Consolation: Shane Wright enjoyed his conversation with Lecavalier

MONTREAL — Shane Wright called the discussion he had with Vincent Lecavalier in the weeks leading up to the National League draft “incredible.”

On Monday, the Canadian’s special adviser on hockey operations said he called whoever is believed to be among the favorites to be chosen by the Habs in the very front row of Thursday night’s auction at the Bell Center. Lecavalier, who was top of his class himself in 1998, wanted to share his experience with the Kingston Frontenacs forward while trying to learn a little more about him.

“It was a really, really amazing conversation,” Wright said during his first tour of Montreal on Wednesday. He was a great player in his time and it was special to be able to talk to a guy like him. He’s been through what I’m going through now, so he can understand everything I’ve been through this year. It was great to hear him tell his stories and to be able to take notes on the lessons he learned from them. »

Wright was awarded the Outstanding Player title before entering the Ontario Junior League (OHL) in 2019 and has been considered the top draft prospect in 2022 since months with the emergence of Slovakia’s Juraj Slafkovsky and American Logan Cooley. In a press conference this week, the Canadian’s general manager, Kent Hughes, said the group of recruiters he oversees has not yet made a decision and that those three players are still part of an internal debate.

Wright saw no sign in Lecavalier’s call that the Canadians favor him.

“They’re just doing their job. They make sure they leave no stone unturned to choose the best player. This is how I interpret this gesture on your part. You learned a bit more about me, I’ve grown up too. It was all very positive. »

The detractors

In the eyes of many, Wright’s star has faded over the past year. Despite an impressive 94 points in 63 games, the young centerman himself admits he didn’t have a “great year”.

Others didn’t bother to look for euphemisms to describe what he left as an example of his craft this season. He was said to have played a blunt style of play, lacked character, lacked momentum in his movements, had limited scope for improvement. Only his throwing behavior, which is unanimously described as top-class, was spared from criticism.

None of this seems to have shaken him too much.

“Anytime a player is put above the rest, that he’s considered number one, there will be people trying to put him down, look for lice, focus on his weaknesses, Wright believes. . They’re trying to create controversy or a little tension, I don’t know. »

“But I don’t care what people think. For me it’s just noise. I have no control over what people think of my game and what people say about me. However, the opinions that matter to me are my own and those of my family members, teammates, coaches, general managers and scouts. This is important. The rest, there’s no use worrying about it. »

Welcome to Quebec!

Wright received a warm welcome on Quebec soil this week. At the same time, the young Burlington, Ontario native got a glimpse into his life if he were to don the jersey and tricolor cap Thursday night.

Wright said that just minutes after entering Quebec, the vehicle his father was driving was being followed by a police car parked on the side of the freeway.

“She overtook us and pulled to the side again as if someone was watching us. As soon as we passed, she sped after us and activated her flashing lights. »

The officer who met them explained that a similar vehicle had been involved in an accident a few hours earlier and that he was just carrying out the usual checks.

“That’s when he saw me,” the teenager continued, clearly amused by the anecdote. He looked surprised and yelled, “You’re going to draft!” He left with our papers, and it’s funny because when he came back, my dad saw in the rearview mirror that he had his cell phone out. Before letting us go, he apologized and told us he was a Canadiens fan and would like a photo. So I got out of the car and took a break with the cop. »

Tie your hood, Shane. It could only be a beginning.

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