Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League in association with the Kingston Frontenacs Hockey Club today announced that 15-year-old forward Shane Wright of the Greater Toronto Hockey League’s Don Mills Flyers will be the first overall pick in the 2019 OHL Priority Selection presented by Real Canadian Superstore.
The announcement was made at a press conference this morning inside Council Chambers at historic Kingston City Hall, a fitting location for an announcement of this magnitude, in Canada’s first capital and the birthplace of hockey. Joining Kingston Frontenacs management for the announcement was Shane’s parents Simon and Tanya Wright, Kingston Mayor Bryan Patterson, and members of Kingston City Council.
Born January 5, 2004, Wright was granted ‘Exceptional Player Status’ by Hockey Canada to be eligible for the 2019 OHL Priority Selection which features 2003-born talents. He is just the fifth OHL player to receive the distinction following John Tavares (Toronto Marlboros/Oshawa Generals in 2005), defenceman Aaron Ekblad (Sun County Panthers/Barrie Colts in 2011), forward Connor McDavid (Toronto Marlboros/Erie Otters in 2012), and defenceman Sean Day (Detroit Compuware/Mississauga Steelheads in 2013). Tavares, Ekblad, and McDavid were all chosen first overall in their respective seasons and were later first overall picks in the NHL Draft.
“There is a reason Shane was granted exceptional player status,” said Kingston Frontenacs General Manager Darren Keily. “It starts well before he plays the game; Shane is an exceptional person, with exceptional character, from an exceptional family. His hockey is part-in-part with that, and he will be a great asset to our club. That’s what separates him from others.”
Wright was named the GTHL Minor Midget Player of the Year after producing a league leading 150 points in 72 games including 66 goals and 84 assists. He led a Flyers team that went undefeated in regulation play capturing a league title and OHL Cup powered by Under Armour championship. He earned MVP honours on minor midget’s greatest stage with 18 points in seven OHL Cup contests including an assist on the overtime winner in a dramatic 6-5 victory against the Toronto Red Wings to finish just one point shy of McDavid’s 2012 record. The 6-foot, 179-pound centreman led the showcase with a plus-16 rating, was 66.4 percent in the faceoff circle, and finished with the event’s fourth highest total of 29 shots on goal. Wright also represented Ontario at the 2019 Canada Winter Games serving as team captain and earning a silver medal.
“Shane is one of the most gifted and talented players to come along in a number of years,” said OHL Director of Central Scouting, Darrell Woodley. “He has a combination of skill, speed, hockey sense and determination that really separates him from his peers. He is an explosive and powerful skater that can reach top speed quickly and can change gears in mid-flight to catch defenders flat footed. Shane’s skill and offensive instincts are second to none possessing vision and creativity with the puck that is truly fun to watch.”
Wright is the 2019 recipient of the Jack Ferguson Award presented annually to the player selected first overall in the OHL Priority Selection. The “Fergie” recognizes the dedication and contributions made by Jack Ferguson during his 25 year association with the OHL, first as a scout with the Ottawa 67’s and followed by his appointment as head of the OHL’s Central Scouting Bureau in 1981 as its Director of Central Scouting. Wright is the first member of the Frontenacs to receive the award but is the third player in Kingston’s all-time franchise history with the first overall distinction following Drake Berehowsky chosen number one by the Kingston Raiders in 1988, and Bryan Fogarty of the Kingston Canadians in 1985.
Learn more about Shane Wright, the ‘Exceptional Player’ in a four-part video feature:
Part 1: Defining ‘exceptional’
Part 2: What the players think
Part 3: What the coaches think
Part 4: The ‘exceptional player’ process
WATCH: #OHLDraft Prospect Profile – Shane Wright, Don Mills Flyers
Wright and his family will be the featured guests on a special edition of the Frontenacs This Week podcast. The podcast will be available this afternoon on the Kingston Frontenacs website www.kingstonfrontenacs.com.
He will also be a feature guest on the live 2019 OHL Priority Selection Draft Show presented by Real Canadian Superstore beginning at 9:00 am on Saturday April 6, 2019. The draft show along with live results feed will be available at www.ontariohockeyleague.com. For the twelfth straight year, media and fans can watch the first three rounds live online with host Terry Doyle who will be joined on set by Darrell Woodley and Tim Cherry of OHL Central Scouting to provide analysis, interviews, and video footage of the next wave of OHL stars.
Former winners of the Jack Ferguson Award Include:
1981 Dan Quinn, Belleville Bulls
1982 Kirk Muller, Guelph Platers
1983 Trevor Stienburg, Guelph Platers
1984 Dave Moylan, Sudbury Wolves
1985 Bryan Fogarty, Kingston Canadians
1986 Troy Mallette, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
1987 John Uniac, Sudbury Wolves
1988 Drake Berehowsky, Kingston Raiders
1989 Eric Lindros, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
1990 Pat Peake, Detroit Ambassadors
1991 Todd Harvey, Detroit Ambassadors
1992 Jeff O’Neill, Guelph Storm
1993 Alyn McCauley, Ottawa 67’s
1994 Jeff Brown, Sarnia Sting
1995 Daniel Tkaczuk, Barrie Colts
1996 Rico Fata, London Knights
1997 Charlie Stephens, Toronto St. Michael’s Majors
1998 Jay Harrison, Brampton Battalion
1999 Jason Spezza, Mississauga IceDogs
2000 Patrick Jarrett, Mississauga IceDogs
2001 Patrick O’Sullivan,Mississauga IceDogs
2002 Robbie Schremp, Mississauga IceDogs
2003 Patrick McNeill, Saginaw Spirit
2004 John Hughes, Belleville Bulls
2005 John Tavares, Oshawa Generals
2006 Steven Stamkos, Sarnia Sting
2007 Ryan O’Reilly, Erie Otters
2008 John McFarland, Sudbury Wolves
2009 Daniel Catenacci, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
2010 Alex Galchenyuk, Sarnia Sting
2011 Aaron Ekblad, Barrie Colts
2012 Connor McDavid, Erie Otters
2013 Travis Konecny, Ottawa 67’s
2014 Jakob Chychrun, Sarnia Sting
2015 David Levin, Sudbury Wolves
2016 Ryan Merkley, Guelph Storm
2017 Ryan Suzuki, Barrie Colts
2018 Quinton Byfield, Sudbury Wolves
2019 Shane Wright, Kingston Frontenacs