Choose Shane Wright | The Journal of Montreal

Enough hesitation! The Canadian must not overlook Shane Wright. The young man must be the first player to reach the podium in the first round of the National League Draft, presented tonight at the Bell Center.

There is evidence that this may well be the case. Earlier in the week, Vincent Lecavalier, first choice of the 1998 class, shared his experience in the role with Wright.

Wright told my colleague Jonathan Bernier yesterday that he had also received a call from Martin St-Louis.

Jonathan asked Juraj Slafkovsky and Logan Cooley if they had received a call from Vincent Lecavalier and their answer was no.

It doesn’t say everything, it’s true.

It’s possible that Slafkovsky and Cooley twisted their tongues.


Better prepared for the challenge

Wright is better prepared for the NHL and the Montreal market. He has lived under the reflectors since he was 15 years old. He already knows a lot about the duties of the profession.

It helps when you find yourself in the organization of Canadians.

Wright has a reputation for being very mature for an 18-year-old. A popular belief is that he shows the character of a 25-year-old man.

Sidney Crosby fits this profile. It felt like talking to a middle-aged man in his early days with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Also impressive was Colorado Avalanche’s Gabriel Landeskog at 18.

He caused a stir when he ran into reporters during the 2011 Stanley Cup Final between the Boston Bruins and the Vancouver Canucks. He spoke like a responsible veteran.

No one would have gone so far as to predict that he would become an Avalanche captain by the age of 20. But the leaders of the Avalanche were not wrong.

Two good first crosses

Don’t think Wright will be captaining the Canadiens for years to come or even later.

That’s not the question.

Give him time to develop and adapt to NHL play.

If, as the experts predict, he becomes a good second center, the Canadian will be in the car with a Suzuki-Wright duo in a few years.

And the other two?

Why not Slafvosky or Cooley? you’ll say.

Slafkovsky is the perfect size for a winger. He’s already 220 pounds over six foot four tall.

This is a mirror cabinet!

It’s true that he caught the eye at the Olympics last winter. But the National League players were not in Beijing.

He also did well at the World Cup earlier this year, but again, not all of the best players in the world are there.

His demeanor is reminiscent of Jesperi Kotkaniemi in his draft qualifying year.

By the age of 17, Kotkaniemi had put in a good second half in the Finnish league Porin Ässät.

Help right away

As for Cooley, he’s done well in the USA development program for the past two years.

He is considered dynamic and creative. But he has an offer on the table from the University of Minnesota Gophers.

If he chose that option, it would mean that he wouldn’t feel ready for the NHL.

But can the Canadian wait one, two, three or four years?

We know the coming seasons won’t be easy, but we have to give hope to the fans.

Nick Suzuki, Cole Caufield and Alexander Romanov are at the big club. Cayden Primeau has approached Montreal. Kaiden Guhle has completed his junior internship.

Fans are willing to wait, but not indefinitely.

A good quartet

Patrice Brisebois, Guy Carbonneau, Vincent Damphousse and Chris Nilan are now Canadian Ambassadors. They join Yvan Cournoyer and Réjean Houle who have not always been able to keep up with demand since the losses of Henri Richard and Guy Lafleur.

The cessation of these four former Habs marks a line with the great dynasties. It’s no less appropriate.

Brisebois has CH tattooed on his heart. He would rip his shirt off for the Canadiens.

Player, he was always the first to raise his hand when the Canadian needed someone for charity. He made personal donations to Sainte-Justine Hospital. He will play his role as ambassador well.

Always on RDS

Like him, Carbonneau and Damphousse are members of the last Canadian Champion Edition.

The two will retain their positions as analysts at RDS, which will no doubt raise questions about their objectivity. But I don’t think it changes the way they do things. I expect them to continue their work with the same openness.

As for Nilan, we know that he faced difficulties in his life. He used drugs, over-prescribed painkillers and abused alcohol.

But he rebuilt his life.

He has been sober for several years and notably gives lectures warning teenagers about drugs and alcohol. He would be a very good spokesman for Canadians in that regard.

Despite its earlier problems, its popularity among enthusiasts has never wavered.

It’s good to say

Dominique Ducharme taught us something good at his golf tournament yesterday when he said he offered his good friend Martin St-Louis an assistant position with the Canadiens last summer.

We know the rest.

I don’t know if Ducharme will get a second chance as head coach in the NHL. But he could return by continuing the path he had followed with the Habs.

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