Off-season 2019 has officially begun for the vast majority of hockey. For Shane Wright, it is anything but business as usual.
Rather than preparing for another year of minor hockey, this summer his focus turns to one thing, his first season in the Ontario Hockey League with the Kingston Frontenacs.
Just a few short months ago Wright was granted exceptional status, which allows him to enter the OHL at the age of 15. Wright understands the importance of this status and is ready to show off what he can do at the next level.
“Being named it was an incredible honour. You see the guys who got it, McDavid, Ekblad, Tavares and you see my name alongside those guys. I was so excited to get granted, and to get started.”
What can fans expect from Shane Wright when he hits the ice?
“I’m a smart player, think the game very well. I’m also a good skater and very competitive. I like winning and in the years to come I will bring leadership.”
He enters the OHL after a historic season with the Don Mills Flyers Minor Midget program. Wright put up over 150 points which was a big reason why the Flyers only lost one game all season, the Silver Stick Finals against Detroit Compuware in November.
Being a ’04 birthdate, Shane has been playing against older players for some time now. The one difference for this year? Some are NHL draft picks and others are up to 20 years old.
“I’m not going to try to focus on playing against older guys. Working out in the summer getting bigger and stronger so I’m able to compete against guys who are older than me is a big part of it, but mentally I feel like I will be alright playing with and against guys who are older than me.”
One goal that he has set for himself this summer compared to last is upping the intensity in the gym.
“I’m going to push myself even a little harder than I think I could. I’m going to be a younger guy and be a little less physically mature so I’m going to have to do whatever I can to make sure that I’m at the top of my performance physically.”
The announcement was different for Shane rather than most first-overall picks. Kingston elected to introduce him publically at the city hall.
“It was incredible.” said Wright “I had a tour of Kingston and the rink. Being named the first-overall pick at the city hall where there is so much history and in such an amazing city. It was an incredible honour and a great time.”
The Frontenacs have their franchise player for the near future. His minor season resume alone is quite impressive.
He was the GTHL Player of the Year, OHL Cup MVP, named to the OHL Cup All-Star team, and won a silver medal at the Canada Winter Games with Team Ontario.
When Wright puts on that Frontenacs jersey, he doesn’t have any personal goals, he just wants to do his best to bring a championship to the city of Kingston.
“It’s far away, but it’s a dream of mine to help the city of Kingston win a championship and if we are lucky, win a Memorial Cup.”