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First NHL Goal: James Wright

by Peter Pupello / Tampa Bay Lightning
James Wright #43 of the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrates his first NHL goal with teammates Martin St. Louis #26 and Mattias Ohlund #5 in the first period against the San Jose Sharks at the St. Pete Times Forum on October 22, 2009 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Carlson/NHLI via Getty Images)

Wright's First Goal - October 22, 2009

First NHL Goal

James Wright
Position: Center
Team: Tampa Bay Lightning
Age: 19
First Goal: October 22, 2009 vs San Jose Sharks
Opposing Goaltender: Evgeni Nabokov

James Wright’s journey to the NHL is one that all NHL-hopefuls making their way through the ranks want to take. As a fourth-round draft pick in 2008, Wright was considered a long-shot to make the Lightning’s roster out of training camp. Through hard work, he not only earned a slot on opening day, but also his first NHL goal just seven games into the 2009-10 season.

“I remember Vinny stepping over the blue line and slowing up,” Wright said. “Then he found Marty down low along the goal line, and I don’t know how Marty saw me, but I just went the net and he just kind of chipped it out across the crease and my stick happened to be there.”

Wright’s first career NHL goal opened the scoring just 30 seconds into the game and sparked an impressive 5-2 win over one of the NHL’s most talented teams.

Where the puck is now: “I think now the PR guys have it and they’re going to frame it and do something special. Once I get it I’ll probably send it back to my parents’ house.”

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