Is Shane Wright still No. 1 choice? Risk Factors in the NHL Draft Lottery

Shane Wright entered the 2021-22 season as contract No. 1 hope 2022 NHL Entry Draft. He was seen as a real high hopes by many scouts, who could be the No. 1 star. 1 in the middle. Given the unique opportunity to play in OHL at the age of 15, he scored 39 goals in 58 OHL games. He scored 9 goals and 14 points in 5 games in the U-18 Worlds as a junior player. He was on his way to stardom and it seemed inevitable to have a good season to prepare.

Then the weather started and Wright came out of the gates slowly. He had 8 points in 8 games in the opening month of the season. It also didn’t seem very relevant to the games I saw. A number of compelling reasons for his short stint originated from around the NHL, with viewers pointing to the size or season he missed in 2020-2021 as factors that could lead to a slow start.

It’s hard to say how the missed season affected the growth of the players, but it’s worth noting that it doesn’t seem to delay Dallas choosing Wyatt Johnston or Seattle choosing Ryan Winterton to be one of OHL’s most successful players / players. Wright remained strong in the second half despite being in the top 10 on OHL scoring.

Wright’s upcoming stats always seem strange, but I admit it was only a few times I saw him and he was very impressed: the opening game of the U17 Challenge and his game of U18 worlds vs. Sweden. He scored both hat tricks. The obvious warning here is that he was always so young that I just thought that height was the reason he didn’t always have a good game.

Previous observations are informative of this season, however. I have spoken to scouts about what they have seen and seen several Kingston games, both live and video. The realization and common sense in the market is that Wright simply lacks exercise and the skills that you associate with No. 1 selection. He’s a very good player and a hope for the NHL, but he doesn’t have Nathan MacKinnon skating, Patrick Kane hands, or a Steven Stamkos shot. Historically I have seen Wright’s shooting as an elite, but it didn’t look that way this season, and he actually had assistants twice as many goals. Wright is a very good player, who admits he can be boring in the first selection. This is why you hear scouts portraying him as Patrice Bergeron and Ryan O’Reilly, both of whom, don’t think, were the first nominees due to a lack of some of these changes. You could say that this is dangerous for a young person when there is no great talent to hit. That said, the same explanation could be applied to two of the top 2021 elections in Owen Power by Matthew Beniers. My comparison with Wright could be the location of Rangers Mika Zibanejad.

Wright has done very well this season, but compared to where CHL hopes he usually lives, it is clear that he is not at the level you are used to being selected for the first time in the management of their CHL league.

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Shane Wright’s Capture at No. Option 1 has not yet been challenged in any way due to the lack of a definite climb this season. Logan Cooley is a very good prospect but has 36 points from 24 USHL games. Joakim Kemell started out as a bit of a pain in Liiga but has slowed down considerably, and the same can be said of Matthew Savoie in the WHL. Juraj Slafkovsky had the best Olympics and has been a thrill in the world championships for the past two seasons, but even a few weeks ago with his club his performance in Liiga is not surprising.

(Photos by Robert Lefebvre / OHL)

An NHL executive said: “You save a boy based on his past actions and not on his preparation time. “I think that’s dangerous.” This idea makes sense, and it is one that I have thought about several times. Many of the NHL scouts I interviewed with Wright agree that they are not jumping out of their seat at No. 1, but they also acknowledge that it may be their choice because of the lack of a clear alternative. There were a number of scouts in the first half of the season arguing that Logan Cooley was a good fit, but recently Cooley did not turn up this season. Recently there have been scouts arguing that Slafkovsky is Wright’s main opponent, with few claiming to have won the Slovak victory if they have the first choice.

Wright and Slavkovsky’s seasons are not over, however. Due to the delay of the CHL game, we still have to see how Wright is doing in the postseason. Can Kingston’s early exit lead to further uncertainty with No. 1 choice? What if he removes OHL’s beloved Hamilton? What if Slafkovsky has a big World Championship competition with NHL players? These are unanswered questions on lottery evening.

Estimating if a player is 18 years old is not a guarantee. It’s just that Wright doesn’t look like a No. 1 extinguisher. Option 1 does not mean that they cannot be. There are other times that have happened, when No. 1 pick if Nico Hischier in 2017 and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in 2011 did not please you and it turned out to be predictable despite being a very good player. There were also similar years in 2014 for Aaron Ekblad and Patrick Kane in 2007 – players who did not agree to No. 1s and was able to become the official starting pieces. There are also years like 2020, when Alexis Lafreniere looked like a future star and, to date, this has not happened.

There are also a few scouts who are very religious at Wright, and they think it will be a real star spot in the NHL and would enjoy the opportunity to pick him up. I also believe he is making it as a first-team center, a man who could be the top 15-20 capital in the league. As the season progresses, there has been a lot of caution among the scouts in preparation for Wright, and there are a few reviewers who do not see the top side I see.

Wright is still the crown prince of the winning lottery team. At the moment I have a hard time seeing the team take on someone like Slafkovsky because it stays close between the two and the teams lean in the middle if it is strong. Wright could be a key player for any NHL team that could select him. But he has no guarantee that he will become the official NHL star or the best in the league, and as the lottery balls begin to shake, the top 2022 NHL Draft has yet to be written.

(Top photo: Claus Andersen / Getty Images)


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