With the fourth overall pick of the 2022 NHL Entry Draft, the Seattle Kraken have selected Shane Wright from Kingston Frontenacs of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL)
About Shane Wright
Despite the talk surrounding his compete level and ability to lead this season, Shane Wright is a top-line centre in the making. After a stellar rookie season where he posted 66 points in 58 games, Wright — along with many other players from the OHL — missed out on the 2021-22 season. His play wasn’t affected at the 2021 World U18 Championship captaining Canada to a gold medal, finishing tied for second in overall points with 14.
Related: 2022 NHL Draft Live Tracker
Whatever was affecting Wright early on in the season, he managed to turn things around and finish the season top-10 in OHL scoring with 94 points. Wright already displays excellent vision, IQ and a great work ethic that makes a successful NHL player. While he can put up the points, his mature and steady two-way game is what makes him a truly special talent in this year’s draft. Centremen who already have those attributes down pat are hard to find.
THW Prospect Profile Excerpt
“Wright is a highly skilled and very responsible two-way center that possesses an offensive flare. The one thing that stands out immediately in his game is high level hockey IQ and decision making. He has a keen eye as he thinks and reads the game at a quick pace, being able to make snap decisions and catch his opponent off-guard, while rarely making a mistake in the process. Every decision he makes, it’s always the right one. He displays great confidence and poise with his movements, control and positioning when the puck is on his stick. He doesn’t rush anything and takes that extra second to re-evaluate his options, curling back and maintaining space for himself to get back into the attack.
“Wright can do it all offensively. He’s a very smooth skater and has great agility and foot speed. He’s quick in transition as he’s always able to gain entry into the offensive zone with ease, being able to weave his way through defenders and drive hard to the net for a scoring opportunity. He owns a very lethal shot and has a powerful, quick and accurate wrist shot. This alone makes him dangerous on the man advantage when he sets up on his strong side. He has great hands as he’s able to make moves in tight spaces, all while making his way to the high danger area on the ice.
“While the goal production is down this season, he’s making that up with his elite level passing and puck distribution skills. He has the ability to open the game up extremely well by drawing in opposing players, while his teammates are able to get open. He does a great job of putting the puck in the right spot for his team to capitalize on a grade A chance. He has great control of the puck and is able to make crisp and accurate tape-to-tape passes.
“When he doesn’t have the puck, Wright’s defensive game is just as effective when he’s away from the puck and within his own end. He displays a great understanding of where he needs to be positionally and is always engaged in pressuring the opposition to force a turnover. His speed allows him to come back quickly and help on the backcheck. He has an active stick being able to quickly lift the opponent’s stick and force turnovers by converging on the puck carrier.”
How This Affects the Kraken’s Plans
After possibly being the top prospect in the draft, Wright fell with Juraj Salfkovsky going to the Montreal Canadiens, Simon Nemec going to the New Jersey Devils and Logan Cooley going to the Arizona Coyotes. Despite falling, this goes well for the Kraken as they got another top centre for the future. While Wright may not have the ceiling of being a high-end elite level centre like Connor McDavid or Auston Matthews, he’s definitely going to be an extremely reliable two-way centre for years to come. With Matty Beniers already making a splash in the NHL, what better way than to build the prospect pool than with another steady two-way centre. The amount of talent, speed and the skill that they would possess in all situations, will make them extremely dangerous. Wright could use some extra time in the OHL, but he definitely has the potential to be a top line centre.
Peter is in his third year with The Hockey Writers, covering the Toronto Maple Leafs and heading the Draft and Prospects section. He has previously interned at The Hockey News and worked on Toronto Marlies broadcasts for Rogers TV. He currently is the co-host of the podcast Sticks in the 6ix and a frequent guest on Maple Leafs Lounge. Aside from hockey, he also enjoys drumming, animation and impressions/ voices.