Wright Move or Wrong Move? Seattle Kraken Re-Assign Shane Wright to Kingston

The day after Team Canada captain Shane Wright won gold at the 2023 World Junior Championship, the Seattle Kraken announced they have sent their 2022 first-round pick to the OHL for the remainder of the season.

Seattle re-assigned Wright to the Kingston Frontenacs of the Ontario Hockey League, where he is expected to be traded almost immediately. With the OHL trade deadline at noon on January 10, 2023, and Kingston not being considered a favorite to win the league title, they could move Wright for a franchise-changing package of picks and players.

Wright, who helped lead Team Canada to the second straight gold medal at the World Junior Championship, played in all of Canada’s seven games, putting up seven points (4G, 3A). He will now get a chance to play meaningful minutes for the first time in what seems like a long time.

The fourth overall pick in the 2022 NHL Draft has played only 13 games between the Kraken and their AHL affiliate Coachella Valley Firebirds. In the 2021/22 season with Kingston, Wright put up 94 points (32G, 62A) in 63 games. The 2020/21 season was considered a lost season due to the COVID-19 pandemic because the OHL didn’t play any games, and 2019/20 being cut short for the same reason.

Wright, over four seasons in the OHL, AHL & NHL, has only played 134 games while adding 17 games played in three different tournaments for Team Canada. Being sent to the OHL can only take his game to the next level and become a steady contributor for Seattle sooner than later.

Wright was granted exceptional-player status for the 2019/20 season, and even though the season was abruptly cut short by Covid, he put up 66 points in 58 games, with the Frontenacs earning him the CHL Rookie of the Year award. Once considered the sure-fire top pick in the 2022 draft, he fell to Seattle with the fourth pick.

All things being considered being re-assigned to Kingston is Wright’s last chance to show his critics why he was considered a can’t miss prospect not too long ago. With Seattle in a playoff position without him contributing much to the team, it only makes sense to give Wright a chance to play consistently in meaningful games in the OHL.

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