Montreal Canadiens: TSN Director of Scouting Has No Doubt Who Should Go #1 In NHL Draft

PETERBOROUGH, ON - MARCH 29: Shane Wright (Photo by Ken Andersen/Getty Images)
PETERBOROUGH, ON - MARCH 29: Shane Wright (Photo by Ken Andersen/Getty Images) /

The Montreal Canadiens hold the coveted first overall pick in the 2022 NHL Draft. Not only will they be picking first, they will also be making that selection in front of their own fans.

The Canadiens were originally supposed to host the 2020 NHL Draft, but it was wiped out due to Covid-19. Then they were supposed to welcome the NHL at the 2021 event but the same thing happened again.

Finally, they get their chance to host the annual draft and due to their poor 2021-22 season and a little luck at the draft lottery, they will be the first team to make a pick. Well, unless they trade it but we haven’t seen that happen in nearly two decades so don’t expect the home team to be the first to pull it off.

So, the only question for Canadiens fans now is, who will the team select first overall at the Bell Centre in front of a packed arena? According to TSN’s Director of Scouting Craig Buttin, there really is no debate to be had over the top pick.

Button released his final draft rankings yesterday on and was quoted as saying he “didn’t even consider another player other than Shane Wright” for the honour of being the number one ranked player on their draft board.

Wright had been the consensus number one pick in this draft dating back to 2019 when he was granted exceptional player status to join the OHL a year early. Those talks didn’t stall when he scored 39 goals and 66 points in 58 games as a 15 year old.

After missing the entire 2020-21 season due to Covid shutdowns, Wright scored 32 goals and 94 points in 63 games for the Kingston Frontenacs this season. Apparently that was “bad” enough to have a lot of people suggest Wright isn’t deserving of first overall status.

Perhaps he didn’t up his goal total as much as one would have expected, but after a year off he didn’t get off to a terrific start. He did steadily improve as the season went on and does so many fantastic things away from the puck that TSN’s top draft pundit has confidently ranked him as the player the Canadiens should take with the first overall pick next month.

The same things that are happening to Wright right now are what happened to John Tavares and a few others in the past. They were consensus first overall picks for so long that when it finally came to their draft season, everyone expects them to score three points per game. When they don’t reach that insane standard, viewers come away disappointed.

It’s funny though, because with all the “Wright shouldn’t go first overall” talk, it is really hard to find a published draft ranking that doesn’t have Wright at the top of the list. While many others in the industry like to talk about how close the gap is, and how many players are catching up to Wright, Craig Button just calmly points out that Wright is the best player in the draft and is ranked first overall because of that.

We will have to wait until July 7th to see who the Canadiens ultimately select with the top pick, but don’t be surprised if they are as confident in Wright as the number one overall selection as Button was in yesterday’s rankings.

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