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Wright denies staring down Canadiens' table on draft night

Bruce Bennett / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Newly minted Seattle Kraken center Shane Wright has cleared the air, saying there was "no intent" behind his apparent stare-down of the Montreal Canadiens' table at the 2022 NHL Draft.

"Not at all, no," the young star said when asked about the incident Sunday on Blue Jays Central, according to Tim and Friends. "I was just looking at the cameras in front of me. To be honest, I don't really remember too much of going up on stage. It was just kind of a whirlwind for me.

"I wasn't intentionally trying to stare anyone down, I guess, maybe it looked like that from the video, or whatever it was."

Wright caused a bit of a ruckus on social media after he surprisingly fell into the Kraken's grasp in the No. 4 spot. Some thought he was eyeing the Habs' table while he shook hands with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman on stage following his selection.

Wright was widely expected to go first overall, but the Canadiens selected winger Juraj Slafkovsky. The New Jersey Devils scooped up defenseman Simon Nemec with the No. 2 pick, and the Arizona Coyotes nabbed American center Logan Cooley third overall.

Shortly after being selected, Wright vowed to use the skid as motivation.

"I'm definitely going to have a chip on my shoulder from this, that's for sure," Wright said, according to the Seattle Times' Geoff Baker. "I've always been self-motivated. Always been pushing myself internally. But it's definitely going to give me one more fire for sure."

Wright was granted exceptional status into the CHL as a 15-year-old in 2019. He logged 32 goals and 62 assists in 63 contests while captaining the OHL's Kingston Frontenacs in 2021-22. Wright went on to score three goals and 11 helpers in 11 playoff games.

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