Shane Wright Scouting Report: 2022 NHL Draft #1

Shane Wright Scouting Report
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Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the daily column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day I will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-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 critical profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Hockey Prospects is your new headquarters for everything “NHL Draft”! We have a complete listing of our draft articles here. Today we bring you our Shane Wright Scouting Report. 

Granted exceptional status at the age of 15 and allowed to enter the OHL a year early, Shane Wright has long been the top prospect in the 2022 Draft Class.  While he had a tough start to the year, a dominant second half has only cemented Wright’s status as the best player in this year’s group of top prospects. Wright 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 put up two goals and eight points in six games as the Frontenacs advance to the second round. He also was named to Team Canada for the World Junior Tournament which was rescheduled due to a COVID outbreak amongst the teams.

COVID also wrecked havoc on Wright’s 2020-21 season. He didn’t play a single OHL game, but still dominated the Under-18 World Championships, leading Canada to a gold medal. Wright scored nine goals and five assists for 14 points in just five games in the tournament. He also battled through 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

Centre — shoots Right
Born January 5th, 2004 — Burlington, Ontario
Height 6’1″ — Weight 185 lbs [185 cm / 84 kg]

Skating

Wright’s skating has seemed to get better as the OHL season has gone on. In testing at the CHL Top Prospects Game, Wright was amongst the top five prospects in most of the skating tests. He has a very good first step and his acceleration is top-notch. He also has very good top-end speed. Wright can change speeds to push the pace on the rush, or he can control the puck and slow things down. His ability to change speeds allows him to fool defenders in one-on-one situations. He also has the lateral agility to get around defenders, both with and without the puck. Wright shows good balance and has been able to fight through hooks, holds and other extra attention that he receives at the junior level. There is room to add muscle to his frame though, so he can be even better in future years.

Offensive Game

Wright can do it all offensively. He is a pure goal scorer with an excellent array of shots and a lightning-quick release. His wrist and snapshots are very heavy and the quick release can fool goaltenders. He also has a good one-timer. Wright has a knack for getting open and finding space to get his shot off. He also has the quick stickhandling to toe-drag the puck and opens up shooting lanes. Wright can use those quick hands to score goals in tight to the net as well. He can pounce on a rebound and put it in a tight spot. He also has the hand-eye coordination to get tip-ins on teammates’ shots or to bury a quick one-timer on a pass. Wright can also deke a goalie in tight.

He also can play the role of playmaker. Wright controls the puck and speeds up the game or slows it down as necessary. His soft hands combined with his skating make him an excellent playmaker. He can make plays with the puck while moving at top speed. He also has the ability to control the puck on the cycle, giving his linemates time to get open. When they do, he can throw a tape-to-tape pass through tight passing lanes. Wright seems to see the play developing quicker than his opponents and his hockey IQ and vision are elite. He even does well to win battles on the boards and in front of the net.

Defensive Game

Wright is also an excellent defensive player. He understands spacing and cutting down passing and shooting lanes. Wright anticipates what his opponent will do and keeps himself between his man and the front of the net. He forces opponents to the outside and into bad shooting lanes. He also uses a quick stick to steal the puck from opponents with a poke check or to intercept a pass and turn things the other. He is committed on the back check, supporting the defence down low and providing back pressure against the rush. His positioning is extremely advanced for a draft prospect. He is also good in the faceoff circle and can help to kill penalties.

Projection and Comparison

Wright does it all and can be a franchise-leading centre in the NHL. He may not ever win a scoring title, but he provides more than enough offence to lead a first-line in time. His two-way game and the fact that he will be able to put up those points while also shutting down the opponent’s top line is invaluable. Wright can be used in all situations, from the penalty kill to the 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 favourably to Patrice Bergeron. This is a style comparison though 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.

Highlights

The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Shane Wright that are available on youtube and twitter.

 

Check back later for our next draft article.

 

Shane Wright Scouting Report Main Photo:

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PETERBOROUGH, ON – DECEMBER 21: Shane Wright #51 of the Kingston Frontenacs skates against the Peterborough Petes in an OHL game at the Peterborough Memorial Centre on December 21, 2021 in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Ken Andersen/Getty Images)