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The Wright Call

Fans and players alike consider Shane Wright a great fit for the Kraken franchise. The 2022 top draft choice heard so from future teammates and more than one all-time great

by Bob Condor / @ByBobCondor / nhl.com/kraken

On draft night, Kraken 2022 top draft pick Shane Wright received a text from 2021 first-rounder Matty Beniers within five minutes after GM Ron Francis announced Wright's name. Then, a bit later, Kraken veterans Yanni Gourde and Jordan Eberle phoned. Same goes over the ensuing 24 hours, when the young center heard by audio or text from alternate captains Adam Larsson and Jaden Schwartz, plus leading scorer Jared McCann.

The message from Gourde provides a good sample: "He said he's super excited for me to be part of the organization," said Wright during an exclusive draft night interview that ended when Eberle rang. "He said 'We're looking forward to playing with you.'"

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Future Arrives in Goyette

Kraken's second-rounder and high-scoring center is promising 'extra' pick as team adds 11 total prospects at draft, doubling the prospect pool for this week's development camp

by Bob Condor / @ByBobCondor / nhl.com/kraken

MONTREAL - When veteran forward Calle Jarnkrok joined the Calgary Flames at the 2022 NHL trade deadline, the Kraken received three draft picks in exchange: a second-round choice this past week at the NHL Draft, plus a third-rounder next summer and seventh-round pick in 2024.

New Kraken prospect David Goyette represents the first dividend for Seattle from the Jarnkrok deal, selected 61st overall in last Friday's second round (the pick was formerly Calgary's from a previous trade with the Florida Panthers).

There's multiple reasons for Kraken fans to feel acquiring Goyette alone for Jarnkrok (12 goals and 14 assists with Seattle in 49 games for the expansion franchise). For one, Goyette is coming off a season in which he scored 33 goals and added 40 assists in 66 games for the Sudbury Wolves of the Ontario Hockey League. He lead all OHL "rookies" (he missed his 16-year-old season due to the COVID-19 pandemic canceling the season) in both goals and points.

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Live Blog Day 2: Follow Kraken at Draft

Pull up a virtual chair. We will keep you informed with frequent updates on all draft news and Kraken moves Friday, beginning with Round 2 at 8 a.m. Pacific

by Bob Condor & Alison Lukan / @ByBobCondor @AlisonL / nhl.com/kraken

12:15 p.m., July 8 

Kraken Load Up on Franchise Future 

MONTREAL - There is a lot to process and punctuate from the 2022 NHL Draft. Following two years of video-conference takeovers, this July's draft roared back into hockey resonance. 

No better place to do it, at least this summer, than Montreal. When the Canadiens zigged to Slovakian forward Juraj Slafkovský, the top of the draft then zagged. The raucous locals were pushing out the decibels in equal parts shouts of joy for the pick and upset "ohhs" because decorated Team Canada juniors center Shane Wright was bypassed.  

Kraken fans know the rest of the tumult. New Jersey selected Slovakian defenseman Šimon Nemec, who many mock drafters ticketed for a long career with Climate Pledge Arena as home base.  

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'Give Me More Fire for Sure'

When asked a full handful of times about whether he is disappointed to be picked fourth overall, Kraken's newest prospect says he will be even more motivated

by Bob Condor / @ByBobCondor / nhl.com/kraken

MONTREAL - There are half-dozen podiums set up in a long corridor at the event level here at Bell Centre. First-round draft choices filled seats at podiums one after another, sitting in front of microphones to answer media questions.

No crowd of reporters, cameras and tripods was anywhere near as sprawling five-deep group spilling all around Podium 2 when the newest Kraken prospect, Shane Wright, arrived to field the inevitable questions about possible disappointment in not being selected No. 1 overall.

"I was drafted by a team with a lot of potential into a great city with a great fan base," said Wright, who smiled a lot during his 11-minute press conference.

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Draft Live Blog: Wright Seattle's Pick at No. 4

Pull up a virtual chair. We will keep you informed with frequent updates on all draft news and Kraken moves Thursday, leading into Round 1 at 4 p.m. Pacific and through 32 picks

by Bob Condor & Alison Lukan / @ByBobCondor @AlisonL / / nhl.com/kraken

9:45 p.m., July 7

Editor-in-chief Bob Condor and analyst Alison Lukan recap Day 1 of the 2022 NHL Draft:

Video: Bob & Alison: Recap Day 1 at 2022 NHL Draft

 


8:25 p.m., July 7 

Meet the Wrights: Son, Mom, Dad, Sister 

MONTREAL - Shane Wright's name was called early Thursday night but he didn't leave the Bell Centre for a couple more hours. Each draft pick runs through a series of NHL branding and licensing stations, media interviews and filling out paperwork with his new franchise. Then the prospects reunite with their families. 

"When Shane came down to the family room?" said Tanya Wright, the 2022 Kraken first-rounder's mom. "I cried. I burst into tears. I did not expect that. I didn't even cry when he got drafted. I was teary when I saw him he had the Kraken jersey on. 

"He looked so good," said Tanya Wright. "I could see how happy he was. That's when I burst into tears. Then my daughter cried too [21-year-old Maddie plays soccer for University of Waterloo in Ontario].

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Scouting the Scouting Process

Our Alison Lukan "digs in" with Robert Kron, Seattle director of amateur scouting, on how Kraken discover high-potential prospects to select over seven rounds Thursday and Friday

by Alison Lukan / @AlisonL / nhl.com/kraken

In many hockey circles, the NHL Entry Draft is affectionately referred to as the "scouts' Super Bowl." It's the culmination of a tremendous amount of work over a tremendous amount of time invested in evaluating teenage hockey players and their ability to become the next pieces of a winning NHL hockey team.

But often our understanding of the evaluation process remains at the surface level. What goes into identifying and assessing the next wave of elite hockey talent? To answer that question, it is appropriate to turn to the Kraken's director of amateur scouting, Robert Kron, about the work that he and his staff does.

Let's dig in.
 

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Kraken Draft in Full

These answers to seven key questions about next week's 2022 NHL Draft set you up to follow the Kraken's selections in this vital event for building a winning Seattle franchise

by Bob Condor / @ByBobCondor / nhl.com/kraken

While Montreal Canadiens fans tend to think their town and team is the center of the hockey universe every day, there will be no disagreements July 7 and 8. That's when the 2022 NHL Draft will unfold in Quebec's largest city.

As hockey fate would have it, the Canadiens were awarded the No. 1 overall pick in the league's draft lottery in May. It's the first time since 1985 the host city (the event moves among NHL cities) will have the top selection. Expect "universal" excitement among the Montreal faithful, whether inside Bell Centre or around all parts in the city and province.

It's the first time since 2009 Montreal has welcomed the hockey world and dozens of top prospects for the draft. Plus, the 2022 draft will be the first conducted in person since 2019. Here are the answers to seven questions about the 2022 version of the NHL Draft that you need to know for next week's event.

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Miles to Go Before They Scout

Three Kraken talent evaluators and 'cross-checkers' talk about dream jobs requiring copious travel by car and air, loving families and evolving to find highest potential in prospects

by Bob Condor / @ByBobCondor / nhl.com/kraken

If ever you muse about becoming a hockey scout and watching the sport for a living, be prepared. There are a lot of miles in the dream job.

"The first move is whether I'm flying somewhere or driving," says Mike Dawson, Kraken amateur scout who lives in Kingston, ON, about his typical week during the hockey season. "If I'm staying in the OHL [Ontario Hockey League] or the province of Quebec [to watch Quebec Major Junior Hockey League play] I'm typically driving.

"If that's the case, I usually hit the road Wednesday and get home late Sunday night. The juniors season has the odd Tuesday or Wednesday game but action pumps up Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday [when he looks to scout at least one game per day]."

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The Power of Patience

Compared to other pro sports, especially the NFL and NBA, the success rate of drafting potential NHL players requires a longer development timeline and ability to gauge long-term potential

by Alison Lukan / @AlisonL / nhl.com/kraken

Draft weekend is a heady time for any pro sports franchise. It's a time when months and months of work culminate in the organization selecting their players of the future. Players projected to help obtain the ultimate goal: a Stanley Cup championship.

But unlike sports leagues such as the NBA and NFL, in the National Hockey League, the path from draft day to pro-level play can be a little different.

Both the NHL and the NFL have 32 teams. Both sports' drafts traditionally allow for the selection of 224 players across seven rounds (that number can increase for both the NFL and NHL due to compensatory picks).

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Draft Day Wake-Up Call

The Kraken's 2021 second-round draft choice, defenseman Ryker Evans, reprises the day, July 24, last year when his hockey dream of playing in the NHL took a huge stride forward

by Ryker Evans / @RykerEvans41 / nhl.com/kraken

I was both anxious and hopeful about last summer's NHL Draft. In my first draft year, my 18-year-old year, I was passed over. I thought I had a pretty good season, but it didn't work out.

Going into the 2021 draft last summer I was hopeful. We had a shorter season due to the pandemic, but I thought I had another good year [three goals and 25 assists in a shortened 24-game season in 2020-21 with the Western Hockey League Regina Pats].

That morning, last July, I wasn't sure where I was going to go. I was on the ice the night before, so I thought I would sleep in until 9 a.m. when the second round started. I was just waking up, brushing my teeth, when I heard my parents yelling upstairs. My sister and my mom were screaming. I knew something was going on.

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