Kraken News & Rumors: Eberle, Beniers & Driedger

In this edition of Seattle Kraken News & Rumors, Jordan Eberle is named as the Kraken’s first-ever All-Star selection, Matty Beniers heads to the 2022 Olympics to represent Team USA, and Chris Driedger puts together a strong performance in his eighth start of the season.

Eberle Will Rep the Kraken at the 2022 NHL All-Star Game

Eberle became Thursday’s first Kraken player. Selected for an All-Star match. He will represent Seattle at this year’s event in Las Vegas, being held from Feb. 4-5. With 24 points, the 31-year old leads the Kraken with 12 goals and 12 assists in 34 games. This will be his second All-Star appearance. He was previously a participant in the 2012 Ottawa event.

Jordan Eberle, Seattle Kraken (Amy Irvin/ The Hockey Writers

“It’s a huge honor being selected as the Kraken’s first-ever All-Star,” said Eberle. “Our fans have been so amazing this season. Climate Pledge Arena was one of the most loud buildings in the league. It is a great honor to have their support. I’m excited to represent them in Vegas.”

Eberle will suit up alongside some incredible Pacific Division talent this year, including Edmonton Oilers superstars Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, Golden Knights’ captain Mark Stone and 2019 Stanley Cup champion Alex Pietrangelo, among other impressive names.

Beniers to Beijing to Rep Team USA at the 2022 Olympics

The Kraken’s second-overall pick from the 2021 NHL Entry Draft will represent his country at this year’s Winter Olympics. Beniers was just 19 years of age. Named to Team USAThursday. He is currently enjoying a fantastic NCAA season with Michigan Wolverines with 26 points (12 goals), 14 assists in 22 games.

Matthew Beniers, Michigan Wolverines
Matthew Beniers Michigan Wolverines Photo Credit Michigan Photography

“I was at a loss for words when I found out about getting invited,” said Beniers. “I thought, ‘Wow, that’s the Olympics. Holy cow!’ I was shocked and grateful at the same time.”

Kraken general manager Ron Francis even game some high praise for Seattle’s top prospect.

“This is a great opportunity for Matty and it is well deserved,” said Francis. “He’s had a tremendous season at Michigan and we’re looking forward to seeing him on the game’s biggest international stage. We hope Kraken fans enjoy watching him compete in the Olympics and we wish him well.”

Beniers and Team USA lose the puck in preliminary round action against China, February 10. The team will compete in Group A which includes Canada, Germany, and China.

Driedger puts together a strong performance, despite a 2-1 loss to the Blues

Jan. 13 saw the Kraken lose 2-1 on the road to the St. Louis Blues. Driedger performed well in his eighth start of this season, despite the loss. Driedger, 27, had his second best game of the season. He stopped 25 of 27 shots to earn a.926 save rate (SV%). He gave the Kraken a great chance at winning the game, but Seattle’s offense couldn’t find the back of St. Louis’ net more than once.

Chris Driedger, Seattle Kraken
Chris Driedger, Seattle Kraken (Amy Irvin/ The Hockey Writers

Kraken goaltending has struggled this season, but Driedger’s solid performance on Thursday sparks some hope for Seattle. Philipp Grubauer, his partner, has played 27 games while Driedger has only played in ten games. Driedger had a.927SV% in 23 starts last season with the Florida Panthers and is now looking forward to relearning his game with Kraken.

Related: Kraken News & Rumors: McCann, Geekie & Grubauer

It will be interesting to observe if Dave Hakstol, the head coach, gives Driedger more starts. He has relied heavily on Grubauer this season. Driedger currently holds the record for the best save percentage with.896 percent and Grubauer has an 880 SV%. Both goaltenders still need to improve their skills and find consistency. Driedger showed his potential on Thursday and will be looking to continue that feat when he gets another chance.

The Kraken are back home to face the Los Angeles Kings Saturday, 7 p.m. PST. Seattle has lost its eight previous games and is still searching for its first win in 2022.

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