Ontario Hockey League Grants Shane Wright Exceptional Status

The Ontario Hockey League has granted Don Mills Flyer center Shane Wright Exceptional Status for early entry into the OHL draft and the ability to play in the OHL as a 15 year old next season.

The status granted to Shane Wright has only been granted to four other players in the OHL. John Tavares, Aaron Ekblad, Connor McDavid and Sean Day have all been recipients of this exception. The first three all followed it by being drafted 1st overall in both the OHL Draft and the NHL draft. Day was drafted 4th overall by the Mississauga Steelheads in the OHL draft and then in the third round by the New York Rangers with the 81st pick in the NHL draft. This is the first time since 2013 with Sean Day.

What makes Wright so exceptional is his game breaking speed and hockey IQ that is far beyond his years. In 72 games for the Don Valley Flyers of the GTHL, Wright has put up an extraordinary 66 goals and 150 points. He plays the game at a high speed and possesses the ability to make plays with the puck at full speed, rendering defencemen helpless against his oncoming attack.

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Strengths

The 15 year old Wright is a speed demon not seen by the GTHL since the likes of McDavid. The kind of player that not only has top end speed but can carry the puck and make the correct play while moving a mile a minute. His ability to work his way through the offensive zone without the puck is a testament to his high end hockey IQ. Wright plays a mature game and makes an effort to be involved in the play in all three zones. He is able to find pockets in the zone to open himself up for a shot or find another player in a prime scoring position. With elite vision, he can find teammates and make plays one step ahead of his opponents leaving them helpless to his offensive prowess. His skating and edge work is elite. At 6′ 0″ and 170lbs, he is already showing that he has size among his peers and he will likely only grow taller and fill out his frame even further as his development continues.

Weaknesses

While he doesn’t have any true holes in his overall game, he doesn’t have the hardest shot. He could afford to work on his shot power but that will likely come with his body maturing and growing into a man. His strength will increase with OHL coaching and training this coming offseason and into the next few seasons while playing in the OHL. He’s scored 66 times so far this season in the GTHL, but the number of goals in his rookie OHL season may not look as impressive out of context but will likely be incredible for his age at the next level. You can count on his shot improving over the next 12-18 months as he has been described as a hard worker and excellent student of the game by his Team Ontario head coach Jeff Jordan.

Future Outlook

While there have been only four other Exceptional Status players previously in the OHL, Wright may end up being the best player of the group outside of McDavid. He skates much better than Tavares did at that age, which sets him up for success in today’s game. Wright should be able to jump right into the lineup next season and play considerable minutes for whichever OHL team is lucky enough to draft the 6 foot center.

As for a longer term view, Wright’s playmaking ability, speed, and overall hockey IQ project him to be a top of the line center in the NHL. He already possesses the tools to make him a high end player and his next three season in the OHL will be more about filling out his frame, building up strength and continuing to mature as a player all while continuing to dominate his competition. Eligible for the 2022 NHL Draft, Wright will have time to not only impress scouts but prove that he deserved the honor of being granted “Exceptional Status” for this upcoming season. With extremely high expectations on the 15 year old center, Wright should develop into an outstanding player who plays a 200 foot game with elite offensive skills. A player who is the total package,

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All stats and information is from TSN.ca, EliteProspects.com, hockey-reference.com, hockeydb.com and prospectpipeline.ca

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Author: Tony Ferrari

Born in Ottawa, Ontario and raised in Windsor, Tony has loved hockey his entire life. Growing up as the lone Maple Leafs fan in a household of Red Wings fans, he followed both teams since he was a child. Having been through Toronto’s rebuild as a fan, Tony is ecstatic to be along for the ride and watch the Wings get back to their glory days. Having previously written about the Detroit Lions, Tony looks forward to bringing you content from the hockey world in a series of deep dive articles and analytical points of view that can help you better understand the little things we don’t all notice because they don’t show up on the stats sheet.