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Back on the Clock: Free Agency

Yes, last week was busy with two drafts and a schedule announce but the Kraken hockey operations group is not slowing down. The NHL free agency signing period begins Wednesday at 9 a.m.

by Bob Condor / @ByBobCondor / nhl.com/kraken

The Kraken started NHL Free Agency early with the signings of the aforementioned unrestricted free agents Jamie Oleksiak, Adam Larsson and Chris Driedger as part of the Expansion Draft process.

But GM Ron Francis and his hockey operations staff are hard on the free agency case this week. At 9 am. Wednesday, teams can begin signing free agents, both unrestricted and those restricted free agents not receiving qualifying offers from their franchises.

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WaFd Bank Weekly Warmup: July 27

Following a week that featured two drafts and the release of the Kraken's inaugural season schedule, the work is not finished. NHL Free Agency starts Wednesday

by Bob Condor / @ByBobCondor / nhl.com/kraken

In this special and historic edition of WaFd Bank Weekly Warmup, let's look back at the boom-boom-boom events last week, Expansion Draft last Wednesday, schedule release Thursday and NHL Entry Draft Friday and Saturday. Then peek ahead to the beginning of NHL Free Agency at 9 a.m. Wednesday.

Let's drop the milestones puck:

 

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Kraken Trade MacDermid to Colorado

Seattle receives 2023 fourth-round draft choice in exchange for veteran defenseman, the second trade of an expansion pick

by Bob Condor / @ByBobCondor / nhl.com/kraken

Kraken general manager Ron Francis made his second trade of an expansion pick Tuesday, moving defenseman Kurtis MacDermid to the Colorado Avalanche, receiving a 2023 fourth-round draft pick in return.

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Silvertip Star Showing

Defenseman Olen Zellweger, picked 34th overall in the 2021 NHL Draft, is a fan favorite in Everett. You can add Kraken division rival Anaheim to the admirers list.

by Andy Eide / @AndyEide / nhl.com/kraken

The Puget Sound hockey community made a splash early into Saturday's second round of the NHL Draft when Everett Silvertips defenseman Olen Zellweger was selected by the Anaheim Ducks with the 34th pick overall.

Like many draft hopefuls, Zellweger was gathered around the television to watch. He saw name come up quickly -- he was the second pick on the second day of the 2021 draft.

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Perspective on Prospects

Kraken GM Ron Francis and Director of Amateur Scouting Robert Kron say the franchise's first-ever NHL Draft went their way, yielding the picks they wanted

by Bob Condor / @ByBobCondor / nhl.com/kraken

This might be the Kraken hockey operations group's first-ever NHL Entry Draft, but make no mistake. The team is experienced and not reluctant to voice their opinions.

In fact, Kraken GM Ron Francis said his scouts were practically pounding the table before 8:30 a.m. Saturday in support of drafting Western Hockey League defenseman Ryker Evans, who went undrafted in 2020 but doubled his points-per-game total this season playing for the Regina Pats.

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Second-Round the Motion

Silvertips defenseman Olen Zellweger picked 34th overall in 2021 Draft, going to Anaheim with the second pick of Round 2

by Andy Eide / @AndyEide / nhl.com/kraken

The Puget Sound hockey community made a splash early into Saturday's second round of the NHL Draft as Everett Silvertips defenseman Olen Zellweger was selected by the Anaheim Ducks.

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Is There an NHL Draft in Here?

Yes! We will keep fans up to date with the Kraken's picks, which starts with WHL defenseman Ryker Evans going 35th overall to Seattle. All the info on the Kraken's picks

by Bob Condor & Andy Eide / @ByBobCondor @Andy Eide / nhl.com/kraken

That's wrap for our running story coverage. Check back shortly for NHL Draft wrap story featuring perspectives from Ron Francis, Kraken GM, and Robert Kron, director of amateur scouting.  

 

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Go Blue, Go Fast in First Round

Michigan has been competing in collegiate hockey since 1922, winning nine titles and going to 25 Frozen Four tournaments. But Friday, three Wolverines set a record hard to top

by Andy Eide / @AndyEide / nhl.com/kraken

When Seattle general manager Ron Francis called Matty Beniers' name during Friday's first round of the NHL Draft, the Michigan center not only made Kraken history, but he was part of NHL history.

Beniers was one of three Michigan players who were drafted in the first round, the first time in NHL draft history three teammates were first-round picks in the same draft. He joined Owen Power, who was selected by the Buffalo Sabres with the first pick overall, and Kent Johnson, drafted by the Columbus Blue Jackets with the fifth overall selection.

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Beniers 'Perfect Fit'

Seattle general manager Ron Francis sees role model for Kraken player development system in Michigan center and No. 2 overall pick in Friday's first round of the NHL Draft

by Bob Condor / @ByBobCondor / nhl.com/kraken

Since his first official interview as Kraken general manager, Ron Francis has preached three distinct qualities he looks for when evaluating players, whether pros or prospects: Speed on skates, acute hockey IQ and a high level of character.

No. 2 overall pick Matty Beniers checks all of the boxes.

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Center of Attention

The Kraken's historic first-ever NHL Draft choice, Matty Beniers, is ideal selection for the hockey operations plan to build strong up the middle

by Bob Condor / @ByBobCondor / nhl.com/kraken

When the new Kraken player, center Matty Beniers, joined the University of Michigan NCAA Division I hockey team last fall, he was officially the youngest player on the squad. He didn't play like it.

Beniers, the No. 2 pick in Friday's NHL Draft, impressed coaches and teammates with his all-out, all-the-time play on both ends of the ice.

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