Vankleek Hill native Andrew Allen has been named as the Goaltending Coach for the National Hockey League’s latest expansion team, the Seattle Kraken.
Allen, who graduated from Vankleek Hill Collegiate Institute (VCI) in 1995, has been working for the past two years in a scouting role with the Kraken, helping them with their selections in the recent NHL expansion draft and regular NHL draft. He was featured in an article on NHL.com on August 10, shortly after the Kraken announced his appointment as Goaltending Coach.
Speaking with The Review from the airport on Monday, August 23, as he waited to board a plane to Seattle from his home in Niagara Falls, Allen said he is excited to begin his new position with the Kraken.
“I’m heading out to start meetings with the coaches this week and basically get us going,” said Allen, who previously worked for four seasons as the Goaltending Coach of the Buffalo Sabres. “I’m excited to be back coaching at the NHL level in Seattle with a new franchise and all of the excitement that surrounds it.”
“It’s the chance of a lifetime for me, so I am really excited.”
Allen said he has developed a close relationship with the Kraken’s executive and coaching staff over the past two years.
“They’ve been first-class all the way through, and now with the chance to get back on the coaching side – I just couldn’t pass it up.”
Having helped the Kraken with their goaltending selections in both drafts, Allen is very familiar with the team’s current goalies; Philipp Grubauer, Chris Driedger and Joey Daccord. The Kraken also added Antoine Bibeau this week to fill out their NHL roster.
“The Kraken is an unbelievable organization to work for,” Allen said of his employers. “The entire staff has been so impressive – it’s just a quality, quality organization.”
Allen says he will be looking for temporary accommodation in Seattle for the upcoming season, while his family will remain in Niagara Falls. He hopes to move his family to Seattle over the summer of 2022.
Andrew Allen played his Junior career with the Hawkesbury Hawks before accepting a full athletic scholarship to the University of Vermont. Upon graduation he signed with the NHL’s Florida Panthers, dressing for two games in 2002. Most of his professional hockey career was spent playing in the American Hockey League (AHL) and East Coast Hockey League (ECHL), where he won the Kelly Cup with the Trenton Titans as the team’s tarting goaltender.
The Kraken are the third NHL team in Allen’s professional coaching career. Prior to his work as the Goaltending Coach for the Buffalo Sabres from 2015-19, Allen was the Developmental Goaltending Coach for the Chicago Blackhawks.