from Gare Joyce of Sportsnet,
You might presume that it would be easy this fall for Wright to step back into the OHL, but like the opening game of the season he has been solid, with a shining moment on occasion, but neither dominant nor spectacular. It hasn’t been like flipping a switch.
Despite their lofty preseason rankings and the romp in the opener, the Frontenacs crashed in their next two games that weekend: a 7–2 loss at home to Mississauga and then, even more shockingly, a 4–3 loss in Ottawa to the 67’s team they manhandled 48 hours earlier. They rebounded, winning their next three games, but Wright was held off the scoresheet in the last of those, a 5–1 win over Peterborough. Granted, it’s a small sample (even if it represents a tenth of the regular season) but Wright’s two goals and four assists through six games puts him slightly off the pace from his rookie season as a 15-year-old on a team that was ranked in nobody’s top 10 in the league, never mind nationally.
Lately, Wright has been skating between left winger Martin Chromiak and Matthew Soto on the right side. Chromiak, one of Kingston’s imports and a fifth-round pick of Los Angeles in the 2020 NHL Draft, seems like a worthy complement for Wright, but Soto is a 16-year-old, the Frontenacs’ first round pick this spring, and as such is seeing the OHL game up close for the first time.
Said one scout who has viewed Kingston a couple of times since the opener: “It really wasn’t the energy I expected from Wright but to be fair it’s not been the energy I’d have expected from everybody. The game’s back but is it the same as before? Not really. Probably won’t be for a while. Where [Wright’s] game is come December will be interesting — what he plays like at world juniors. What he did at U18s was no fluke, no once-in-a-lifetime thing.”
A player who got an early start to his junior career but is taking longer to have the impact he and others expected than he might’ve hoped. For Shane Wright, getting back on the bicycle hasn’t been quite as simple for him as learning to ride in the first place.