January 13, 2023 – Story and photos by Joshua Ross
One year ago Hingham’s Matty Beniers was finishing up World Juniors Hockey Championship and getting ready to represent the USA in the Winter Olympics, all while playing for the University of Michigan. Today, he’s the leading candidate for the NHL’s Calder Trophy, which is given to the best rookie in the league.
As the Seattle Kraken’s first pick in team history (second overall) in the 2021 draft, he officially signed with the team last April and played 10 games with the team before the season ended. He scored a point in each of his first 5 games of his career, placing him 36th all-time. He started this season where he left off and has 34 points (16 G, 18 A), which leads all rookies by 8 points. He is also only one of two rookies currently named to the 2023 All-Star Game, which is taking place on February 4th in Sunrise, Fl.
While he has played on the TD Garden ice many times before, last night was the first time as an NHL player. Even though we don’t have an officially tally, it did seem to appear half of Hingham was at the game, including a Hingham Youth Hockey squirt team who played a game on the ice before the Bruins game, and the entire Hingham High School boys hockey team. There were many, many teal and white Beniers jerseys around the Garden.
Beniers and the Kraken did something that hasn’t been done all season, beat the Bruins in regulation at home. He just turned 20 in November and is one of the youngest players in the league. But he is fitting in and adjusting nicely to his new home away from home in Seattle and the pace and rigors of a full NHL season. If both teams continue with the trajectory they are currently on, it’s not out of the question we might see him again in June.