DENVER | Shane Wright watched the Colorado Avalanche’s morning practice at the Ball Arena alongside Matthew Savoie, Cutter Gauthier and Conor Geekie, three other top picks for the NHL draft, which will take place July 7-8 in Montreal.
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“I met a few Avalanche players: Bowen Byram, Alex Newhook and Erik Johnson,” Wright said with a big smile on his face a few hours after Game 2 of the Finals against the Lightning. I had run into Byram and Newhook in the past. I also greeted MacKinnon but didn’t want to disturb him as he was going to the gym. I left him in his routine. I thought it was cool to see her training in the morning.
“You find yourself in the Stanley Cup finals, you’ve worked your whole life to get to that stage,” he continued. You have the opportunity to win. »
One day, Wright would dream of following in their footsteps and taking part in the NHL’s big dance. But he doesn’t yet know which uniform he will wear.
Kingston Frontenacs center, which has been described for several months as the future class leader of the 2022 auction, now has a lot of upward pressure. Slovakia winger Juraj Slafkovsky and American center Logan Cooley could also take the stage first.
With less than three weeks to go, Wright maintained the same rhetoric. He wants the honor of being the Canadian’s very first choice.
“I have my own opinion on where I think I should go out,” he replied. But I don’t control my destiny. Whatever my opinion, I don’t mind. I’ll leave that to Montreal. I would like to be the first choice, but it’s not just my choice. »
“I think he wants to be the first pick,” said Savoie, a Winnipeg ice center who has 90 points in 65 WHL games. We talk a lot about it, there is a lot of speculation. »
“I’ve known Shane since I was 12 years old, since we played each other in tournaments in the spring,” Savoie continued. He’s a very good player. It’s a complete center. He works hard and plays right. I don’t know Montreal’s intentions, but the Canadians will have the opportunity to bring in a very good player. »
A good dinner
During the NHL Physicals (Combined) in early June in Buffalo, Wright reunited with Kent Hughes, Jeff Gorton, Nick Bobrov, and Martin Lapointe.
“I really enjoyed my dinner with the Canadians,” he said. I enjoyed meeting the team leaders. I got to know them. They described the city and the organization to me and told me about the plans for the future of Canadians. You strive to build a successful franchise. I want to be part of it. »
Very intelligent, Wright didn’t fall into the trap of describing the differences between the Montreal, New Jersey and Arizona markets, the teams that will follow CH’s pick.
“I’m going to have fun no matter what market I play in,” he said. It’s the NHL. I’m going to feel like I’m reaching for the moon just thinking about playing in the NHL. I know there are differences
Montreal, New Jersey and Arizona, but I don’t mind that. I will be happy to become a key player for the organization that recruits me. »
And if we say we can talk a lot about numbers, now there’s new evidence. 51 years ago, in 1970, the Canadians took Guy Lafleur to first place. 51 is Wright’s number in Kingston. “It’s a coincidence,” he says, laughing. I cannot guarantee that the stars will align. I think that is funny. I didn’t know it was 51 years for Guy Lafleur. »