Massachusetts Native Matty Beniers Wins NHL Rookie Of The Year
The Calder Memorial Trophy may be coming to the South Shore. Massachusetts native Matty Beniers was named the NHL Rookie Of The Year earlier this week. Beniers, who is from Hingham, was picked second overall by the Seattle Kraken in the 2021 NHL draft.
NHL stars from around the league gathered at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville Monday evening for their season finale awards show. Given their location, the event became a fascinating collision of music and sports. Rapper-turned-country singer Jelly Roll presented Beniers with his Calder Cup trophy and stood next to him onstage while he delivered a heartfelt acceptance speech.
Beniers, who plays center for the Kraken, led all NHL rookies this year with 57 points. In his first complete season, Beniers scored 24 goals and had 33 assists. Furthermore, he helped lead the team to their first-ever appearance in the playoffs. The Kraken made quite a run. First, they knocked off the defending champion Colorado Avalanche. In the western conference semi-finals, the Kraken took the Dallas Stars to seven games before falling short by one goal.
Beniers was also named to the all-star team this past season. He was not able to play in the game, however, due to an injury.
From Hingham to Seattle
Prior to being drafted by the Kraken, Beniers skated his way across the country. His mother, Christine, was an actress on Broadway, and his father Bob is an engineer. They met at Cornell University and raised their family in Hingham. After a year at Milton Academy, he joined the USA Hockey National Team Development Program. He was then set to play for Harvard before COVID canceled the season and changed his plans.
Beniers then spent two seasons playing for the University of Michigan. He was the Big 10 scoring champion during his sophomore season. This led Beniers to enter the 2021 draft, where he would be the Seattle Kraken’s (expansion team) first-ever draft pick.
Now Beniers finds himself heading back to Massachusetts this off-season as the NHL Rookie of the Year. You can watch his full acceptance speech below.