Matty Beniers impresses as Seattle completes Year of the Rookie

Seattle is the first metro area to have an NFL, MLB, and NHL rookie make their respective all-star teams.

SEATTLE — What began with Julio ends with the story, solidifying the past year in the sport of Seattle as the year of the rookie.

The summer saw the All-Star selection for Mariners outfielder Julio Rodriguez.

“[I showed]a little bit of my style and who I am,” Rodriguez said after a stunning home run derby performance. “I think they know a little bit now.”

Seahawks cornerback Tariq Woolen followed that fall with a stellar season that few saw coming.

“Nobody thought (I was going to make it to the) Pro Bowl,” Woolen said. “Nobody thought (I would) lead the league in interceptions. Nobody thought (I would) be a starter.”

Kraken forward Matty Beniers completed the trifecta with his selection for the NHL All-Star Game a few weeks ago.

“No expectations for the season and this was definitely not one of them,” said Beniers.

That attitude from Beniers paid off as he goes on the All-Star break, leading all rookies in goals and points.

He’s become the face of a franchise that’s starting to take flight.

“You see so many people wearing octopus shirts and jerseys all over town,” Beniers said.

Beniers will miss the chance to take the Kraken brand onto the national stage after being the target of a blind hit a couple of nights ago.

But just by being picked, he lived up to the standard set by the other two rookies on the street.

“I just wanted to show people that a guy like me can come from UTSA, can come from any school, you just have to get a chance,” Woolen said.

“It’s pretty surreal when you think about a kid from Noma de Cabrera,” Rodriguez said at All-Star Weekend in July. “Just being here, I’m definitely grateful and blessed for the opportunity.”

While it wasn’t about defying the odds individually for Beniers, he has led a team that certainly has. The Kraken has improved from worst to first in the Pacific Division.

“Internally, I think we knew, ‘hey, we’re pretty good,'” said Beniers. “And then it was just a way of showing everyone else. I think in the last few weeks we’ve really started to gain respect in the league and from other teams.” Matty Beniers impresses as Seattle completes Year of the Rookie

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