The Seattle Kraken and General Manager Ron Francis went to work last week as the team got the okay from the NHL to start signing players. On May 12th, 2021, Francis signed Nova Scotia native and Captain of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) Blainville-Boisbriand Armada, Luke Henman.
Henman is the first player to sign with the Kraken, who officially became the 32nd franchise of the NHL; they are the second team in four years to be added to the league. Henman is a 6’0″, 170 lb. left-handed shooting center who was originally selected by the Carolina Hurricanes in the 4th round (96th overall) in the 2018 NHL Draft. So far throughout his young career, he has proved himself to be a force to reckon with, especially in the QMJHL, as he is the Captain and points leader of his current team.
GM Ron Francis and his colleagues, including scouts Mike Dawson and Robert Kron, show interest in Henman and have high hopes for their first player, as well as the rest of the guys yet to join the squad.
“Luke is a smart, skilled player with strong leadership qualities. He brings solid character, which this organization values, and we look forward to working with him as he continues his development.”GM Ron Francis said in a statement
The expansion draft will take place July 21st in which Francis and other Kraken officials can expect to stack up their roster of up to 30 players, 20 of which must be under contract. They will be selecting guys from other teams that haven’t been put players on a protected list, which keeps a player on their respective team. The Kraken will be made up of available players selected from each team on top of free agent signings similar to Luke Henman.
What To Expect
Rookie camp begins later this year and Henman, along with the rest of the future members of the newest NHL team that will be added through free agency and the expansion draft. They will train at the Kraken Training Center and get the privilege of playing in brand-new, state-of-the-art facilities, including their home stadium, Climate Pledge Arena, which will be the first carbon-neutral arena in the world, located at Seattle Center. This process is a very exciting move and an incredible milestone for the franchise on their way to puck drop in October.
Despite the smaller figure that Luke Henman encompasses, he is a skilled player that was an All-Star playing for Dartmouth in the NSMMHL during the 2016-2017 season, following a season that ended in a League Championship series win. Since joining the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada of the QMJHL, Henman has made a name for himself putting up exceptional numbers.
He led his team in total points last season with 43 and finished second in goals overall with 16. Although this was a shortened season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Henman was on pace to beat all of his previous season high’s, including goals, assists, and total points. His team made the playoffs and he scored 12 total points including 9 assists and 3 goals. In his last full season (2019-2020), Henman collected 25 assists and 49 goals (74 total points) thus earning the Captain honors.
“To be the first player to sign with the Kraken, I’m very excited…I cant wait to get to work.”Luke Henman, Seattle Kraken
Now, Luke Henman will join the Seattle Kraken organization as the first player of the franchise, which will be ready for puck drop this October, 2021. We will have to wait patiently until July 21st to get the band together, but Kraken fans can expect their long-awaited inaugural season to begin in 5 short months, competing in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference of the NHL.
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