Shane Wright’s draft year was certainly anything but a long calm river. Despite everything, the Kingston Frontenacs forward would not swap places with anyone.
The Canadian center has seen his status as a top amateur contender more threatened and challenged than any other player in the past decade. Sometimes praised, sometimes criticized, his game was dissected from A to Z by various experts, especially after the Canadian won the lottery and was the first overall winner.
After that, everyone had their opinion on Shane Wright.
“It’s definitely not something you can just ignore. Now that the season is over, my attention is on the design. However, this is just noise and I have no control over what people say or the different rankings. I’m focused on being as draft ready as possible. It comes with pressure, of course, but I want to make the most of the moment,” he said Tuesday night on the sidelines of the Canadian Hockey League gala, where, unsurprisingly, he won the Best Professional award for Hope.
Speaking of the rankings, TSN journalist Bob McKenzie’s release on Tuesday confirmed what many had been saying for many weeks: Wright’s status as the world’s best hope and assured pick of the Canadian first overall is under threat.
After a poll of nine NHL scouts, reporter put Juraj Slafkovsky in first place after five of them also put him first.
Nothing changes for Wright.
“I don’t pay much attention to the different lists. In the end, these are rankings only and don’t mean they will be representative of the draft order. We won’t know until July 7th, so I don’t care. I know they are smart people who put a lot of effort behind these rankings, but I don’t care about them.
live the experience
After being in the spotlight all season – in fact, he’s been in the spotlight since he was 14 – Wright’s big day is finally approaching. In eight days he will finally know which training course will give him the chance to start his professional life.
Even if last season was exhausting for him and he had to live with expectations and criticism, he always makes fun.
“I enjoy every second. I have the opportunity to practice the sport I love and have an experience that I have dreamed of since childhood. There’s nothing I don’t like about this whole process. Sometimes it can be a bit exhausting, but I wouldn’t switch places with anyone right now.”
Hulton is coach of the year
Two members of the QMJHL walked out of the CHL Gala with honors on Tuesday. Charlottetown Islanders head coach Jim Hulton won the National Coach of the Year award first, while Halifax Mooseheads forward Jordan Dumais won the Gentleman.
In Hulton’s case, it was the second year in a row that he had won the award.
“Our team of scouts does an incredible job of identifying players with character. It’s an individual honor that should be more of a collective honor. That award goes to the Charlottetown Islanders.”
Last season, the Islanders finished second overall in QMJHL standings with a 48-13-7 record. They lost to the Shawinigan Cataractes in the Presidents Cup Finals.
Also, it was Kamloops Blazers forward Logan Stankoven who won the Canadian Hockey League’s Most Valuable Player title by beating Saint-Jean Sea Dogs’ William From the Ofen.