from Steven Ellis of The Daily Faceoff,
On October 26, I wrote about Shane Wright’s lack of playing time in Seattle.
That was 26 days ago. Since then, the Kraken have played 10 games. Wright has suited up in two of them with just 22 minutes of total ice time.
So, really, not much has changed, other than they’re finally able to send him to the AHL. After being a healthy scratch in five consecutive games, he became eligible to get sent down to Coachella Valley, something the team promptly elected to do late Sunday night ahead of the team’s trip to Calgary.
Perfect. The best solution. He isn’t eligible to play full-time in the AHL due to the NHL/CHL agreement preventing major junior players from playing in the AHL. But he doesn’t have a ton to gain from playing in the NHL, either. Something had to give.
But that’s for five games maximum. Then what?
Not much has changed since Oct. 26, and now Wright’s stuck in the shadow realm waiting for the best path forward. Unlike most prospects his age, he hasn’t had any consistency – other than a lack of consistency – from the get-go. For a kid his age, this is a terrible development path, but it’s hard to argue for anything better right now. He nearly had 100 points last year as a draft-eligible prospect – could he truly gain anything against junior players?
That’s why the AHL is a nice little stopgap. But like any stopgap, it’s temporary, allowing him to play up to five games during a maximum of 14 days. Fourteen days from Sunday is Dec. 5, two days after the fifth possible game he could play with the Firebirds. On Dec. 6, the Kraken play Montreal – the team most people expected to pick him – which wouldn’t be an awkward return or anything.