Welcome to Top Shelf Prospects, the daily column that introduces you to the next generation of professional hockey players. Every day I’ll bring you a new player profile or news article leading up to the 2022 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow me on twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and review profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Hockey Prospects is your new headquarters for all things “NHL Draft”! We have a full list of our article projects here. Today we bring you our Shane Wright scouting report.
Enjoying exceptional status at the age of 15 and cleared to enter the OHL a year earlier, Shane Wright has long been the top prospect in the 2022 draft class. he tough year, a dominant second half only cemented Wright’s status as the best player in this year’s prospect group. Wright has scored 32 goals and 62 assists for 94 points in 63 games with the Kingston Frontenacs this season. So far in the playoffs, he has scored two goals and eight points in six games as the Frontenacs advance to the second round. He was also named to Team Canada for the World Junior Tournament which was postponed due to a COVID outbreak among the teams.
COVID also took its toll on Wright’s 2020-21 season. He didn’t play a single game in the OHL, but still dominated the Under-18 World Championships, leading Canada to a gold medal. Wright has nine goals and five assists for 14 points in just five tournament games. He also battled a foot injury. In 2019-20, Wright was the OHL and CHL Rookie of the Year, with 39 goals and 66 points in 58 games.
Shane Wright scouting report
Center – shoots right
Born January 5, 2004 — Burlington, Ontario
Height 6’1″ — Weight 185 pounds [185 cm / 84 kg]
Wright’s skating seemed to improve as the OHL season progressed. In the CHL’s Top Prospects Game Tests, Wright was among the top five prospects in most skating tests. He has a very good first step and his acceleration is top notch. It also has a very good top speed. Wright can switch gears to pick up the pace, or he can control the puck and slow things down. His ability to shift gears allows him to trick defenders in one-on-one situations. He also has the lateral agility to get around defenders, with and without the puck. Wright shows good balance and has been able to fight through hooks, grabs and other extra attention he receives at the junior level. There is room to add muscle to its frame, however, so it can be even better in years to come.
Wright can do anything offensively. He is a pure goalscorer with an excellent range of shots and a lightning-fast release. His wrist and snaps are very heavy and the quick release can fool goalkeepers. It also has a good one-timer. Wright has a knack for opening up and finding space to shoot. He also has quick stick handling to slide the puck and open up the shooting lanes. Wright can also use those quick hands to score tight goals at net. He can pounce on a rebound and put it in a tough spot. He also has the hand-eye coordination to get tips on teammates’ shots or bury a quick point shot on a pass. Wright can also deke a tight goalie.
He can also play the role of point guard. Wright controls the puck and speeds up the game or slows it down when necessary. His soft hands combined with his skating skills make him an excellent playmaker. He can make plays with the puck while moving at full speed. He also has the ability to control the puck on the cycle, giving his teammates time to open up. When they do, he can throw a tape-to-tape pass through tight passing lanes. Wright seems to see the game developing faster than his opponents and his IQ and hockey outlook are elite. He even manages to win battles on the boards and in front of the net.
Wright is also an excellent defensive player. It includes spacing and reducing passing and shooting lanes. Wright anticipates what his opponent will do and stands between his man and the front of the net. It forces opponents out and into bad shooting lanes. He also uses a fast stick to steal the puck from his opponents with a poke shot or to intercept a pass and turn things around. He is engaged on the back check, supporting the defense down low and providing counter pressure against the rush. His positioning is extremely advanced for a draft prospect. He’s also good in the face-off circle and can help kill penalties.
Projection and comparison
Wright does it all and can be a top center in the NHL. He may never win a scoring title, but he provides more than enough offense to lead a front line in time. His two-way play and the fact that he will be able to rack up those points while closing the opponent’s top line is invaluable. Wright can be used in everything from shorthanded to power play. He can both score goals and set them up. Wright should have a long and distinguished career and he’s worth the hype. In terms of style, Wright compares favorably to Patrice Bergeron. This is, however, a comparison of style and not one that should be based on talent and ability. Expect him to be in the NHL next year, and he could compete for the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year.
The following is a compilation of some of Shane Wright’s flagship packages and features available on YouTube and Twitter.
FRONTS SURVIVE AN OT THRILLER 🔥@KingstonFronts Captain Shane Wright (@shane_wright51) plays the hero, as top #NHLDraft hope scores OT winner to delay Oshawa comeback and send Fronts to next round of #OHLPlayoffs
— Ontario Hockey League (@OHLHockey) May 2, 2022
What a beauty!!!
— Kingston Frontenacs (@KingstonFronts) April 29, 2022
The goal that set the tone for the @KingstonFronts in the third 🔥
— Ontario Hockey League (@OHLHockey) April 29, 2022
Come back later for our next draft article.
Main photo from Shane Wright’s scouting report:
Embed from Getty Images
PETERBOROUGH, ON – DECEMBER 21: Shane Wright #51 of the Kingston Frontenacs skates against the Peterborough Petes during an OHL game at the Peterborough Memorial Center on December 21, 2021 in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Ken Andersen/Getty Images)