After the Seattle Kraken assigned 2022 fourth-overall pick Shane Wright back to the OHL this morning, it quickly became apparent that he would not remain a member of his current team, the Kingston Frontenacs. They are fifth in the Eastern Conference, but at just two games over .500, OHL championship and Memorial Cup aspirations aren’t in their future this season.
Obviously, both for Wright personally and his development, it makes sense for him to be in a more competitive situation as he finishes out his junior career. The Athletic’s Scott Wheeler today named the Ottawa 67’s, Barrie Colts, Peterborough Petes, and London Knights as “expected players” in a Wright trade, which would need to occur within the next four days. The OHL’s trade deadline is on Tuesday, January 10.
Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek added on, saying he didn’t think a Wright trade was necessarily imminent but that Kingston general manager Kory Cooper would meet with Wright, his family, his agent, and Kraken representatives to discuss trade options. Wright has a no-trade clause in his agreement with Kingston.
Ottawa may make the most sense for Wright, given their situation. The 67’s are first in the OHL, maintaining a spectacular 26-6-1-1 record through 34 games. Their strong suit is defense, surrendering only a league-best 87 goals. Scoring is a needed area of improvement, though. The 2023 draft-eligible Luca Pinelli is tied with the overage Cameron Tolnai for the team lead in scoring, although they both have just 39 points in 34 games. They’re solid totals but not staggering for the junior level.
Wright, who scored four goals in five games with the AHL’s Coachella Valley Firebirds and had seven points in seven games at the World Juniors, should clear the point-per-game mark by a mile. He still managed 94 points in 63 games with Kingston in 2021-22 despite not playing at all the season prior.
He also fits into Ottawa’s game plan as a defensively responsible center and could take some of the load from players like Pinelli to open up their offensive games.