Tuesday, March 5, 2024

NHL: Dilemma for Canadian in draft as Shane Wright leaves doubts

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Virginia Whitehead
Virginia Whitehead
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Ottawa – “It’s not a good year to be a first-choice in the draft. There, it was said and he comes from a recruit who understands that Montreal Canadiens will have to strain their brains if they inherit it because Shane Wright’s performance raises doubts.”

With that said, the name Wright, without much concern, has been associated with the first rank of this coffee for a long time. But the center-right has not been able to maintain this position beyond a reasonable doubt over the past few months.

Immediately, we must consider the downside of the attempted context of COVID-19 that has particularly deprived Wright of a valuable development season in 2020-2021. Another important caveat, Wright turns out to be a great hockey player and no recruiter wants to take that from him. They just painted, with transparency, the picture of his season. Because the fact remains that the teams, which have the highest odds in the lottery, must communicate.

2022: Not a good year for a first place pick?

“It’s a tough situation. What do you do if you get the first option? I haven’t come up with my answer yet because I keep evaluating and evaluating; it’s annoying,” admitted a source consulted by RDS.ca.

Wright is far from a bad player, already amassing 57 points (20 goals and 37 assists) in 41 games this season for Kingston Frontenac. But he planted even brighter potential with his 39 goals and 27 assists (66 points) in 58 games two years ago.

“He will be a good position in the top 6, a man who will achieve his share of points. But expectations should not be too high. Above all, he will be able to feed the wings, good scorers,” noted another recruiter surveyed.

This comment is a reminder that expectations are not exceptional for the 2022 draft.

“I don’t know where he would have come out in the 2021 draft, but he certainly wouldn’t have been the first pick (Owen Power) and he probably wouldn’t have been chosen among the top five,” one scout compared.

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The teams must now determine if it is still the best long-term option.

“It’s up for debate. He opened the door to let someone else slip in, but I don’t know if there’s a player who can do that, it’s a year like that,” one commentator described as American quarterback Logan Colley, Finnish winger Joachim Kimmel, Slovakian winger Juraj Slafkovsky and Matthew Savoie of the Alberta Center are among the biggest threats.

Added one of his colleagues who expected many hours of meetings for clubs that could announce their first selection meeting in Montreal this summer.

“I don’t care (the aggravated arrangement) and it doesn’t bother me,” Wright said in an interview with RDS.ca.

Very different from Bergeron and not repeating the Kotkanimi case

When the player racks up the stars in his notebook thanks to his complete and defensive style, the all-too-easy reaction is to associate him with Patrice Bergeron. This comparison often resurfaces for Wright, but she does not agree at all with the recruiters consulted.

“By comparison, I don’t see it at all. Meaning Wright has a lot more offensive skills than Bergeron’s at the same age. On the contrary, his defensive game isn’t really as accurate as Bergeron’s.” One scout replied: “I don’t think it would be As reliable as he is, but he should make more worthwhile plays.”

“It’s nice to say that it works both ways, but Patrice pulls more of it. You’ll see that it happens to him that he pulls his sleds on the barn,” added his colleague.

We reach the inevitable dimension of the midfielder, a difficult situation to salvage. Could Canadians give him more value for this reason?

“Especially in the first round, we don’t look at our group of players. We’ve seen that in the past, teams try to circumvent that approach and sometimes it comes back to you in the face. The best example we know is (Jesperi) Kotkaniemi. The Canadian was royally wrong,” This speaker answered.

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Wright could have compensated more harshly

The job of the recruiter is quite complex. It is already dangerous to predict the progress of young athletes, they must take into account the impact of the pressures of the preliminary year on hockey players.

“It’s definitely tough at times, it comes with a lot of outside pressure, but I have to do my best to focus on my game, my goals and be a good teammate,” said Wright, who admits that the whole thing affected his production.

“At first, I was more nervous. It’s still a crucial season in our career. My game has stabilized in the past few weeks and I’m happy with my job,” said Wright, who would feel privileged to play for an organization like the Canadians.

Thus, scouts accept that production does not always meet their expectations for a player, but they become even more skeptical when the athlete in question does not show enough conviction to compensate.

“There are also aspects of personality and level of competition that add to the equation. Will he meet expectations in that aspect? I think we, like everyone else, ask ourselves questions as recruits,” admitted the person who works with a team from the Western Association.

When giving a separate interview to his colleague from one of the clubs in the East, he agreed with him on the same argument.

“What disappointed me is his intensity and the speed with which he plays. A lot of the time, he doesn’t skate enough, he doesn’t chase the disc. I think he could have made a lot more in that aspect,” he said.

“Starting the season as the number one potential player is not always easy and I don’t think he has handled it well. At worst, if you are nervous, work harder than the others and it will work out. He hasn’t played as hard this year,” the scout continued.

On Wednesday evening, in a disappointing part of his forces, we were able to validate all the enlisted notes. Wright should get more involved in the action, it will help him stand out even more. It remains to be hoped that the best odds game and playoffs inspire more emotion in his actions.

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Wright’s expulsion opens up another part of the Scouting question. While he performs well in his skateboarding, vision and all-around play, his shot remains his elite tool. He used this asset to score 39 goals at a very young age (in 2019-2020) with a shooting efficiency of 19.70%, but that rate has fallen to 12.90% (20 goals from 155 shots) this season.

Shane Wright” One sniper Whoever thinks too much is sure that his performance will be affected. He does not strip defenders with his hands and is not the most creative in attack. Besides his shots, what remains of his great strengths is that he is a good midfielder in both directions,” explained one scout.

Dave Cameron isn’t a scout, but he’s been coaching athletes for 35 years and has coached Wright in the Junior World Championships (which will resume this summer) and has faced him nine times this season in the Ontario Youth League.

Cameron likes to say that exceptional athletes have no choice but to learn to live with the pressure. Above all, it is believed that the cancellation of the previous season caused a desire to do too much in some players.

“I saw that in my team (the Ottawa 67 team). Sometimes draft year players want to get everything done on the same night. They want every part to be extraordinary. When you fall into that state of mind, you get out of the way. Exposing yourself to frustration and unnecessarily draining energy. The best players manage to balance it all out and I think Shane did it really well,” Cameron concluded, recalling Wright’s superb attention to detail in gameplay.

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