Whatever side you were on in the ongoing saga of #ShaneWrightWatch, be thankful that it’s reached a conclusion. Wright has been reassigned to his Ontario Hockey League team, the Kingston Frontenacs.
Wright finished his first stint in Kraken blue with a goal and an assist in 8 games played. By nature of not reaching the 10-game mark, this will not count as a contract year for him, meaning the Kraken maintain three more years of club control after this season.
But the move does make sense beyond just a cold-hearted business aspect. Wright struggled to get a spot in the top six forward group, and as the year rolled along, the bottom six forwards started lighting it up on their own too. The Kraken’s success this year, in an odd way, can be seen as a cause for this transaction. If the team were bad again, there wouldn’t be any reason not to throw Wright out there for 20 minutes a game to see what the kid can do. But with the team rolling like it is, there just isn’t a spot for him right now — especially now that recent waiver pick-up Eeli Tovanen appears to be That Dude in both his third line and power play roles.
It’s also worth noting that Wright has worked hard to improve and has shown that he can still be the guy that was expected to be a number one overall pick last summer. He scored 4 goals in a 5-game conditioning stint in Coachella Valley, and then another 4 goals and 3 assists in 7 games as the captain of Team Canada en route to a gold medal at the IIHF Men’s World Junior Championship. His confidence seems to have soared as he’s bounced between teams, and it showed up big time in the gold medal game with this highlight-reel goal.
Now he’ll head to Kingston, where he’s tallied 160 points in 121 career games thus far in his OHL career. The Frontenacs are currently third in their division, and rumors are circling that Wright will be on the trade block, as the Frontenacs may look to move him to a contender as they build for next season. Wherever he does land for the remainder of the year, though, we can count on one thing: he’s going to light it up.