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Shane Wright recalled to Seattle, expected to play Tuesday night

The ice-time tracker is so back

Carolina Hurricanes v Seattle Kraken Photo by Christopher Mast/NHLI via Getty Images

Shane Wright returned to Seattle in time for practice on Monday afternoon after a 5-game conditioning stint with the Coachella Valley Firebirds, the Kraken’s AHL affiliate. The early results for Wright in his rookie NHL season weren’t as grand as some might’ve expected from the fourth overall pick. He garnered only one assist in seven games and was a healthy scratch more often than not.

However, it’s important to note that the Kraken were 10-5-3 at the time of Wright’s demotion, and have only appeared stronger since then. They currently have a firm hold on second place in the Pacific Division and are within arm’s reach of the Vegas Golden Knights for the division lead. There was no reason to force Shane Wright into a top-six role early in his career considering the success of the club without him. General manager Ron Francis, along with head coach Dave Hakstol, decided the best course of action would be to send him down to Coachella Valley in order to get some regular ice time without disrupting the vibes of a very strong bottom-six forward group in Seattle. And in Coachella Valley, Wright thrived.

Top-10 skaters on the Coachella Valley Firebirds through December 4th. Shane Wright tops the list in goals per game

Wright leads all Firebirds in goals per game, notching four in his short stint with the team. Despite not tallying a single assist, Wright still sits in the top-5 in points per game on the team. And that doesn’t include the shootout goal he scored in his final outing.

Wright practiced fully with the Kraken on Monday and is expected to suit up for Tuesday night’s game against Montreal, per head coach Dave Hakstol. He’ll likely center the fourth line in place of the injured Morgan Geekie, who Hakstol has not technically ruled out for Tuesday, but would be the logical man to be replaced by Wright for a night.

After that, there’s still no certainty on Wright’s future in Seattle for the 2022-23 season. Ron Francis has said that conversations are ongoing surrounding the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship, which will hold its first games on December 26th of this year. There’s a good chance the Kraken could loan Wright to Team Canada for the tournament. Wright was on the team last year but only got two games in before the tournament was cancelled. Assuming Geekie can get back in the lineup soon, and there aren’t any other forwards hit with a lingering injury this month, it seems probable that we’ll see Shane Wright suiting up for Team Canada over the holiday break. But for now, we’ll get to see him back in Kraken blue tomorrow night, facing the team that could have taken him with the first overall pick last summer, but chose not to.

Never forget.