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BookTok Has The NHL In A Chokehold & I Love It

TikTok has become a staple in the lives of Gen Zers, from influencing beauty routines and home recipes to lifestyle aesthetics and health trends. Celebrities, authors, and athletes have hopped on the bandwagon, but I never expected sports teams to join in, let alone entire sports franchises. During the playoffs, the Seattle Kraken changed their TikTok bio to “mostly booktok” (though they sadly later changed it again), and at that point, I knew there was no going back. NHL teams like the Kraken and the Chicago Blackhawks are now taking full advantage of their rise to social media fame.

With the historical rise of the Kraken during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the world-renowned, second-year franchise became a viral sensation as BookTok fans started to see their favorite fictional hockey characters come to life through not only their social content but also their roster. 

Recently, Seattle Kraken’s mascot, Buoy, got caught falling for the fictional character Nate Hawkins as he walked into Game 3 of Round 2 of the NHL Playoffs holding Hannah Grace’s hockey romance novel, Icebreaker. This wasn’t the first time the Kraken and their players showed up for the book fanatics, though. Back in 2022, one of the team’s Centers, Yani Gourde, showed up to a game with Colleen Hoover’s award-winning novel It Ends With Us. This is where the social team deemed Gourde an “avid member of the #SeaKraken book club.” 


@buoy caught falling for nate hawkins 🫶 #BookTok #SeattleKraken #StanleyCup (🎥: @Seattle Kraken)

♬ original sound – A taste of Mamacita

Fast-forward to the present day, and BookTok fanatics have started to take to the comment section of the Squids’ account saying, “BookTok welcomes you” and “My favorite part of 2023 is NHL BookTok.” Soon, the social team seemed to start playing right into their hands, giving the fans exactly what they were looking for.

The Chicago Blackhawks soon followed suit with their TikToks casting players as characters in Elle Kennedy’s Off Campus series, and I hope it doesn’t stop there.

The NHL is even making BookTokers’ dreams come true. The unofficial BookTok ambassador, Kierra Lewis, was flown out by the Seattle Kraken to Game 4 of Round 2 against the Dallas Stars. Not only was she flown first-class to Seattle and treated to some of the best seats in the arena, but they also made sure to give credit to BookTok and the role she plays in the community with a custom Seattle Kraken “BookTok” jersey.

To say the least, I’m living vicariously through her.

Although the Kraken were knocked out of the Playoffs, I expect their social team to keep their rightful place on BookTok. The Squids and the NHL may not understand how they got on BookTok, but they’re fully onboard and I’m not complaining. 

Sarah Wingo is a national writer at Her Campus where she writes for the culture vertical covering entertainment topics such as tv, movie, and book coverage, celebrity and author interviews, and Gen-Z-related breaking news and trends. Beyond Her Campus, Sarah has worked for publications such as Not Wasting My Twenties, Morning Brew, The GIST, and Bookstr where she had the chance to oversee editorial strategies, manage a team of contributing writers, editors, and interns, and handle major entertainment and culture interviews and articles including celebrity and author interviews and television, movie, and book coverage. In her free time, Sarah enjoys reading young adult romance and thriller novels, listening to her favorite podcasts, taking yoga, pilates, or cycling classes, and binge-watching the newest movies, series, and documentaries on just about every streaming platform.