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Shane Wright Proving His Worth With the Kraken

In his first four games back with the Kraken, Shane Wright has been on fire; lighting the lamp in nearly every game.

A player some considered a draft bust Shane Wright is now looking like an absolute steal for the Seattle Kraken. The move to add Wright into the starting lineup as the season winds down has shown that patience pays off. The former 2022 fourth-overall pick isn’t the same player who dropped in the Draft rankings and fell into the Kraken’s lap. It’s taken some time, but Wright is starting to look the part of a high-end pick.

In his last four games, Wright has tallied five points, consisting of four goals and a lone assist. This is three more points than his eight-game stretch with the Kraken last season, one in which he put up only two points. This recent sample size demonstrates a positive trend and when looking at the bigger picture, Wright has been proving his critics wrong with every shift he takes. This poses the main question, what sparked such a huge breakout?

Wright Was Given a Chance to Develop

When looking at the first-overall pick of Wright’s draft year, Juraj Slafkovsky, he was instantly put into the Canadiens’ jersey and thrown on the ice with league veterans. While Slafkovsky may have had a decent rookie year, it was nothing to be excited about for a number-one pick, only tallying ten points in his first 39 games. It took Slafkovsky time to find his stride, which he appears to have done this season.

With Wright on the other hand, he saw some ice time in the pros but was ultimately sent back down to the CHL for improvement. A trade sent him to the Windsor Spitfires by his former club, the Kingston Frontenacs. In his time with the Spitfires, Wright managed to rack up 37 points in 20 games, consisting of 15 goals and 22 assists. Wright also managed to contend in the World Juniors Championship where he won gold alongside future first-overall pick Connor Bedard.

He put up a point-per-game performance with seven points in seven games. With his CHL season over, Wright was sent to the Kraken’s AHL farm team, the Coachella Valley Firebirds. He managed to score six points in his first eight games with the team.

Shane Wright Seattle Kraken

Given time to develop, Wright has become one of the most resilient players at his level.

Seattle Has a History of Developing Good Prospects

While only being in the league for three years, the Kraken have been able to manage their small prospect pool quite well. An example would be Matty Beniers who eventually won the Calder Trophy a season after he was drafted.

The Kraken did not instantly start Beniers until the 2021-22 season was nearly over. Spending the majority of the season in the NCAA with the University of Michigan, Beniers developed as a strong two-way forward. When he joined the Kraken after his NCAA stint, he made an instant impact, scoring nine points in his first ten games. If we look at Beniers now, he has become one of the league’s most dominant U-22 forwards. 

Going the slow route with Wright seemed to have turned out just fine. The organization maintained a patient approach (like they did with Beniers) and developed Wright into something productive.

What’s the Future Looking Like for Wright?

Even though Wright’s stats may be considered lucky by some, Elite Prospects says otherwise, calling him “the best runaway manufacturer” that they have seen at someone his age. Known to have a very accurate shot and impressive playmaking abilities, the Kraken could have the biggest steal of the draft if Wright continues to play at this level.

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