Shane Wright: Opportunities
Improving the projected 1st overall pick
Shane Wright is a heck of a hockey player.
Even though certain scouts have seemingly soured on him in recent months, the Kingston Frontenacs forward’s strong age and league-adjusted production still deserves recognition.
In fact, according to Byron Bader’s Hockey Prospecting model, Wright’s draft year NHL equivalency is almost identical to that of the most recent right-handed center to go first overall: Nathan MacKinnon.
And yet, MacKinnon and Wright are big-time junior scorers with completely different styles.
The former grew up preferring to go it alone, favoring long possessions down the wing to beat defenders 1v1.
One might even call young Nate a bit of a puck hog, if not for his highly productive Halifax Moosehead partnership with Jonathan Drouin.
A signature MacKinnon solo effort; he turnstiles Seth Jones at the Memorial Cup.
If teenaged MacKinnon hunts mostly like a tiger (i.e. alone), then Wright behaves much more like the leader of a wolf pack, using his movement and puck play to direct a group effort.
Wright (#51 in black) initiates a give-and-go, then scores from the slot.
Like Patrice Bergeron, a frequent comparable, Wright has a knack for staying low & slow near the dot lane, swinging (mostly toward, occasionally away from) the puck at the exact right moment, catching a pass, and then springing a teammate with a through play.
#51 White swings, receives a pass between checks, creates a 2v1 and scores at the back post.
Wright’s offensive and defensive reads are mature.
His style of play is NHL-ready.
But therein lies the rub.