The 2022 NHL Entry Draft is growing closer and chatter around the NHL is indicating that the Montreal Canadiens will draft top prospect Shane Wright with the top pick overall at the Bell Centre on July 7.
Montreal Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes represented one of the best NHL centers over the last 20 years and maybe in the history of the NHL in Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron. Hughes is trying to build a contender again and most NHL scouts and insiders will all agree that you build up the middle. So as another NHL source opined to Montreal Hockey Now recently:
“The Canadiens have [Nick] Suzuki but then what on the NHL roster up the middle? They’ve got some good kids coming but then you add Wright? Now you’re tight up the middle as those kids come right?”
Montreal Canadiens prospect Riley Kidney is coming off a 100-point season and had two goals and six assists in the QMJHL playoffs thus far.
“Forget what they could bring in via trade or free agency, look at the potential of that 1-2-3 up the middle with Suzuki, Wright and Kidney” the latter source said.
With an impressive performance at the 2022 IIHF World Championships by Juraj Slafkovsky (3g, 6a), in eight games, buzz has generated that the Montreal Canadiens may be lured into drafting the 18-year-old Slovakian winger. According to another NHL source Saturday evening, that’s simply not the case.
“Montreal wants to build up the middle; why would they not take Shane Wright?” said the source. “Look, has Slafkovsky not turned some heads at the Worlds? Of course he has. Let’s think about this though. Who is the guy that’s been more consistent? Who do you want if you’re the Habs? I build up the middle. …you?”
Let’s be clear here, we are still more than a month out from the NHL Entry Draft, but, based on what MHN is hearing now, Shane Wright is the right pick according to insiders.