Kingston Frontenacs forward Shane Wright could be the top pick in the NHL draft

The Montreal Canadiens have officially scored the first pick in the NHL draft, and now all eyes have turned to whom they will choose. 

While there are no guarantees, there's speculation that Kingston Frontenacs forward Shane Wright will be selected first overall.

"That’s the spot I want to be, that’s the spot where I believe I should be. I believe I know that I’m good enough," says Wright. "I believe based on my play this year, and in the past that I’m the best one in the draft class."

Originally from Burlington, Ont,, Wright was drafted by the Frontenacs in 2019, and granted exceptional player status to play on an OHL team a year early. 

At just 15 years old, he was already on scouts' radars as a top NHL pick. 

"You don’t see this very often where someone is pegged as a 15 year old, that they get exceptional status in the Ontario Hockey League, and they come in and stay in that spot until they are drafted," Lee Versage with TSN 1200’s 'The Drive' says.

"There’s the John Taveras, maybe the Aaron Ekblads of the world but not too many guys have done this like Shane Wright has."

He’s the youngest player ever to be named captain in Canadian Hockey League history. In 2021 he captained Team Canada to gold in the IIHF World U18 Championship.

In the NHL, he has the potential to be an elite two-way centre.

Versage says Wright has tough competition in fellow top prospect Juraj Slafkovsky for the number one draft.

"I think it’s going to be a tight race between Shane Wright and Slafkovsky for the Montreal Canadiens to decide but I don’t think there’s any doubt that if Shane Wright doesn’t go number one he will go number two," Versage says.

"I think the Montreal Canadiens are going to call his name come July.”

Kingston Frontenacs Head Coach Luca Caputi says Wright is a positive influence both on and off the ice. 

"From an on-ice standpoint, he’s able to not only skate exceptionally well, but make plays, and sees the game through a different lens than other players," he explains.

The cancelled season under COVID last year was a difficult setback, and a slow start to the season has competition tight.

But in the lead up to the draft on July 7, all eyes will be on Wright. 

"Montreal is an unbelievable franchise, an unbelievable city, with lots of history,” says Wright. "Original Six franchise, so it would be pretty cool to have the opportunity to be there, be a part of that franchise."