Kraken promote Alexandra Mandrycky to assistant GM role

Alexandra Mandrycky, hired in 2018 by the Kraken as their first onboarded member in the hockey operations department. Photo: Seattle Kraken

Alexandra Mandrycky said by lunchtime, her phone already needed a charge.

News travels fast.

The Seattle Kraken have promoted Mandrycky to the position of assistant general manager, a move announced by the team on Wednesday morning that elevates her role and the impact of analytics across the board. 

“Her knowledge and effort are assets that will continue to serve her well in this role.” said Kraken general manager Ron Francis in a team statement.

As her duties continue to make an impact on the optimization of the Kraken lineup and depth chart, she has played a significant role in data distribution to the access of the team's staff in coaching, scouting, strength and conditioning, and the operations of the new AHL affiliate, the Coachella Valley Firebirds.

“(Alexandra) and her staff have done a great job on the research and development side," Francis later told 93.3 KJR-FM.

"She's worked closely with Ricky (Olczyk), Jason (Botterill) and I on multiple things, whether it's the pro stuff or trades, or the amateur draft. I don't take this lightly, this is a position she's earned, and we're really excited to move her into that role."

Since her hire four years ago, the Kraken have expanded their staff in research and development to a five-member department, led by Mandrycky whose staff includes Namita Nandakumar, Eric Mathiasen, Dani Chu, and Connor Francis.

"I certainly would not be in this situation if not for them," Mandrycky told 93.3 KJR-FM.

"If we're talking bout players or the amateur draft, it's not me talking to Ron. It's Namita on the draft floor sitting next to me at the head of the table. It's Dani in pro scout meetings. It's Eric interfacing with the scouts, using our technology platforms. We wouldn't be where we are, without them."

Hockey can be a chaotic game, Mandrycky told the Kraken Audio Network late last season, and the purpose of deeper numbers helps optimize the lineup. 

“What the numbers are trying to figure out, is who’s driving play, who’s helping the team, how can we maximize our team’s value when they’re on the ice?” said Mandrycky in April. 

That data is routinely blended with the scouting fabric of the game, intrinsic for generations. 

MORE: Alexandra Mandrycky on "Overtime"

“You talk about something expected goals as an output metric for evaluating team success, player success – but it’s also five skaters on the ice – when that expected goal is happening. How do we divide up the credit?”

Reporting to Francis, she joins fellow assistant general managers Ricky Olczyk and Jason Botterill who bear matching titles, but each serve in unique capacities. Olczyk primarily handles salary cap management and the National Hockey League’s collective bargaining agreement, while Botterill was hired 20 months ago with a touch on scouting and among his immediate duties for the impending months, the league’s expansion draft. 

Mandrycky, not just the first female to hold an assistant general manager position with the team but the first person ever onboarded in their hockey operations department, played a key role on a hiring committee for her eventual boss, Francis. She will continue to lead the analytics voice at the table blended with numerical data and scouting intel, after the Kraken enjoyed a busy and productive summer. 

Francis spoke highly of the departments working together.

"Having both departments willing to sit in the room and have those discussions and talk about what they're looking for, what makes sense and doesn't make sense, that ultimately helps us tweak the models and make us better," said Francis.

That process included drafting phenom Shane Wright and potential impact forwards in prospects Jagger Firkus and David Goyette, while using available cap space to land free agent winger Andre Burakovsky and trade for Oliver Bjorkstrand. 

"I think I've always taken the perspective of being geared to help," said Mandrycky. "That looks different compared to when I came into the game, sort of the goals on how to impact an organization compared to now. I just look at the end of the day, we're looking make a good decision and inform the decision making process."

Formerly a part of the Minnesota Wild front office for four seasons before heading to Seattle, and a growing star in the NHL circle as a part of The Athletic’s “Hockey’s 40 under 40” list, she is now the sixth active female to hold an executive title as assistant general manager in the league. 

"She's intelligent, so she gets it," said Francis. "She's extremely hard working, so I think when you look at leaders, you want people who are rolling up the sleeves and digging in. And she certainly does that."

Those other five include Hayley Wickenheiser in Toronto, Cammi Granato (who left the Kraken for the Canucks) and Émilie Castonguay in Vancouver, Meghan Hunter in Chicago, and Kate Madigan in New Jersey.  

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