Matty Beniers, widely considered the odds-on favorite to win the Calder Trophy and selected for next week’s NHL All-Star Game, will miss at least the next two games for the Seattle Kraken after taking a hit away from the puck by Vancouver Canucks defenseman Tyler Myers.
Beniers, who will also miss Friday’s game against Calgary and Saturday’s game against Columbus, did not play in the third period on Wednesday and was not seen on the bench after he sustained the hit by Myers nearly six minutes into the second period.
While Beniers was in position for a deflection on a Jamie Oleksiak point shot, Myers charged at Beniers, cross-checked him in the face, and launched the rookie forward to the ice. Beniers’ head made visible contact with the playing surface.
“I thought the hit on Matty was garbage,” head coach Dave Hakstol told 93.3 KJR FM by phone on Thursday afternoon. “I didn’t like it at all.”
Myers was assessed a two-minute penalty for interference. The Kraken swiftly scored on the power play, on a Jared McCann snipe from the left circle for a 3-0 lead, and then dealt with more Canucks vitriol when Jamie Oleksiak fought Luke Schenn on the ensuing face-off.
The Kraken beat Vancouver, 6-1 and are tied for first place in the Pacific Division.
Beniers had previously never missed a game this season, leading all NHL rookies with 17 goals and 36 points in 47 games. He was selected to skate for the Pacific Division squad in the NHL All-Star game, in Florida next Friday and Saturday, Feb. 3-4 at FLA Live Arena.
Hakstol declined to comment if Beniers would be available to play in the game, eight days away.
Beniers is the youngest player selected to play in the NHL All-Star Game since Canucks defenseman Quinn Hughes, who made the 2020 squad at age 20.
The Kraken also called up forward Max McCormick from the American Hockey League affiliate Coachella Valley Firebirds on Friday during morning skate.
McCormick, 30, is tied for the Firebirds lead with 42 points in 38 games and has appeared in 93 NHL games with 13 points spread across the Kraken, Carolina Hurricanes and Ottawa Senators.
The Firebirds captain comes off AHL Player of the Week honors, bagging ten points over the last five games along with a hat trick last Saturday in an overtime win against the Ontario Reign.