The Shane Wright Sweepstakes

Terry Wilson/OHL Images

The Shane Wright Sweepstakes

NHL

The Shane Wright Sweepstakes

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Terry Wilson/OHL Images

We are almost halfway through the 2021-2022 NHL season and it’s time for many teams to start looking towards the draft.

This year especially the draft class is looking especially stacked. Tons of amazing players rounding out the top half of the first round, with every team in the lottery having a shot at amazing talent. 

But this year there is a very special talent looking to be atop the draft boards of almost every NHL team. And his name is Shane Wright.

Currently playing for the Kingston Frontenacs of the OHL, Wright has been a highly touted prospect for a long time. A potential franchise center in the making, Wright has incredible skill. An all around talented center with a knack for handling the puck and playing with incredible pace. He isn’t at the level of generational talent but he is a huge piece for any team to build around.

According to Corey Pronman of the Athletic,

“Wright is the top prospect in the 2022 NHL Draft. He’s a very well-rounded center who has no noticeable flaw in his skill set but also does not have a ton about his game that gets you overly excited. He can skate and handle the puck like an NHLer. Wright’s game translates because of his compete and direct style of play. He takes pucks to the net and plays with pace. He can pull up to make a tough pass but he prefers to take pucks to the interior or shoot. His shot is his main weapon and the main reason I think he can become an NHL star, showing the ability to pick corners from long range consistently. Off the puck he’s competitive and responsible, showing maturity beyond his years. He projects as a No. 1 center in the NHL due to his all-around play but probably won’t be an elite scorer in the league.”

With this in mind, there are many teams whose fortunes this season haven’t exactly gone according to plan. I’m going to evaluate the 6 teams who are most likely be in the running for Wright and how he could impact each teams 

Arizona Coyotes:

The Coyotes going into this season had performed a hard reset. They moved off of their long time captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson, their starter Darcy Kuemper, and notable players like Christian Dvorak and Conor Garland. In doing so, they took on a lot of loaded contracts to allocate draft capital.

The Coyotes for the 2022 NHL entry draft have three first round picks and five second round picks. By virtue of smart management they not only have a shot at Shane Wright with their own first round pick, but might have a shot with the Canadiens pick as well. The Canadiens pick does have a condition on their pick. If it is a top 10 pick (Canadiens or Carolina’s that they own) the better of Montreal/Carolina’s 2022 first round pick will be transferred to the Yotes. BUT if either or both are top 10 picks then Montreal will instead transfer to Arizona the worst of Montreal/Carolina’s 2022 first round pick.

With this in mind, if they land Wright this would be a huge win for the franchise. The Coyotes have NEVER landed a first overall selection in the Entry draft and in recent years have only drafted as high as third back when they selected Dylan Strome in 2015. Having a guy like Wright would finally solidify their Number 1 center position that they’ve been yearning for since the Dylan Strome and Nick Schmaltz experiments did not pan out. Wright would be a potential franchise cornerstone who may have his jersey in the rafters for the Coyotes.

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