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Will Canadians get the Shane Wright project? We’ll find out on Tuesday night

Montreal has a 25.5 percent chance of being chosen first, an 18.8 percent chance of choosing second place and a 55.7 percent chance of choosing third place.

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Will Shane Wright be part of the Rebuilding Canadians Project?

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The question will be answered after 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday when the NHL Draft Lottery results are revealed (SN, TVA Sports).

As the team with the record worst of the regular season, the Canadians have an 18.5 percent chance of winning the lottery for the top pick in the July 7 draft at Bell Center. Because of the new rules this season, Canadians will also pick first if any of the teams that finished 12th to 16th win the lottery, increasing Montreal’s odds of picking first to 25.5 percent. Canadians also have an 18.8 percent chance of picking second place. If they hit on top of the picks, they are guaranteed pick number 3.

Wright has been the number one pick since scouts began considering his prospects this year, but the gap between the Kingston Frontenacs and other top players like Logan Cooley, Juraj Slafkovsky and Joakim Kemell has narrowed with each update to the roster.

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While it is difficult to assess the level of talent in the draft until players reach the NHL, there are no Sidney Crosses, Conor McDavids or Austin Matthews on the radar.

Wright, considered a safe choice to be a strong player in the NHL, is often compared to Boston’s Patrice Bergeron. This isn’t bad company, but we’re looking at a two-way player who does a lot of things without being great at any aspect of the game. Wright’s best traits are his hockey sense and his shot. He is 6 feet 1 and 185 lbs.

His NHL Central Scouting report states: “An excellent prospect and someone the scouting community has been tracking for a while now, so everyone is aware of the attributes he can bring to the team. He does what it takes everywhere and any coach can count on a player Like that because he not only offers the offensive, but is an all-around team leader.”

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Slafkovsky might be an interesting consolation prize. He consolidated his tally at the Beijing Olympics, as he tied for the top scorer with seven goals, including two in the victory over Switzerland in the bronze medal match to give Slovakia its first Olympic medal. He was named the best player of the tournament. Slafkovsky is physically ready for the NHL. He logs in at 6ft 4, 220lbs and has been playing against men with TPS Turku in the Finnish League. It makes good use of its size to protect the disc and has an edge in its game.

Cooley ranks right behind Wright among North American snowboarders. He’s got super speed, which is important when you’re 5 feet 10 and 174 pounds. He needs time to get stronger and he headed to the University of Minnesota in the fall after playing in the US national team development program, where he didn’t come close to the kind of numbers set by the likes of Cole Caufield, Jack Hughes or Trevor Zagras.

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“His top speed off the charts and ability to quickly process and execute plays make him a scoring threat every time he steps on the ice,” the Scout Center says. He has a high level competition and makes the players around him better. It’s the big Olympic rink in Minnesota, so it’s going to be tough to deal with NCAA defenders with all that extra space.”

The caveat is that Minnesota players often have trouble transitioning to the smaller icy surfaces of the NHL. Minnesota’s notable NHL alumni are Blake Wheeler and Phil Kessel.

Kemell, right winger with JyP HT Jyvaskyla in the Finnish League, is the highest-rated European skater and led the league in goalscoring as a 17-year-old before injuring his shoulder in late October. He finished with 15 goals, of which eight are in playing power, and 23 points in 39 games.

Central Scouting compared him to David Pastrnak and said, “He’s a skilled playmaker who sees ice really well, and can control the play. He’s willing to look, set up the play, grind the disc and get to the net. At the bottom, he’s very elusive; from It’s hard to get rid of him in the attack area.”

phickey@postmedia.com

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2022-05-09 22:20:10

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