SEATTLE– Shane Wright said the Seattle Kraken were the team he had hoped would draft him all along.
After Day 2 of the Kraken development camp Tuesday, Wright recalled a January conversation he had with forward prospect Brennan Othmann, who was selected by the New York Rangers with the No. 16 pick at the 2021 NHL Draft. They are close friends, and Wright told Othmann, while not knowing what the order of selection would be, he was hoping that Seattle would be the team to select him in the 2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft.
“It was the overall fit and what the organization is building to,” Wright said. “They are a new team, so they don’t have as many prospects in the system as some other teams do. I feel it’ll just give me a lot more opportunities stepping in to make a difference right away. The potential ability to be part of a situation and be a building block and a huge piece in their team and the organization for the future was something that really excited me. Now that it finally worked out this way, I couldn’t be happier.”
Wright was projected to be the No. 1 pick at the 2022 draft but was passed over by the Montreal Canadiens, New Jersey Devils and Arizona Coyotes, which left him available for the Kraken at No. 4.
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Despite dropping three slots, Wright said he is pleased with how it worked out.
“I’m over the moon, I’m so happy to be here,” Wright said. “So happy to be in Seattle and to be a Kraken. I love the city so far, love everything about it. The support online, as well from all the fans in Seattle and all around North America, has been unreal.”
On the ice, the main attraction at the Kraken’s first development camp has been Wright and Matty Benierswho was selected with the No. 2 pick in 2021. The centers project to make up the core of their forward group for years to come.
“I think anytime you can brush arms with that guy and his talent you want to talk to or learn from him,” Wright said. “He’s such a talented player and is going to be a high-end player in the NHL for the foreseeable future. Love just talking to him and competing with him as well. It’s always something I love doing.”
Wright has been in Seattle for a few days. He’s seen a little of the city and attended a Seattle Mariners baseball game before development camp began. After the draft, he said he heard from many of the Kraken players, welcoming him to the team.
Wright will be back in September for full training camp, and the expectation is that he’ll be able to make the roster and play in the NHL right away. Seattle begins its regular season Oct. 12 at the Anaheim Ducks, but Wright is not taking anything for granted.
“That’s every guy’s mindset coming into camp,” he said. “Once it comes to training camp, it’s your mindset, your job to earn the spot on the team, so that’s going to be my mindset coming into training camp and throughout the offseason.”