This is easily confused with arrogance. The two actually sail side by side, never holding hands above an imaginary thin line. Wright gives the impression that he crosses this line, like a tightrope walker, without crossing it. An achievement for an 18-year-old full of talent, adored and praised since childhood.
The handshake is firm, the steel-blue gaze is frank, direct. He doesn’t dodge no matter the question. The young man smiles. It’s already his third interview of the day and the ball has only just begun. For the written press, TV or radio, he walks through it with the habit of a man who knows how to do it. He knows tobacco, and for good reason.
He sits down and we have no choice but to tell him what strikes us: his striking resemblance to Jonathan Drouin [prière de ne pas envoyer de courriels à ce sujet, NDLR]†
You know what, I’ve been told that so many timeshe says amusedly.
Jonathan looks goodwe add.
He has very good handshe answers.
Touch. That interests him of course.
On Tuesday night, Wright learned that the Canadiens had won the lottery and would finish first. He politely declined our interview request that night, as he was playing a playoff game against the North Bay Battalion. He put it off until the next day.
He doesn’t admit it, but it’s obvious. In his mind Wright already sees himself wearing a blue, white and red sweater on his back. He remembers visiting the Bell Center facilities during a spring tournament in Montreal. A tour of which he keeps good memories.
The Frontenacs of Kingston used to be called the Canadiens. There are a few banners of their pride hanging on the wall of the arena.
In my first year, we had put on the retro jersey of the Kingston Canadiens. You can say it’s a funny twist of fatenotes Wright.
Well, then we won’t be ashamed. Another wink, the fact that one year less the CH will speak a front row day after being defeated in the Stanley Cup final. Some saw him at the top of the hierarchy in the medium or long term, but no one saw such a brutal fall.
So when Wright’s coach Luca Caputi called him into his office on Tuesday between the warm-up and the start of the game, the TV paused with the Canadiens logo clearly visible, the young man smiled. It seems from ear to ear.
We had a momenttrusts Caputi Wednesday afternoon to train his troop.
It stays between him and me […] but let’s just say it was one of those moments when words weren’t necessaryhe explains.
Wright will be bound to the Habs until at least July 6. At least until the team appears on stage. Then the Montrealers’ decision will determine the rest of the game
You know now, Wright is not unanimous. Some worship him, others doubt him. Recruiters and analysts are starting to admit that he is not (anymore) at the top of their list. We prefer the American Logan Cooley, even the Slovak Juraj Slafkovsky, who impressed the gallery at the Beijing Olympics.
Rumors are circulating fast and have just ended up in an echo chamber in Montreal. Wright is not immune to this.
It comes down to trust. When asked if it is that important for him to go out first, the Ontarian replies:
† It’s very important to me. I think what I have achieved over the years proves that I am the best player in this draft. That I deserve to be the first choice. I make it personal. I want to win everything, including going out first and being the best player in this draft. I think I belong there. †
He then gets the chance to explain why he thinks certain scouts criticize his lack of enthusiasm, of competitiveness.
He doesn’t flinch. Only the lashes blink a little faster… it seems… not sure…
%. C’est la nature du sport. Tu ne peux pas être à ton mieux tous les soirs. Peut-être que c’est le cas. Je ne saurais dire pour être honnête”,”text”:”Pour être honnête, je n’ai jamais entendu ça auparavant. C’est la première fois qu’on me le dit. Je suis compétitif, je joue dur. Il va évidemment y avoir des soirs où je ne compétitionnerai pas à 100%. C’est la nature du sport. Tu ne peux pas être à ton mieux tous les soirs. Peut-être que c’est le cas. Je ne saurais dire pour être honnête”}}”>Frankly, I’ve never heard that before. It’s the first time I’ve been told that. I am competitive, I play hard. There will, of course, be nights when I won’t compete 100%. It’s the nature of sports. You can’t be your best every night. Perhaps it is. I can’t say to be honestdrop Wright.
If he’s shocked, he doesn’t show it. Better be prepared for that with the countless team interviews that await him during physical tryouts in Buffalo in June. Not to mention the ardent journalists.
Rather, Luca Caputi believes that his playing style can sometimes give the impression that he is taking things lightly.
Maybe because he is a patient player at times. You can’t always run at 100 miles per hour, you will burn yourself for the second period. It slows down the game to be able to speed up when the time comes. It allows him to control the game with his intelligence. He makes sure everyone plays at their own pace, he sets the pace.
Pressure and pandemic
Wright even puts on a layer. When he earned outstanding player status at age 15 to begin his career in the Ontario Junior League (OHL) — one of five players to receive this privilege, along with John Tavares, Aaron Ekblad, Connor McDavid and Sean Day — he became he is sometimes seen as a generational talent.
In any case, his rating was higher than today. Its status as the first choice of the 2022 design seemed already acquired. It has never been more questioned than two months before the auction.
He claims to be
another generational talent†
I believe him. I still have a lot to learn and improve. But overall, with my game at the moment and how I see it evolving, I still think I can be that player.he assures.
Caputi, not to be confused with the American author of similar patronymic musicianship, speaks of him as a
Despite everything, he agrees that the pandemic has hurt his young protégé, as have all young hockey players, for that matter. A train of thought, according to him, to explain certain points of criticism.
Wright has been nearly inactive in 2020-21. As captain, he teamed up with child prodigy Connor Bedard to lead Canada to gold at the Under-18 World Cup. The Burlington playmaker had 14 points, including 9 goals in 5 games.
Most of his training consisted of gym sessions, occasional mock games with players his own age, and rollerblading. Lots of time on rollerblades, in fact.
I love that. It’s the closest thing to ice skatinghe said.
Inline skating on the lush streets of Toronto’s suburbs. Like all young Canadian hockey players from coast to coast. Like when he was 8 years old.
Now he’s 18. And if he were chosen by the Canadiens, he couldn’t be beyond the comfort of this slightly romantic vision of childhood.
It will be Montreal and its expectations. And are busy.
† I’ve been under pressure all my life. I’ve always been in the spotlight. When the pressure is high, I come out and show my colors. I love the pressure, I welcome it with open arms and I’ve gotten used to it over the years. †
That can be useful.
So, Shane, where are you going to play next year?
In the NHL, I feel like I have to be there.
In Montreal or elsewhere. You have two months left to debate it for your own pleasure.