With his conditioning stint over, Shane Wright is back in the NHL – for now. The young forward scored four goals in five games during his time with the Coachella Valley Firebirds, a move that was only allowed after he faced five consecutive healthy scratches in the NHL. He has now been recalled just in time for a game against the Montreal Canadiens, if the team decides to put him in the lineup.
(UPDATE: Head coach Dave Hakstol has confirmed to reporters including Kate Shefte of the Seattle Times that Wright will play against the Canadiens.)
Wright, 18, can play in two more NHL contests without burning the first year of his entry-level contract, and you can be sure he wants one of them to come against Montreal. After long being expected to go first overall in the 2022 draft, Wright was passed over by the Canadiens in favor of Juraj Slafkovsky, before seeing his name drop two more spots to finally come off the board fourth to Seattle.
Later today, Hockey Canada will be announcing their group for the upcoming World Junior Championship, which could be another option for the young forward. Playing at the tournament could keep him fresh without forcing the Kraken to send him back to the OHL. Once they do that, there is no recalling him, and there has been some debate over whether the team wants him to play for Kingston (the team that holds his rights) at all. In January, trade restrictions lift in the OHL, meaning Wright could be dealt to a different organization, one that the Kraken are comfortable sending him back to.
For now, though, he’s back in the big leagues and earning the NHL portion of his two-way contract.