Shane Wright on Possibly Being Canadiens' No. 1 NHL Draft Pick: 'Not My Decision'

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJune 18, 2022

BUFFALO, NEW YORK - JUNE 03: Shane Wright speaks at the Top Prospects Media Availability at the NHL Scouting Combine at HarborCenter on June 03, 2022 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Joshua Bessex/NHLI via Getty Images)
Joshua Bessex/NHLI via Getty Images

Top prospect Shane Wright knows his fate in the 2022 NHL draft is out of his hands.

Wright told reporters Saturday he wants to be selected first overall by the Montreal Canadiens but that they hold all of the cards:

"I have my own opinion on where I believe I should go, but at the end of the day, it's out of my control now. What my opinion is, what I say, what I think, it doesn't matter now. It's in the hands of Montreal and their management. Obviously, I'd like to be the first overall pick. But at the end of the day, it's not my decision."

The 18-year-old posted 32 goals and 62 assists in 63 OHL games with the Kingston Frontenacs in 2021-22. He tallied another 14 points (three goals, 11 assists) in 11 playoff appearances.

Not surprisingly, NHL Central Scouting listed Wright as the No. 1 North American skater heading into the draft.

When it comes to the No. 1 overall pick in the draft, Wright has some competition from Slovakian forward Juraj Slafkovsky. Slafkovsky helped his national team collect bronze at the 2022 Winter Olympics and finished as the leading goalscorer (seven).

Tabbing Wright as the top selection isn't an open-and-shut case for The Athletic's Corey Pronman.

Pronman wrote that Wright's "hockey sense is among the best in the draft" and called his shot "elite asset and something that can break games open." However, the Canadian "doesn’t have truly elite speed or skill, and isn’t the most physically imposing player either."

Bleacher Report's Lyle Richardson still projected Wright to land in Montreal, writing the Canadiens "will pounce" on a player who addresses their "ongoing need for skilled depth at center."