Seattle Kraken, Shane Wright

Big Night For Kraken; Shane Wright In Line-up, Dunn Might Return

Kraken Changes

While rookie Kraken defenseman Ryker Evans’s potential upside is impressive, the club went 3-7-and-2 without the man Evans was replacing in the line-up. That would be top blueliner Vince Dunn.

Dunn could return to action Monday night in San Jose against the Sharks and is a game time decision.

That’s good news, although any roster boost at this point is too-little-too-late in terms of the playoff picture.

The bigger news is the call-up and insertion of center Shane Wright into the Seattle line-up. The 4th-overall selection in the 2022 NHL Draft has played all but 11 of his hockey games since that summer outside of the NHL.

This season in 56 games with the Coachella Valley Firebirds of the AHL, Wright has tallied 43 points.

“I just want him to go and do the things that he’s been doing well,” Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol said this morning. “He’s continued to advance his game in Coachella, he’s continuing to do really positive things five-on-five in a two-way sense, and he’s contributing on the power play there. Those are the exact same things that we’ll want him to do here.”

It’s a golden opportunity to shine for a player who was once considered a lock to be the 1st-overall pick in that draft two years ago. He’ll get a chance to play on a line with veteran wingers Jordan Eberle and Jaden Schwartz and he’ll get that opportunity against the worst team in the NHL. The Sharks enter action with a league-worst 42 points in the standings.

“They said they’re looking forward to playing with me, they just want me to go out, play my game, use my speed, use my ‘young legs’ as they said,” Wright stated with a smile after the morning skate. “They said just go have fun, enjoy it, and just play hockey.”

Wright played eight games with the Kraken last season, scoring his first NHL goal against the Montreal Canadiens, and three more games this season. In three consecutive Seattle tilts in November, he saw limited ice time, didn’t generate any points, and fired one shot on goal.

In the AHL, he’s helped the Firebirds post the 2nd best record in the league with the Calder Cup playoffs fast approaching. The defending western conference champs are in a good position to repeat the feat.

“Just making plays, playing hockey, doing what I can do,” Wright said of his game, “just getting more comfortable playing at the pro level. Every single day just trying to improve myself.”

Kraken Game Facts

Monday Night: Seattle Kraken at San Jose Sharks

Where: SAP Center

When: 7:30 pm pacific

TV/Radio: Root Sports / FM 93.3

Starting goalies: Philipp Grubauer vs. Mackenzie Blackwood

Rob Simpson

Rob Simpson has covered the NHL in five different decades. He’s authored 4 books on hockey and is a veteran TV and radio play-by-play man and reporter.