Shane Wright to Captain Team Canada at 2023 World Juniors

Not long after scoring his first NHL goal, Shane Wright will join Team Canada as captain for the World Junior Championships.

Shane Wright has had a turbulent rookie year all starting with dropping from expected first overall draft pick to fourth. However, he has only played eight NHL games with the Kraken and was even sent down for a five game conditioning stint with the AHL Coachella Valley Firebirds. In his time with the Firebirds he rebounded scoring four goals in five games. Due to rules regarding players from the CHL, Wright only can play in the NHL or return back to the CHL. So a five game conditioning stint was the only way to get him down to the AHL while not breaking any by-laws. However it appears the Kraken front office wants Wright to continue to develop in a junior or minor league.

For the Kraken it’s not an easy decision to be made. For example if they wanted to keep him on the roster, they would most likely healthy scratch him more often than not leading to a spot on the roster being taken up by a player who isn’t playing regularly. So the alternative is that Wright goes back to the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs. While not a bad option, the team isn’t really poised to for a deep run, and the competition is not near that of the NHL/AHL. However the Kraken have made the decision to loan out Wright to the upcoming IIHF World Junior Championships.

The Wright Choice

The World Juniors are an annual tournament held from Dec. 26-Jan. 5 where the world’s best Under 20 players compete for gold. This year Team Canada has a chance to defend their title after taking down Finland 3-2 in OT. While Wright was not on the roster last year, he has not only made the team this year, but has also been chosen as captain.

Captaining Team Canada at any level is one of the highest honors in the hockey world and Canada alike. Previous captains include the likes of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Kris Letang, and Eric Lindros. The World Juniors is a huge deal in Canada and putting Wright as captain is a huge opportunity for him to prove himself against top competition.

Team Canada will play in at least four preliminary games against Czechia, Germany, Austria, and Finland. From there they have a chance to make it to the knock-out round and compete for a repeat. They are the heavy favorite this year with stars like Connor Bedard and Brennan Othmann accompanying Wright as they compete against some of the World’s best under 20 players. Hopefully this is the push that Wright needs to thrust him back into the Kraken lineup.