Seattle Kraken Prospects
Seattle Kraken center and Team Canada captain Shane Wright will jump on to the world stage against Czechia on Monday afternoon pacific time as day one of the World Junior Championship continues.
Seattle Kraken goalie prospect Niklas Kokko, the club’s 2nd-round, 58th-overall pick at the 2022 NHL Draft didn’t participate in Team Finland’s 3-2 overtime loss to Switzerland earlier Monday. The Finns are expected to present a three-man netminding rotation in the tournament along with Vancouver Canucks prospect Aku Koskenvuo and undrafted Jani Lampenin. Lampenin served as Koskenvuo’s back-up in the opener.
Wright had five points in two preliminary tournament wins over Switzerland and Slovakia in Moncton, New Brunswick before he and the squad moved over to Halifax four days ago for the start of Group A round robin action.
“It’s pretty cool to finally be here in the city,” Wright said after arriving in the Nova Scotia capital and home of the QMJHL Halifax Mooseheads. “Nice to finally get out for skate here. It’s a pretty nice barn and there should be some fun games here with lots of fans coming out and we’re pretty excited for that.”
The Canadians beat Finland in their final preliminary game 5-3 on Friday night.
Wright has been skating on a line with projected 2023 1st-overall NHL Draft pick Connor Bedard from North Vancouver, BC and the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League.
“Tonight was just a pre-tournament game, but with the crowd and intensity it felt a lot bigger, and it was good to find the back of the net and help our team get the win,” Bedard said after the game. “We believe the potential of this team is a gold medal.”
Meanwhile, Wright and Bedard have the potential to be the tournament’s most dynamic duo.
Wright has a goal and an assist in eight NHL games for the Kraken this season and four goals in a five-game conditioning stint with the AHL Coachella Valley Firebirds.
The Seattle Kraken should expect a boost of confidence from Wright’s opportunity at the World Juniors. For now the club can kick back, enjoy watching the tournament and his progress, and then make some decisions on his future in early January.
Wright turns age-19 on January 5th, the final day of the tournament.