Shane Wright falls to fourth; Blackhawks make trades

Sometimes, the best action at the NHL draft happens away from the floor.

This year, the first time the draft was held in person since 2019, it was a little bit of both.

The Montreal Canadiens threw off mock drafts when they chose Slovakian winger Juraj Slafkovsky instead of Canadian center Shane Wright, who had been mentioned all year as a potential top pick.

That set off a chain reaction that led Wright, the top-ranked North American skater, to drop all the way to the second-year Seattle Kraken at fourth.

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

Shane Wright is given a hat by Seattle Kraken general manager Ron Francis after being selected fourth overall.

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The New Jersey Devils, who are deep at center, chose Slovakian defenseman Simon Nemec, and the Arizona Coyotes chose American Logan Cooley.

Slafkovsky, who was MVP of the Beijing Olympics, had met with the Canadiens on Thursday but was surprised to go first.

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