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  • 2022 NHL Draft: Shane Wright is your top guy


    Welcome to Hockey Wilderness’ coverage of the 2022 NHL Draft. We will not act like experts, nor will we act like we have watched hours of footage of these players. So instead, we have opted to rely on the opinion of people who have, and have compiled plenty of information from different publications regarding these prospects. Note: This is not a ranking, but just going down a list of interesting draft-eligible dudes without any order in mind.

    The time of year has finally come, we are talking about teenagers that play hockey and that are available to be selected in the upcoming NHL Draft. And while most years — despite being gifted some generational talent in the last decade — most lists don’t have a consensus pick at the very top. It can go between a defenseman or a forward; or maybe it’s based on potential rather than current tools and ability; or just the gut-feeling some scouts and draft experts have about a certain player. But this year is not one of those years, Shane Wright is at the top and should be the predictable first pick.

    Probably the most notable thing about Wright is just how solid he is. Can some scouts really try to nitpick and tear his game apart, seeing him skate one stride a little awkwardly and suddenly he has below-average skating? Definitely. But Wright just feels like that pick teams make to solidify and stabilize the top of any prospect pool, and will be featured on the team for the next decade or so.

    There might be nothing flashy with Wright, but as Minnesota Wild fans, we should be familiar with someone that might not make the dazzling plays but simply makes your hockey team better.

    Pre-Draft Rankings

    #1 (NA skaters) by NHL Central Scouting
    #1 by McKenzie/TSN (midseason)
    #1 by Dobber Prospects (April)
    #1 by Wheeler/The Athletic (midseason)
    #1 by EliteProspects

    What Scouts Are Saying

    Would They Fit In With The Wild?

    Yeah, as well as every other hockey team on the planet. Wright has that transmissible skill that coaches would love and teams should find success with him playing in their top-six. Just an easy ride in every single situation that they find themselves in and Wright can be that calming presence. For the Wild, it would be an immediate fit at center and suddenly the forward lines would get all the hype that they deserve around the hockey world. But,

    Could The Wild Get Them?

    Unfortunately, no. Unless the Wild do something incredibly rare and something that has not happened in decades, by acquiring the top pick from the Montreal Canadiens for a haul, Shane Wright will end up somewhere else.

    A Minnesota Relation

    Is it too easy to see a two-way center that is good at a whole lot and instantly think of Joel Eriksson Ek? Mikko Koivu could be another option, but the way he’s panning out, Eriksson Ek’s offense has a much higher ceiling than the Minnesota legend and current member of the team’s front office. Maybe we’re doing Wright a disservice, but considering the run of centers that have made their way to Minnesota, it’s the right call. Or maybe Mikael Granlund? This is just for fun.

    2022 NHL Draft Board


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