The Canadian Hockey League, the world’s top junior league opened up an exception for Seattle Kraken prospect Shane Wright this year, but not for Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Fraser Minten.
The Toronto Maple Leafs drafted Minten in the same draft as Wright, just 34 picks later as the Vancouver native was taken 38th overall in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft.
The current CHL transfer agreement with the National Hockey League is that players who are signed through the CHL and under 20-years old must remain in junior hockey unless they play for their NHL team.
This helps the junior league keep their star players, however they won’t have the former fourth overall pick returning to Windsor Spitfires this year.
The Toronto Maple Leafs Would Also Like An Exception
The CHL has agreed to let Wright, who is still 19-years old to be sent to the AHL if he does not make the Seattle Kraken out of training camp.
At the start of the 2022-23 season, the Kraken kept Wright with the NHL team, however he was left in the press box as a healthy scratch most nights. They skirted the rules later in the season, stating they needed to send Wright to the AHL on a conditioning stint as he had rarely played. After eight games with the Coachella Valley Firebirds, Wright attended the World Juniors where he helped Canada to a gold medal with his seven points in seven games.
After the tournament, Wright would return to the OHL where he was traded to the Spitfires and collected 37-points in 20 games before being eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. Wright would return to Coachella to play for the eventual Calder Cup finalists.
The Rule Should Be For Everyone or No One
Outside of the Toronto Maple Leafs fanbase, prospect Fraser Minten is not as well known as Wright, but the opportunity to play for the Marlies should be given to the 19-year old from Vancouver as well.
Minten went from averaging 0.82 points per game in his draft season to 1.18 points per game last year and the question I have is, would the Maple Leafs, as well as Minten benefit more in his development to play in junior or with the Marlies.
In junior, Minten could have a dominating season, join Canada at the World Junior’s in an attempt for a gold medal. With the Marlies, he could be working with an AHL team that is within arms length of the big club.
There is no way of knowing which route is most favorable to the organization, but that choice should be up to no one other than the Toronto Maple Leafs if the CHL is opening up this rule for the Kraken and Shane Wright.