Former North Dakota coach Hakstol tabbed first bench boss for NHL expansion club Seattle Kraken, who begin play in 2021-22

Dave Hakstol led North Dakota from behind the bench from 2004 to 2015 (photo: UND Athletics).

Former North Dakota coach and alumni Dave Hakstol was announced Thursday as the Seattle Kraken’s first head coach.

The Kraken start play in the NHL with the upcoming 2021-22 season.

Hakstol previously led UND to seven NCAA Frozen Four appearances in 11 seasons.

Hakstol, appointed head coach at UND on July 9, 2004 after four seasons as an assistant coach to Dean Blais, amassed a 289-143-43 (.654) overall record in his 11 seasons behind the bench of his alma mater and leaves as the second-winningest coach in program history.

UND won three regular-season conference titles under Hakstol, capturing the MacNaughton Cup as WCHA champion in 2008-09 and 2010-11 and the Penrose Cup as NCHC champion in 2014-15. He also led UND to four Broadmoor Trophies as WCHA playoff champion in 2005-06, 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12. Hakstol was named NCHC Herb Brooks Coach of the Year in 2014-15 and WCHA Coach of the Year in 2008-09 and was an eight-time finalist for the Spencer Penrose Award as national coach of the year.

Prior to being named head coach at UND, Hakstol spent four seasons on Blais’ staff from 2000-01 through 2003-04. He was hired as an assistant coach on July 1, 2000, and was elevated to associate head coach in December of that same year.

Hakstol played at UND for three seasons from 1989-90 through 1991-92 and served as team captain in each of his last two seasons. He played in 107 games and registered 10 goals and 36 assists for 46 points. He went on to play professionally for five years with the IHL’s Minnesota Moose (1994-96) and Indianapolis Ice (1992-94).

Following his playing career, Hakstol served as head coach and general manager of the USHL’s Sioux City Musketeers for four seasons from 1996-97 through 1999-2000. He was named USHL Coach of the Year in 1997-98.

Hired in 2015 by Philadelphia Flyers, Hakstol was third-ever NCAA college coach to move straight to NHL heading coaching job, first since 1982. He led the Flyers to the playoffs in his first season (after Philadelphia missed the postseason the year before), and qualified for playoffs two of his three full seasons, finishing with a 134-101-42 record.

As assistant coach with Toronto (2019-21), Hakstol was largely responsible for team defense. During the 2020-21 regular season, Toronto was fifth-best in NHL for preventing shots against per 60 minutes of full-strength five-on-five play.