Sports: Former NHL veteran Jeff Tambellini named Seattle Kraken's Director of Player Development

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The Seattle Kraken announced Tuesday evening that they have hired former NHL veteran Jeff Tambellini to be their Director of Player Development. With the expansion of their young prospect pool as a new franchise, the organization made the decision to bring on Tambellini in order to facilitate player growth and development and to “optimize” their resources. The team has also hired Matt Larke as a Skills Development Consultant and added that former Seattle goaltending coach Andrew Allen will remain with the team as a scout evaluating goalies.

Seattle Kraken's sweater © Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports Seattle Kraken's sweater

The newest member of Seattle’s front office had this to say on his hiring:

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“It’s a big, big step going from junior hockey to college hockey into the American [Hockey] League and then to the National Hockey League. It’s my job along with our whole staff to help these players navigate that transition, make them better players. To make them stronger off the ice, set up their training schedules and teach the details of what goes into being a pro.”

Tambellini has plenty of experience in his own right that should help him to help Seattle’s young players. The 38-year-old went to the University of Michigan and was a first-round pick of the Los Angeles Kings in 2004. He played parts of six NHL seasons, totaling 63 points in 242 games, playing a majority of those with the New York Islanders. Tambellini’s last NHL action came as a member of the Vancouver Canucks in 2010-11, where he appeared in four games in that year’s Stanley Cup Finals. Following his retirement from playing in 2017, Tambellini spent a season as an assistant coach at Michigan before becoming General Manager and Head Coach of the BCHL’s Trail Smoke Eaters for the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons.

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As for Larke, who will support Tambellini in his new role, he said the opportunity to work for an NHL franchise is “a dream come true.” Larke previously worked in a similar role for Team USA’s National Team Development Program. Allen also expressed excitement for his new role, one he had had prior to the team’s expansion draft last July.

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