Exceptional status granted


Randy Russon
By
March 8, 2019

Shane Wright, a 2004 birth year forward, has been granted exceptional player status and is thus eligible for the April 6, Ontario Hockey League priority selections draft.

This year’s draft is geared towards players with 2003 birth dates.

Now that he is eligible for next month’s draft, Wright is poised to go first overall to either the Kingston Frontenacs or Flint Firebirds. Kingston or Flint will finish in last place overall in the 20-team OHL and whichever team does will get the no. 1 pick.

Wright had applied for exceptional status and the process was administered by the Ontario Hockey Federation with a Hockey Canada, special evaluation panel that was assembled to evaluate the youngster’s hockey and academic documentation and to assess his level of maturity.

“Having administered this process since 2005 with John Tavares, Aaron Ekblad, Connor McDavid and Sean Day, I am continuously amazed by the well-rounded nature of those granted exceptional status,” relayed OHF executive director Phillip McKee. “His constant success both in the classroom and on the ice has demonstrated that Shane Wright is well deserving to be among those who have been granted status in the past.”

Born on January 5, 2004, the 15-year-old Wright is a 6-foot, 180-pound pivot who stars for the Don Mills Flyers minor midget entry of the Greater Toronto Hockey League. He has tallied 66 goals, 84 assists, 150 points in 72 games over the course of the 2018-2019 season.

“This has been a goal of mine for quite some time and I am excited to take on this challenge,” said Wright. “There are many people that I would like to thank including my parents, my sister, my extended family, coaches, teachers and most importantly my teammates.”

Wright becomes just the fifth player to be granted exceptional player status in the OHL, following forward John Tavares in 2005, defenceman Aaron Ekblad in 2011, forward Connor McDavid in 2012 and defenceman Sean Day in 2013.

Of note, Tavares, Ekblad, and McDavid were all chosen first overall to the OHL and later become first overall draft picks to the National Hockey League.


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