Ahead of the 2022 NHL Draft, Shane Wright appeared to be the absolute lock for the first-overall pick. The 18-year-old sensation had 32 goals and 62 assists for 94 points in 63 games this past season with the OHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs. However, when July 7 came around, Wright saw himself drop in the draft — and not from first to second.
Wright, who had figured he’d be the Montreal Canadiens‘ first selection, saw Juraj Slafkovsky walk on stage and slide on the Habs jersey after being named the first-overall pick.
After that, Wright waited to see if the New Jersey Devils would take him second.
They didn’t. Instead, they elected for Slovak blue liner Simon Nemec.
Next on the clock: the Arizona Coyotes.
“Arizona. Arizona,” Wright said ahead of the No. 3 pick, via a mic’d up video shared by Puck Empire. “I’m happy.”
But, general manager Bill Armstrong didn’t call Wright’s name. The Coyotes called Logan Cooley’s name.
“That hurts. That hurts,” Wright noted.
The 18-year-old was finally taken fourth overall by the Seattle Kraken. As Wright walked up onto the stage and shook commissioner Gary Bettman’s hand, he appeared to stare down the Canadiens’ draft table, though he denied that in an interview with Seattle Sports 710 AM.
“I definitely wasn’t, no. After seeing the video, I can see where people could kind of, I guess, see where it looks like I stared at their table or whatever it was. But there was no intent behind staring at their table, that’s for sure.”
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Overall, Wright told reporters after the draft that he was happy to land with the Kraken and is ready to make noise in Seattle.
However, when it came to his drop, NHL Draft analyst Chris Peters said on the “Talking Hockey Sense” podcast that Wright’s combine performance and interviews may have led to his drop at the draft.
“That’s about as far as I would want to put it,” Peters added. “I think that [ Shane Wright ] had been the number one guy for so long that it was almost foreign to him that it was possible that anybody else could be.”