The Seattle Kraken have their Reid Duke. The newest NHL franchise signed the first player in franchise history, inking Luke Henman to a three-year, entry-level contract. Henman was originally drafted by the Carolina Hurricanes in 2018 but was never signed, making him an unrestricted free agent.
Kraken GM Ron Francis was actually already gone from the Hurricanes organization when it picked Henman, but he is obviously familiar with the player. He released a short statement on his first signing:
"Our scouts have been watching players all year. In this case, Mike Dawson has been a strong supporter for Luke. Robert Kron and Tony McDonald like him too.
"Luke has put up the numbers in the ’Q’ and he is team captain. He has solid character. We do think he needs to get stronger. We are excited to sign him as our first player."
The 21-year-old Henman scored 43 points in 32 games for the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada this season and is currently in a quarterfinal playoff series. He has registered six goals and eight points in seven postseason games so far, continuing his solid junior performance. Though slight, Henman has put up great numbers for the Armada throughout his QMJHL career and obviously caught the eye of the Kraken staff.
Of course, this doesn’t mean Henman is headed for the NHL. Just ask Duke, who has played entirely in the AHL so far in his professional career, suiting up solely for the Chicago Wolves and Henderson Silver Knights. In the coming months, the Kraken will add dozens and dozens of players to the organization, pushing Henman down the depth chart.