Shane Wright has had a frustrating run at the NHL this season, having played half of the season and scratched for the other. When Wright is in the lineup, he is playing less than 10 minutes each night.
The Kraken organization is hindering their top draft selection from this year’s draft. Despite significantly limiting his playing time, the Kraken have stated that they are committed to keeping him in the NHL for the whole season, leaving many fans confused.
Why even keep him up if you’re not going to play him? It seems that the best solution would be to send him back to juniors or the AHL for him to properly develop rather than have him collect dust in the press box and warm benches on the rare occasion he actually cracks the lineup.
Last season with the Kingston Frontenacs of the OHL, Shane Wright scored 94 points in 63 games and was projected to go first overall in the 2022 draft before sliding to 4th. Considering Wright did not play in 2020-21 due to the COVID-impacted season, it would be best to get Wright as much ice time as possible, even if that means sending him back to Kingston.
It is not a problem to send Wright down. Matty Beniers, who was drafted 2nd overall the year prior to Wright, benefited with a year in college, leading the scoresheet at the University of Michigan with 43 points. Beniers is now nearly a point-per-game player this season and a favorite for the Calder Memorial Trophy. The goal is clearly to develop Wright and Beniers to be the top two centers for the Kraken for years to come.
Wright needs time to develop in juniors, as it is visually apparent that he is not ready for the NHL at the moment. If the Kraken don’t give him this time, they might waste what could be one of their best players for the future.