Seattle Kraken 4th-overall 2022 NHL Draft pick Shane Wright has wrapped up his five-game American Hockey League stint and will be added back to the big club’s roster. We should see him at Kraken practice on Monday morning.
In his five matches with the Coachella Valley Firebirds of the AHL, Wright fired 11 shots on goal, scored on four of them and added a shoot-out goal.
As Seattle Hockey Insider brought up last week, it’ll be very interesting to see if the Kraken insert Wright into the line-up Tuesday night against the Montreal Canadiens, the team that ‘snubbed’ him as the top overall pick in the draft. The Habs selected Slovakian winger Juraj Slafkovski instead.
Slafkovski has four goals and three assists in 19 NHL games thus far. Wright has one assist over seven games in the big show.
Part of the decision may depend on the health of Kraken 4th-line center Morgan Geekie, who’s missed the last two games due to an upper body injury. Or maybe the decision won’t depend on his health. As much as Seattle would like to see Geekie back in the line-up, the appearance and potential emergence of Wright might be too tantalizing to pass up.
The Kraken are without a doubt the most pleasant surprise in all of the National Hockey League, let alone the Pacific Division. So what’s the biggest surprise in the division on the downside right now?
It would have to be the defending Pacific champs, the Calgary Flames, starting the season 11-10-and-3. They’re eight points behind the Kraken with the same number of games played, 24.
Chatting with folks in southern Alberta, part of the problem has been out-of-sync offensive production and the other part has been the goaltending of number-one guy Jacob Markstrom. The 32-year-old Swedish netminder said so himself over the weekend, much to the protest of his teammates.
“I just suck at hockey right now,” Markstrom said after a loss to the Canadiens. He’s started this season 8-6-and-2 with an .889 save percentage.
The most intriguing match-up on the NHL calendar on Monday is the Vegas Golden Knights visiting the Boston Bruins. It marks the return of former Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy to his former building for the first time. “Butch” led Boston to the playoffs in all six of his seasons in Beantown, including a trip to the Stanley Cup Final in 2019.
Cassidy previously ran the bench of the Bruins AHL affiliate in Providence, Rhode Island for five seasons and was an assistant coach there for three seasons before that.
The other obvious attribute to this match-up; the Bruins lead the Atlantic Division with 40 points, second most in the NHL behind the New Jersey Devils, while the Golden Knights lead the Pacific with 37, 3rd most in the league.
The Golden Knights don’t seem to mind the challenge of entering hostile buildings. They have an extremely impressive road record of 11-2-and-1 this season that would be tops in the NHL if it weren’t for the ridiculous Devils who are 11-and-1 away from home.
Enjoy the Hockey Action !!