Shane Wright, a favorite to be the first player selected in the 2022 NHL Draft, is ready to play in the NHL next season, according to TSN director of scouting Craig Button.
Button, a guest on the latest episode of the "NHL Draft Class" podcast, said the 17-year-old forward has the same blend of high-end skill, the ability to impact all aspects of the game and hockey IQ as Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron.
"I think Shane Wright could play in the NHL right this coming season, that's how good he is," Button said. "He's competitive, he's smart, he's skilled, strong. He gets out on the ice and it doesn't matter where you put him on the ice, what situation he's in, he's excelling, and that's what Patrice Bergeron has done for a lot of years, and continues to do, for the Boston Bruins."
Wright (6-foot, 188 pounds) scored 14 points (nine goals, five assists) in five games and captained Canada to a win at the 2021 IIHF Under-18 World Championship. He was granted exceptional-player status by Hockey Canada in March 2019 and was selected by Kingston of the Ontario Hockey League with the first pick of the 2019 OHL Draft. He scored 66 points (39 goals, 27 assists) in 58 games last season and was named rookie of the year in the OHL and the Canadian Hockey League.
The U-18 Worlds was the only hockey Wright played this season. The OHL canceled its 2020-21 season due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.
"When I compare someone to Patrice Bergeron, it's because they have that type of game and to me Shane absolutely has it," Button said.
Button also shared his feelings on some of the more notable happenings at the 2021 NHL Draft, including the New Jersey Devils' selection of NTDP U-18 team defenseman Luke Hughes at No. 4 and whether any of the players chosen are ready to play in the NHL next season.
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Listen: New episode of NHL Draft Class