The Seattle Kraken have locked in their projected franchise face.
Amid the flurry of moves on the NHL free agent market on Wednesday, the Kraken opted to ensure one of their organizational pillars is firmly in place, signing 2022 fourth-overall pick Shane Wright to a three-year entry-level contract.
It's a miracle that the Kraken even got Wright in the first place. After being hailed as a future first-overall pick since the age of 15, Wright's value took a curious dip as the draft approached, leading the Montreal Canadiens to pass over him in shocking fashion and select Slovakian winger Juraj Slafkovsky instead.
The domino effect of that decision saw the New Jersey Devils and Arizona Coyotes stick with their intended targets rather than pivot at the last possible minute, causing Wright to fall all the way down to fourth and into the hands of the Kraken.
Despite not having a pick in the top three, the Kraken may have exited the draft with the best eligible player, and have now wasted little time in locking Wright in for the foreseeable future.
Paired with 2021 second-overall pick Matt Beniers, Wright represents the future of the entire Kraken franchise, and offers a glimpse of hope to an organization hoping to build a fanbase in Seattle in its second year of existence.
A terrific two-way centre with offensive punch, Wright projects to jump into the NHL right away this season, likely even earning a sizable role on a thin Kraken roster.
Buckle up. The moves aren't over.