The Kraken uses a loophole to briefly ship draft pick Shane Wright to the AHL| A legendary sea monster

After weeks of second-guessing their decisions for Shane Wright across the hockey scene, the Kraken finally found a way to get their first-round draft pick some playing time.

The Kraken took advantage of a loophole in the NHL’s rules on Sunday, November 20, and shipped Wright, 18, to their American Hockey League affiliate in Coachella Valley, California.

As a teenager drafted No. 4 overall last summer by the Kraken from the major junior ranks, Wright wasn’t normally eligible for minor professional play.

The loophole allows any NHL player who is a healthy scratch for five consecutive games to be sent to the AHL in a one-time conditioning period of up to five games or 14 days.

It is widely expected, though Kraken has yet to confirm anything, that Wright will be sent to play for Team Canada at the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships next month shortly after his AHL stint ends.

Kraken general manager Ron Francis said via text message Sunday that the team plans to “call him back here to play a game or two before making this decision.”

Wright was suspended for one assist in seven games of sporadic playing time with the Kraken. He can play in two more competitions before the team faces a decision to keep him or send him back to his former junior team.

If Wright appears in 10 or more NHL games, it counts as a full season toward his entry-level three-year contract and moves him closer to free agency.

A long-standing agreement between the NHL and the Canadian Hockey League—which includes three major junior hockey rinks—states that draft picks between the ages of 18 and 19 who do not commit to the higher level of hockey must be returned to their junior teams instead of in the minors. AHL or ECHL supporter.

The Kraken had always felt that Wright didn’t have much to gain returning to the Kingston Frontinax of the Ontario Hockey League, but they struggled to find playing time with him on a much-improved 10-5-3 Central Pacific team. a race.

Sunday’s move causes them to actually buy Kraken for another six weeks or so, if they so choose, before making the final call.

An AHL stint and a brief return by Wright of a game or two will fill the time left until Team Canada holds a World Junior Selection camp December 9-12 in Moncton, New Brunswick.

The Junior Championships will be held December 26 through January 5 in Moncton and Halifax, Nova Scotia.

By putting Wright through the tournament, Kraken can gauge his performance against some of the best under-20 players on the planet before deciding how he will finish his season.

The Kraken can return Wright to junior hockey at any time after the expiry of a nine-game NHL trial period, but it still counts as a full season on his contract.

Another consideration is that Kraken could ask Kingston to orchestrate a deal that would send Wright to a junior team with ambitions to reach the Memorial Cup tournament next spring.

Such a move would help ensure Wright would face stiff competition should he return to the junior level.

Copyright 2022 Tribune Content Agency.

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