Seattle Kraken names Dave Hakstol as first head coach


The NHL’s 32nd franchise now has its first coach!

With the expansion draft less than a month away, the Seattle Kraken named Dave Hakstol the first coach in franchise history on Thursday.

Prior to joining the Kraken, Hakstol coached at University of North Dakota for 11 seasons. He became the first head coach to go directly from the NCAA to the NHL since 1982 when he became the Philadelphia Flyers’ head coach in 2015.

Tracking back to University of North Dakota days, Dave is a coach who cares about his players,” Kraken general manager Ron Francis said in a statement

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 on Dave Hakstol

The 52-year-old Canadian native spent the Philadelphia Flyers for three plus seasons from 2015-19 where he went 134-101-42 as head coach. Recently, he spent the past two years as an assistant for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The move to onboard Hakstol comes just two months after the Kraken named Luke Henman as the team’s first player when he inked a three-year entry level contract.


Next up for the Kraken’s first head coach, the expansion draft on July 21. Seattle will use the same rules as Vegas, who joined the NHL in 2017. Two days later on July 23, the Kraken will have the No. 2 selection in the NHL Draft.  

The Kraken are expected to begin training camp in September and take the ice at Climate Pledge Arena in mid-October for the first time.