken