Montreal Canadiens: Shane Wright Loses #1 Ranking On Bob McKenzie’s Draft Ranking

OSHAWA, ONTARIO - NOVEMBER 21: Shane Wright. (Photo by Chris Tanouye/Getty Images)
OSHAWA, ONTARIO - NOVEMBER 21: Shane Wright. (Photo by Chris Tanouye/Getty Images) /

The Montreal Canadiens have an increasingly more difficult decision to make when it comes to the first overall pick in the 2022 NHL Draft. They still have nine days to figure it out, but it doesn’t appear to be getting any easier.

The Canadiens won the draft lottery after their 32nd place finish in the 2022 NHL standings. They will now make the first pick in the draft that takes place inside the Bell Centre on July 7th.

The consensus top pick in the draft has been Shane Wright all season. He was granted exceptional status to join the OHL for the 2019-20 season as a 15 year old and he was terrific. He scored 39 goals and 66 points in 58 games that season but the following year was cancelled due to the pandemic.

Wright didn’t play at all in 2020-21, then returned to the Kingston Frontenacs in 2021-22 and was really good. The problem is, he was expected to be phenomenal. He was just really good. He scored 32 goals and 94 points in 63 games, which is a great season, but he was expected to be even better, especially when it came to goal scoring.

This has affected some of the recent draft rankings, but most people were still slotting Wright as the number one prospect, but they were quick to mention how slim the margin had become. It was a fairly wide chasm between first and second at the start of the season, but that is no longer the case.

In Canada, we all know that Bob McKenzie is the ultimate Hockey Insider. He was the original, and remains the top dog in the rumour world, even in the midst of retirement. Well, semi-retirement. McKenzie still pops up to do big events like the World Juniors, the NHL Draft and his annual draft ranking show.

McKenzie polls ten scouts around the NHL every year to get their rankings for the upcoming draft. He then compiles their ranking and comes up with a consensus draft ranking for the first round of the upcoming draft.

He just released his findings for the 2022 NHL Draft and it began with a bit of a bombshell. Shane Wright was not the top ranked player on his list.

Instead, it was Slovakian left winger Juraj Slafkovsky who was ranked first overall. Of course, McKenzie was quick to point out that the margin is extremely slim and Slafkovsky had five first place votes to Wright’s four.

It would still shock me if the Canadiens march up to the podium in front of their own fans and don’t select Wright, who most people thought was going first overall since he was granted that exceptional status three years ago.

But, it appears the scouts working for NHL teams are starting to put Slafkovsky at the top of their boards. We will just have to wait and allow the drama to unfold on July 7th.

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