Shane Wright put himself on notice during the 2018-19 season with the Don Mills Flyers putting up an absurd 150 points in 72 games and another 18 points in seven games en route to winning the OHL Cup. His skills earned him exceptional status, allowing him to play in the OHL as a 15-year-old.
Right out of the gates, the Kingston Frontenacs decided to name him as part of the leadership group wearing the assistant captain. During his rookie season, he had 66 points in 58 games. He set franchise records by beating Bernie Nicholls’ goal record, which Bernie had 36. Shane had 39 goals during his rookie season.
It was all fine and dandy with the season heading along; it looked like the Kingston Frontenacs and the Niagara Ice Dogs were going to fight for the 8th and final playoff spot. That was until March 11th. The day the NBA shut down their season and caused many others to follow suit due to the surging coronavirus pandemic. Little did we know, this would have further implications.
With the OHL season in limbo, players had to find ice on their own times. Many players were frustrated by the government’s handling of it. This led to one unique opportunity that Hockey Canada took advantage of, which was boasting the best roster in years for the U18s.
Shane Wright was captain of Team Canada for the U18s and had 14 points in 5 games. This is especially important to note since that is all the hockey he played during the year as the OHL had to shut down the 2020-21 season.
It’s clear that the OHL missing one entire season due to the COVID-19 pandemic really hurt Wright’s development. This season he didn’t come out as hot as everyone thought he would, leading to questions about whether he would be selected first overall. In the end, he finished with 94 points in 63 games and had 14 points in 11 games during the playoffs.
It may be best for Wright to get one more year in the OHL because of how the pandemic stole his 2020-21 season. No matter what team he gets drafted to (Montreal, New Jersey, Arizona), they are not one center away from being a playoff team, allowing Wright to develop his game further and maybe get to the AHL later in the year. Furthermore, it allows Wright to answer some of the scouts’ questions about him.
In addition, this allows him to dominate against the same competition for another season. The thought of him winning the OHL scoring title would be amazing for whoever drafts him. Plus, he may not be guaranteed top-line minutes in the AHL, whereas he is already guaranteed those minutes in the OHL.