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From the time he was granted an exception to play in the Ontario Hockey League at 15 years old, Shane Wright appeared destined to be the number one overall pick in the NHL draft someday.
Even in the moments leading up to the 2022 draft, Wright was the presumptive top candidate to be taken by the Montreal Canadiens to open the proceedings on Thursday.
Instead, Wright had to wait until the fourth pick to hear his name called when the Seattle Kraken selected him, and the 18-year-old center is already motivated by his drop.
"I've always been self-motivated," Wright told reporters at the draft. "I am always going to push myself internally, but [getting picked fourth overall] is definitely going to give me a little more fire for sure."
The Canadiens opted to take winger Juraj Slafkovsky first overall, and the New Jersey Devils and Arizona Coyotes also passed on Wright, but his comments quickly turned toward the team that did select him.
"You obviously want to go first," Wright said. "It's definitely something every guy wants to go to do going into the draft. But you know, I couldn't happier being Seattle ... really excited about the future ahead in Seattle."
Wright tallied 32 goals and 62 assists in 63 games for the Kingston Frontenacs last season and added 14 more points in 11 playoff games.
He joins a Seattle franchise still in its infancy after going 27-49-6 in its inaugural season. The Kraken used the second overall selection in last year's draft on center Matty Beniers, who recorded three goals and six assists in 10 NHL games last season.