Wright named OHL rookie of the year

Aaron Vickers2022 Draft Center, OHL

Photo by Terry Wilson | OHL Images

Shane Wright, eligible for the 2022 NHL Draft, was named recipient of the Emms Family Award as the Ontario Hockey League’s rookie of the year on Thursday.

Wright, the No. 1 pick in the 2019 OHL Priority Selection of the Kingston Frontenacs, was granted exceptional status into the league by Hockey Canada as a 2004-born player. He set a Frontenacs record with 39 goals and led all OHL rookies with 66 points (39 goals, 27 assists) in 58 games.

“Wright is the latest exceptional status player and while there were questions at the time whether he would succeed under that pressure at the OHL level, he has proven the doubters wrong thus far,” FC Hockey’s head Eastern scout Dylan Galloway said. “His IQ was questioned in his draft year, but he’s shown to be increasingly intelligent with his play, particularly in the offensive zone. He’s evasive with the puck, and often wins 1v1 battles thanks to his soft hands.

“Wright is capable of being the shooter or the playmaker and I found his playmaking ability to improve as he became more comfortable in the league and developed over the season. So far, he’s living up to his exceptional status.”

Wright’s 1.14 points-per-game is the second-highest by an exceptional status rookie after John Tavares (1.18) in 2005-06.

“It’s a huge honour to win the Emms Family Award as the Rookie of the Year,” Wright said in a release. “This was one of my goals coming into the season and I’m very honoured.

“My family has sacrificed so much for me to be where I am today and I’m so thankful for that,. My coaches this year were amazing and I learned so much from them. My billets, Andrea Cartile and Nelson Martins were amazing and made my transition to Kingston smooth and easy. Finally, I’d like to thank my teammates for always having my back and pushing me to be the best player I can be.”