Following his eight game sampling last autumn before ultimately returning to juniors, Seattle Kraken 2022 4th-overall draft pick Shane Wright returns to the NHL line-up on Thursday night in Denver.
Center Ryan Winterton was also called up from the Coachella Valley Firebirds of the American Hockey League and is expected to play. Apparently his parents are flying in from Toronto to see his NHL debut.
Their appearance was brought about by injuries to Kraken center Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and winger Jordan Eberle, who suffered a cut leg in practice on Wednesday. Bellemare was apparently dinged up on Tuesday night against the Arizona Coyotes.
The Kraken have been looking for an offensive spark or two. Who knows, maybe this accidental opportunity will lead to something. There’s no doubt the two young players will be excited and anxious to make an impression.
So far this season Wright has six points in seven AHL games, including four goals. Winterton has notched five points over that same span.
Wright has been considered a top prospect since long before the Kraken selected him in the NHL Draft sixteen months ago. Meanwhile, through discussions with Seattle staff and scouts, Winterton was determined to be one of the club’s top three prospects coming out of this past summer’s Kraken Development Camp.
The 20-year-old, right-shot center bounced back from multiple shoulder injuries in a big way, impressing on the ice and with his overall fitness testing. He was better than a point-a-game player during his time in the Ontario Hockey League, which included a season missed due to the Covid pandemic.
Wright suffered the same development setback.
Now they get a somewhat unexpected chance to make a difference at the NHL level in a game against one of the Western Conference powers. Game on in Denver!
The Kraken at Avalanche will get under way a little after 6 pm pacific.