Seattle Kraken name Dave Hakstol head coach

The Seattle Kraken recently announced the hiring of Dave Hakstol as the first head coach in team history.

Joining the Kraken denotes Hakstol’s 26th consecutive season as a head or assistant coach, serving across the NHL, NCAA and USHL. He joins Seattle from the Toronto Maple Leafs where he was an assistant coach.

“I am incredibly proud to announce Dave Hakstol as the first head coach of the Seattle Kraken franchise,” Seattle Kraken GM Ron Francis said. “Dave possesses great experience, a strong work ethic, a solid technical understanding of the game, and the remarkable ability to communicate clearly and effectively. I look forward to working with Dave as we strive to build a team our fans will be proud of.”

 Hakstol said in a press release he was honored to be selected for the position.

“When I first saw the arena, I was blown away — it is such a unique venue,” he said in a press release. “I am looking forward to being a part of the group that builds a team that plays with pride, passion and selflessness for the city of Seattle.”

 Hakstol, 52, spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach with Toronto, primarily responsible for coaching the team’s defensemen. He recently served as the head coach of the Philadelphia Flyers, leading the team to the playoffs in two of his three full seasons, posting a record of 134-101-42 (.560 points percentage).

 “We are so proud of the momentum built for this franchise to launch,” Kraken CEO Tod Leiweke said.

 Prior to joining the Flyers, the longtime NCAA coach spent the previous 15 seasons coaching the University of North Dakota, spending 11 of those campaigns as the powerhouse program’s head coach.

From 2004-15, North Dakota reached the Frozen Four seven times, the most of any program during that span.

Overall, he compiled a 289-143-43 record (.654 winning percentage) in 475 games, captured three regular season conference titles, four Western Collegiate Hockey Association playoff championships, and was named conference coach of the year twice (2008-09 and 2014-15).

Under his watch, more than 30 UND players went on to play in the NHL. He was named a finalist for national coach of the year in eight of his 11 seasons. 

Before joining North Dakota, Hakstol served as the head coach and general manager of the Sioux City Musketeers of the United States Hockey League from 1996-2000, and was named USHL coach of the year following the 1997-98 season.

Internationally, Hakstol is a two-time silver medal winner with Team Canada at the World Championships (2019 and 2017).

 The Warburg, Alberta, native and his wife, Erinn, have two children, daughter Avery and son Brenden.

 The Seattle Kraken’s Expansion Draft is in 27 days on July 21, followed by the NHL Draft on July 23-24. The puck will drop for the team’s inaugural season at Climate Pledge Arena in the fall.