The Montreal Canadiens, who passed on Shane Wright at the 2022 NHL Draft, ended up giving up the fourth-overall pick’s first goal on Tuesday night.
The goal came at 15:30 of the first period, off a nice setup by Wright’s teammates, Oliver Bjorkstrand and Yanni Gourde.
The Canadiens had a 1-0 lead at the time, thanks to Johnathan Kovacevic also scoring his first NHL goal. Not only did Wright score his first goal against the Canadiens, but it also happened to be a game-tying goal.
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Wright had been identified as the most likely player to head to Montreal this summer, given he was the top-ranked prospect at the 2022 Draft, which took place at the Bell Centre.
The Canadiens ended up picking hulking forward Juraj Slafkovsky, betting on long-term potential rather than short-term gains.
Wright didn’t just miss out on being the first-overall pick, he actually dropped to fourth overall, having to wait for Simon Nemec (New Jersey) and Logan Cooley (Arizona) to hear their names before being chosen by the Kraken.
The perceived snub led to an entertaining picture at the Draft, which could be interpreted as a mean mug on Wright’s part towards a particular team’s draft table. According to a few reports he was looking at the Canadiens’ scouting group.
And though he was the target of more than a few memes, it’s understandable the young man would allow an iota of emotion to slip given the situation.
Wright had a frustrating start to his NHL career with the Kraken, having been made a healthy scratch on several occasions. But an AHL assignment seems to have reinvigorated the 18-year-old centre.
Before his first career NHL goal, Wright scored four goals in five games for the Kraken’s AHL affiliate, the Coachella Valley Firebirds.
His goal, surely the first of many, will go a long way in not only building up his confidence, but reminding teams around the league, whomever they may be, that perhaps passing up on Wright at the 2022 Draft could end up backfiring.