"Nothing wrong with going fourth": Leafs' Marner reached out to Wright after draft

Jul 27 2022, 5:33 pm

Mitch Marner saw how the 2022 NHL Draft unfolded for Shane Wright. 

So Marner, the No. 4 pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2015 draft, reached out to the now Seattle Kraken prospect to help the 18-year-old find the right frame of mind. 

“I think everyone could see there was a little bit of frustration in him,” Marner told reporters earlier this week during the Zach Hyman Celebrity Classic golf tournament in Toronto. “I just wanted to text him saying fourth is a nice pick and there’s nothing wrong with going fourth.”

Wright, NHL Central Scouting’s top-ranked North American skater for the 2022 draft, ended up sliding to fourth before being nabbed by Seattle. 

The Montreal Canadiens selected winger Juraj Slafkovsky with the No. 1 pick in the draft, and the New Jersey Devils picked defenseman Simon Nemec at No. 2. American forward Logan Cooley went third to the Arizona Coyotes.

Wright appeared less than pleased at the time. 

“Definitely going to have a little chip on my shoulder from this for sure,” Wright said at the draft. “Definitely a little more motivation. I’ve always been self-motivated, always been pushing myself internally, but it’s definitely going to give me a little more fire for sure.”

Wright, who was granted exceptional status into the Ontario Hockey League as a 15-year-old in 2019, scored 94 points (32 goals, 62 assists) in 63 games as captain of the Kingston Frontenacs.

Marner has 455 points (138 goals, 317 assists) in 427 games with the Maple Leafs after making the jump to the NHL in 2016. He had 116 points (39 goals, 77 assists) in 57 games with the London Knights in the OHL in his final year of junior in 215-16.

“Now it’s an exciting opportunity for him to be able to prove himself in the NHL,” Marner said. “He’s going to be working hard to try and prove that some teams made the wrong move. That’s how it goes sometimes.”

Aaron VickersAaron Vickers

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