Seattle Kraken officially become NHL’s 32nd team

Screenshot: Seattle Kraken

SEATTLE, Wash. — The Seattle Kraken are officially the National Hockey League’s 32nd team.

The announcement was made Friday after the ownership group made the final payment of their over-$650 million expansion fee.

“On behalf of the Board of Governors, I am delighted to officially welcome the Seattle Kraken to the NHL as our 32nd member club,” Commissioner Gary Bettman said on Friday. “Congratulations to David Bonderman, the Bonderman family, their partners, the entire Seattle Kraken organization, the city of Seattle and Kraken fans as the club continues on its exciting journey towards puck drop in October.”

Seattle was granted the expansion franchise in December 2018.

With Friday’s announcement, Seattle now has the freedom to sign and trade players ahead of the draft in July.

General manager Ron Francis has been able to talk to colleagues around the league, and he and his staff have been scouting and planning for the expansion draft July 21.

“Today is another momentous day on the journey to puck drop,” Bonderman said. “We have an incredible few months ahead of us.”

This team is the first expansion team in the NHL since the Vegas Golden Knights were named in 2017.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.