It’s dangerous to have your individual followers boo your draft choose. It’s even worse when it occurs at dwelling in entrance of them — and if you’re selecting No. 1 general, nicely, that’s tragic. On Thursday night time the Montreal Canadiens managed to finish this trifecta once they shocked the hockey world by choosing Slovakian winger Juraj Slafkovsky first general within the NHL Draft and never Canada’s Shane Wright.
Wright had been earmarked for years to be a future No. 1 choose and entered the night time with the strongest resume. Ultimately, all of it collapsed and he fell to 4th the place he was ultimately taken by the Seattle Kraken, and Canadiens followers remained shocked at what had transpired.
The chance that Wright might slip wasn’t stunning, however seeing it truly occur is what defied perception. Rumors that Wright may slip previous No. 1 have been usually met with skepticism, however the considerations groups have been having turned out to be very actual. As Corey Pronman of The Athletic put it:
“The chilly ft on Wright had been constructing for some time. Even whereas he was doing unimaginable issues for an underage participant and plenty of scouts had him ranked No. 1, there was a nagging minority opinion that slowly ballooned about Wright over a interval of years. That minority opinion got here all the way down to this: What’s so particular about him aside from the stats?”
Right here you had a participant who was seemingly destined for greatness for years. Was granted a particular waiver to begin taking part in within the OHL at age 15, and dominated by scoring 39 targets in 58 video games in 2019-20. Wright might shoot, cross, skate and kill penalties — however all these fundamentals didn’t translate into pleasure. Scouts didn’t see a spark, a glimmer that might foreshadow future league-dominating greatness. That’s why the Canadiens determined to take Slafkovsky, who, frankly, had a 5 purpose resume extra befitting a second spherical choose than No. 1 general, however who they consider had an opportunity to blossom right into a world-beater, reasonably than accept Wright’s perceived excessive flooring, low ceiling.
Our Canadiens weblog Eyes On The Prize had Wright pegged as their No. 1 choose, however understands what the fuss is about relating to Slafkovsky.
“Slafkovsky stole the headlines on the high worldwide tournaments of the yr — the Olympics and World Championship — and the Slovak started to attract extra curiosity for the highest spot. Solely time will inform which of he and Wright finally ends up being the higher NHL participant. Wright was the unanimous determination by the EOTP workers at primary within the SB Nation Mock Draft performed every week in the past, however there’s lots to love about Slafkovsky’s energy ahead recreation and ending potential.”
That worldwide play is basically what sealed Wright’s destiny to fall out of the No. 1 spot. This was very a lot a “what have you ever accomplished for me currently?” choice, and by this metric Slafovsky was tearing it up in opposition to future NHL competitors, whereas Wright didn’t get to play within the 2022 World Junior Championships after it was cancelled on account of Covid.
It had been pretty clear from the soar that the Devils could be concentrating on a defenseman at No. 2, particularly after selecting heart Jack Hughes first a number of years in the past. So not taking Wright type of made sense, however then why did he fall previous Arizona at No. 3? The Coyotes determined to take heart Logan Cooley reasonably than Wright, and truthfully we don’t know.
The most probably eventualities are that both Phoenix caught the identical chilly ft that Montreal had, or they merely didn’t make investments the vitality into scouting Wright that they did Cooley, assuming there was no manner Wright would make it to their choose. This precipitated them to stay to their plan, reasonably than make a last-second determination and swap from a participant they have been already comfy with. Both manner, the outcome was that Wright fell into Seattle’s lap at No. 4, and naturally the parents over at Davy Jones’ Locker Room are thrilled.
“Apparently Wright’s 94 factors in 63 video games with the Ontario Hockey League’s Kingston Frontenacs wasn’t adequate for the highest three groups.
The Kraken now have Shane Wright and Matty Beniers as the current and future first line/second line facilities.”
We’re left with probably the most fascinating draft nights in current NHL reminiscence. This was a category that lacked a clearly outlined generational expertise, which precipitated groups to gamble on upside over reliability. Now the wait is on to see if the Canadiens (particularly) made the suitable alternative, or whether or not they handed on getting a 15-year anchor as a two-way heart in favor of hoping Slafovsky’s worldwide efficiency is indicative of future greatness. Both manner, that is going to be a range that’s mentioned years, and years into the long run — particularly if Shane Wright turns into the participant everybody believed he could possibly be again when he made the soar to the OHL.
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