Shane Wright of the Kingston Frontenacs playing in his Exceptional Status season in the OHL
Howdy, y’all! Can you believe it is March already?! That means the regular season is almost over as every team has three weeks left until the end of the season. For some, that means they can forget about this season and work towards the next, while others focus on the J. Ross Robertson Cup and a berth in the Memorial Cup.
As is always the case, there are teams fighting for playoff positioning and then there are the Ottawa 67’s. It seems they clinched their conference at the start of the new year as they are 29 points ahead of the Sudbury Wolves. The 67’s were a dominant team last season as well but ended up losing in the final, blowing a 2-0 series lead.
Led by 2020 top prospect Marco Rossi, they currently have five 30-goal scorers and six players with at least 70 points. Rossi leads the team with 73 helpers and 108 points as of this writing, while fellow 2020 eligible winger Jack Quinn leads them with 47 goals.
A number of teams are still fighting for their playoff lives as both the east and the west have four teams fighting for the final three spots in their respective conferences. The race I am most interested in watching is the final spot in the east. With how bad of a season the Kingston Frontenacs have had, wouldn’t it be something if they clinched the eighth seed with phenom Shane Wright?
When they do win, it is on Wright’s dime. He has dominated games and seems to get more comfortable with each passing month. The storylines going into the first round would be something out of a movie; the kid phenom versus the powerhouse, almost sounds like a Mighty Ducks movie. And imagine the Fronts upsetting the 67’s, Wright’s legacy would be cemented before he turns 17!
Speaking of Wright, he is running away with the rookie scoring race. He had one three-point game in December, two in January, and FOUR in the month of February along with a four-point night. Oh and I forgot to mention, he is only 16. He is not only doing it on the scoresheet; his play in the defensive zone is outstanding and his faceoff percentage is a smidge under 48%, not too shabby for someone taking them against players a few years older than him.
With his four-point night against the Flint Firebirds, he tied Connor McDavid’s point total in his respective rookie season with 66 points. However, McDavid did it in 63 games, while Wright has only played in 54. At his current rate at the time of this Wrighting (see what I did there) he has 10 games left, which puts him Wright on pace for 78 points.
As mentioned before, Rossi is leading the league with 108 points and another draft-eligible prospect is not far behind. Cole Perfetti is only five back of Rossi, on a much less talented Spirit team.
Rounding out the top five in scoring are players who were drafted in last summer’s draft: Philip Tomasino (98), Arthur Kaliyev (97) and Connor McMichael (94). Each player has taken a big step forward this season, making some teams kick themselves for not selecting these players early in the draft.
The one defenseman in this year’s draft who is far and above all the others is Jamie Drysdale. In a draft that is heavy on forward talent, Drysdale has the potential to go third overall. The next highest-ranked defender would be Emil Andrae, who Cam Robinson has at number 13.
As noted by our Tony Ferrari, he has improved his play in his zone this season, which leads to opportunities for his teammates and himself. He has one of the top strides out of all the eligible prospects and his skating makes him a legitimate threat to make the NHL next season.
What would be your dream playoff scenario for this season? Who is your favorite prospect for this summer’s draft? Let us know on Twitter, @DobberProspects, and @LAM1926.