Shane Wright of Kraken “couldn’t ask for a better situation” from Seattle

Ugly Neighborhood, Wrights garage door. She looks like she’s survived a bombing, because she was–from athletic and competitive teens.

The youngest kid, Shane, had proudly put his first hockey puck through at the age of about six. Plastic bags with plastic balls prevent birds from entering. An older couple walking by once commented that he looked pretty lively.

“We were embarrassed about our neighborhood,” recalls their mother, Tanya Wright.

After many years of dedicated service, the garage door in Burlington, Ontario was pulled, and replaced. The kids upgraded their equipment. Maddie, 21, studies kinesiology and plays football at the University of Waterloo.

Shane, 18, was named fourth overall by Kraken in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft. He did what he needed to do to seal a place on the roster at training camp. If he is considered not quite ready for a full NHL season, It will come back to the kids.

“I think he’s ready,” said Tanya. “We will support any decision.”

It was a good sign when general manager Ron Francis on Friday teased Wright’s regular season debut in an interview with the Seattle Times.

“Hopefully he’ll be here all year long,” Francis added.

Seattle is a less stressful environment than the one that Wright came from near Toronto, which he seemed destined for in Montreal. That could work to his advantage in the long run.

“I don’t think anyone could ever say they were fully prepared,” said older sister Maddie. “But in terms of making all the preparations, getting the tools and support you need to get through it, I think he’s in a good position.

“If anyone can do that, I’m sure Shin can handle it.”

***

Shane is an avid golfer and YouTube guitarist. If all goes well, the plan is to go wild in getting a tool to keep in Seattle.

He was in bed and reading by 10 every night, even during the last summer. Strict, controlled, focused.

“I like to call it a little boring,” Maddie joked.

This is how he handled the pressure, his parents suspected. For as long as he can remember, his hockey-fond home country of Canada has kept tabs on him.

“I think all those little chores are ways he’s managing those eyes and this pressure and people looking at him and watching him,” Tanya said. “This is something he can do and rule out other people’s opinions and hype.

“He has literally been on probation in this sport since he was 9 years old.”

Shane, at about 2½, tried a physical skate program. Maddie didn’t take it the way Shane did. Nor did she melt when her classmates failed to follow the rules or take it seriously enough.

“Very competitive, I think everyone should really understand how games work, that you have to win,” Tanya said of little Shane.

“I was always afraid. That didn’t happen with Maddie.”

The hockey buzz started at a young age.

“He did really well today, he’s the youngest kid on the ice,” Tanya recalls. “You just keep supporting him and giving him chances and trying to be natural about it.”

They made a family decision that Shane’s father, Simon, who works as a sales manager for a large Canada-based health and wellness organization, spends weekdays with Shane about an hour from home, where he can play a major Toronto hockey game. league. Tania, who teaches math and science in high school, stayed home with Maddie in Burlington.

“Is he on a road? Simon remembers thinking, ‘This is the only way to find out.’ You have to push him to the edge of that to see.”

Shin obviously thrived. He was part of a small and elite club of hockey players, given the exceptional status of playing for the big rookies a year earlier, at the age of fifteen. He had to write an article. He underwent a psychiatric evaluation at the kitchen table.

Shane was on the NHL track. The milestones Maddie paid much attention to weren’t on her brother’s radar. I asked if he even knew when his school’s graduation ceremony was and he was ignored.

“I would sometimes ask him, ‘Do you wish you could do this?'” Maddy said. And his answer will always be like, ‘No, I love what I do. “”

Simon said he watched Sidney Crosby to see how the Shane youth star treated and behaved himself. Simon suggested that Sheen’s long-standing number, 51, depends somewhat on the way Crosby’s number was chosen. Crosby’s birthday is August 7, hence number 87. Wright’s birthday is January 5.

This is about a fairy tale as you’ll hear about Crosby for a long time.

“There’s a reason you haven’t heard much about Sid on the news. He’s very careful and in control of how he manages himself,” Simon said. [Shane] He saw it as: “It works well for this guy.” ”

***

Shane does not write randomly. But from Seattle, his parents started getting daily random messages: “I love this place.”

No hello. “I love it here,” Tanya only said.

They are not heavy users of social media, in part because they sparked the hockey phenomenon. People can say whatever they want.

Shane didn’t shoot the draft board – it was the overall top pick for quite some time. He had a great first year with the Kingston Frontenacs of the Ontario Hockey League. 66 points in 58 games earned him the CHL Rookie of the Year award. After a year of competitive play during the pandemic, the outlook was shaken, and a late sophomore season that didn’t escape expectations was seen as a disappointment.

It has been studied and scrutinized. It wasn’t all nice. Not all of this was true.

“He has a good personality. He comes from a good place. We know who he is – he’s a good kid,” said Tanya.

When it came time to choose a major piece of rebuilding, the Montreal Canadiens went in another direction. So did the New Jersey Devils and Arizona Coyotes. He’s blasted interviews, some have speculated.

Like everyone else online before and after the draft, the Wrights was amused by the jokes surrounding Shane’s supposed look at the Canadians table after the Kraken picked him up. Then, as these things often do, it got dragged and deformed and became weird.

There are also positive developments that friends are going through. During an early signing session at Camp Kraken, Shane received a written request from a deaf fan. Run back to the locker room for a stick. The exchange was widely exchanged, and Tanya was torn apart when she saw him.

“I know this is the baby,” said Tanya. “But I love when other people glimpse it, too.”

“I hope he never runs out of hockey sticks,” Simon added.

Tanya is on vacation this semester. Fall is to watch Shane’s first training camp in the NHL and his debut in the league. They had dinner the night before his first pre-season game, and his parents were telling he was nervous.

“I knew he was just going to step in and realize he’s the rookie with the most learning, but don’t be afraid in that area. I think he knows he belongs here,” Tanya said.

Crosby was best known for living with Pittsburgh Penguins captain Mario Lemieux early in his career, an arrangement that lasted several years. Kraken substitute captain Jaden Schwartz hosted Shane for about a week before the rookie camp. Schwartz described him as a good house guest – very polite.

“When I was young, I was fortunate to have so many good veterans and leaders to help me, show me the ropes, and give me tips here and there,” Schwartz said. “Being a little bit older guy now, it’s good to help these guys.”

Another member of the team leadership, Yanni Gorde, said that unlike his 18-year-old self, Wright didn’t hesitate to get involved and speak up.

“You can’t be affected by anything. You just have to go out there and play your game, do what you do best, do what made you successful to get to that level,” Gord said. He has all the tools in the bag too to be successful.

“It will be fun to watch him play.”

***

Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes caused an uproar when he called pre-season performances from Juraj Slafkovsky, the player Montreal got overall, “a little disappointing” to that point. Slavkowski, who eventually put together the evening’s opening roster, has yet to score.

Wright got some close calls but didn’t score in pre-season. You wouldn’t hear Francis make a similar comment.

Seattle has a busy sports market, and hockey officially joined in just a year ago. Wright is often not recognized in public. He used to watch the eyes, but now he sees how he likes to look less.

“This community was an absolutely perfect place in many ways,” Simon said.

He is now an important member of the neighborhood.

“I’m living my dream here. I’m living something I’ve been working towards and dreaming about my whole life,” Shane said after his pre-season debut. “I couldn’t ask for a better situation.”

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