Let’s Get Kraken’

Students react to the new hockey team in town


Photo: Jonathan Karas

Foward Joonas Donskoi (#72) winds up to take a shot on goal versus the Chicago Blackhawks on Jaunary 17th, 2022.

Jan. 17, 2022. Tie game. Kraken vs. Blackhawks. It’s down to a shootout. Joonas Donskoi glides right, cuts back left, fires to the top right corner of the goal…and that familiar roar of a sell-out Seattle crowd shakes the building, as the Kraken have won their first shootout in team history.

University Prep students have had five months to get to know the new hockey team in town, the Seattle Kraken, and so far it has been all about the live sports experience.

“I loved the experience and energy of the game,” Sophomore Reagen DeLora said about her time at Climate Pledge Arena. “My favorite part was the spectacular new arena. The crowd was electric!”

She’s not alone. The live Kraken experience is popular among UPrep students. 50% of 16 randomly surveyed Upper School students indicated that they had attended a Kraken game. Furthermore, according to ESPN’s NHL attendance report, the Kraken have the third highest percentage of seats filled per game. Only Las Vegas and D.C., two of the strongest teams in the league, have better attendance.

However, students’ excitement for live games has not yet translated into engagement outside of the arena. Only 33% of the same surveyed students have actually sat down and watched a Kraken game on TV.

Junior Trevor Zell is an avid Seattle sports fan, and even he is still getting used to having an

NHL team.

“I don’t care enough about the team yet to spend time watching them on TV like I would for maybe the Hawks or the Mariners,” Zell said.

The established Seattle sports teams still reign supreme in the hearts and minds of UPrep students. Per the same survey, the Kraken still trail behind the Seahawks (most popular), Sounders and Mariners as students’ favorite Seattle sports teams.

The Kraken brand, along with star players, appear to be gaining traction, according to Senior Vice President of Kraken Marketing Katie Townsend.

“Our jersey sales have broken records and we’re thrilled with how the city has embraced the merchandise and the brand,” Townsend said. “Fans tell us that they love the arena, they’re pleased with the progression of game presentation and [Left-Wing] Brandon Tanev is definitely a fan favorite!”

As the Kraken’s inaugural season winds down, Townsend offered some hope for the future.

“We know we haven’t won as many games as we’d like to,” Townsend said, “but the team is playing competitive hockey and moving in the right direction.”

Graphic: Jonathan Karas

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