The Seattle Kraken landed the steal of the 2022 NHL draft, selecting center Shane Wright with the fourth overall pick on Thursday at Bell Centre.
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The <a href="https://twitter.com/SeattleKraken?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@SeattleKraken</a> have selected Shane Wright with the fourth overall pick at the 2022 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NHLDraft?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NHLDraft</a>! 🦑 <a href="https://t.co/Z56KHJulOt">pic.twitter.com/Z56KHJulOt</a>
This is a significant get for the Kraken as Wright was widely believed to be the best player available in this year's draft class following a standout career with the Ontario Hockey League's Kingston Frontenacs.
Wright has spent the last three years of his career with the Frontenacs, though he didn't play the 2020-21 season because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and was allowed to enter the OHL one year early when he was just 15 years old.
Wright was named the team's captain for the 2021-22 season and, after getting out to a slow start, proved why he's the best player in this year's NHL draft class with a strong second half.
The 18-year-old finished the year with 32 goals and 62 assists for 94 points in 63 regular-season games and added three goals and 11 assists in 11 playoff games. The Frontenacs were eliminated from the OHL playoffs with a semifinals loss to the North Bay Battalion.
Despite not playing for the Frontenacs during the 2020-21 campaign, Wright represented Team Canada at the Under-18 World Championships, helping lead the Canadians to a gold medal. He dominated the tournament, tallying nine goals and five assists in five games.
Wright also represented Team Canada at the World Junior Tournament, appearing in two games, tallying one assist, before it was rescheduled to August because of a COVID-19 outbreak.
The 6'1", 187-pound center has improved his skating over the last year and can really do it all offensively. He is a pure goal scorer but also has the ability to be a playmaker with great puck possession skills, high IQ and elite vision.
In addition, Wright can play solid defensively with good positioning and pressure on the back check. He has most often been compared to Patrice Bergeron, and if he can play anything like the Boston Bruins center, the Habs will certainly been in good hands for many years to come.
Wright should enter Seattle's lineup immediately. The team struggled to a 27-49-6 record during the 2021-22 season, one of the worst finishes in the league, and could use a player of his caliber to provide a boost.