Kingston was in a playoff spotin Dein Style bei Doc Dress.de 18.08.2020 05:06
von gdshutter • 2 Beiträge
"As the latest OHL prospect to receive the exceptional status designation to join the league a year early, center Shane Wright joined the Kingston Frontenacs with a ton of hype. As an underager, he led the minor midget Don Mills Flyers to a nearly unbeaten 2018-19 season and an OHL Cup title. Naturally, the Frontenacs snapped him up with the first overall pick in the 2019 OHL Draft and made him the focal point of a rebuild that saw the team starting from scratch.
From the outset, it looked as though Kingston wouldn’t have much firepower this year and another finish in the basement was predicted. But Wright surpassed expectations and even threatened John Tavares’ exceptional status rookie scoring record in the OHL, before the remainder of the OHL campaign was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Not only did Wright lead all OHL rookies in scoring with 39 goals and 66 points in 58 games (Tavares had 77 as a rookie with Oshawa; Connor McDavid had 66 with Erie), but he also led the Frontenacs in scoring, with a seven-point margin. When the season was cancelled, Kingston was in a playoff spot.
But Wright isn’t taking his extended off-season lying down. Thanks to trainer Paul Ferri, the 16-year-old has a full set-up back home in Burlington, Ont.
“He dropped off some equipment at my house and we have it set up in the garage,” Wright said. “He’s sending me workouts to do so I can work out as usual. We have a squat rack with a bar, some plates, some dumbbells, some kettlebells and medicine balls.”
Jumping from minor midget to the OHL is never easy, but doing it a year early requires a lot of mental and physical fortitude. Based on the results, Wright passed that challenge with flying colors, though there was a learning curve.
“We had to go every single day,” he said. “You have school, you have practice and workouts, it’s go-go-go. At the start there was an adjustment – long days, tiring days – but as the season progressed, I got more comfortable with that and I could handle it easier. I felt like every game I was getting better and by the end I was feeling really good about myself.”
A big spark for Wright and Kingston came midway through the year when import pick Martin Chromiak came over from Slovakia. The talented left winger formed a line with fellow 2020 NHL draft prospect Zayde Wisdom and Wright (who isn’t eligible until 2022, but will most likely go first overall then).
“We all played well off each other,” Wright said. “Zayde is a hard worker and can finish, while Chromiak is such a smart player who makes plays and finish too. Having two guys on my line who can score and make plays was pretty fun.”
NHL talent hawks also noticed a big difference with Kingston once that trio came together after New Year’s.
“Kingston didn’t have a defined line until they came together,” said one scout. “Chromiak skates really well and makes plays at speed. He helped Wright and Wright helped him.”
Even though it’s been just a year, Wright is no longer the newest Canadian player to earn exceptional status – that honor goes to Vancouver’s Connor Bedard, who was recently the first player ever to receive that designation for the WHL. Wright and Bedard know each other, having attended Power Edge Pro camp in Toronto before, so Wright sent Bedard a congratulatory message on Instagram upon hearing the news.
“From what I’ve seen, he’s a special player and deserved the exceptional status,” Wright said.
And while it’s going to be a few years before either is eligible for the NHL, it’s fair to say that based on their profiles, we’ll be seeing a lot of Wright and Bedard for a long time once they do get there."
"When people are getting sick and dying and everyone is confined to home, it might be difficult to sympathize with a guy who could be robbed of the first, and maybe only, Norris Trophy of his NHL career. And John Carlson seems to get that. But you’ve got to feel for the guy.
Even though Carlson has been a truly elite offensive producer from the blueline for the past couple of seasons, the highest he has ever finished in Norris Trophy voting is fourth, and that was last season when he scored 70 points. But this year was shaping up to be Carlson’s year. He was leading all defensemen in points, posting career highs and entering some very exclusive territory with 15 goals and 75 points in 69 games. While Carlson’s totals have actually gone up as he’s approached 30, you just never know if you’re ever going to be in that group again.
For a couple of reasons. Nick Lidstrom won his first Norris at the age of 30, then went on to win six more of them. But he’s a freak. So is Zdeno Chara, who won his first and only Norris at 31. Just last season, Mark Giordano won the Norris for the first time at the age of 35, and you’d have to think that was his one shot. And when you consider that over the past five years there have been 15 Norris finalists named and all of those spots have been occupied by only six players – Giordano, Victor Hedman, Drew Doughty, Erik Karlsson, Brent Burns and P.K. Subban – it’s not an award that is very friendly to interlopers.
The NHL hasn’t made any decisions on whether or not it will hand out its individual awards if this season is cancelled, largely because it is clinging to the hope that it can somehow finish the 2019-20 season with integrity. But really, that’s probably not going to be the NHL’s call and there is a very real chance we’ve seen the last of hockey for this season. And that would be a shame for guys such as Carlson, who were putting together the kinds of seasons that get recognized in the annals of NHL history.
“I’m just worried about playing at this point,” Carlson said on a videoconference Wednesday afternoon. “I don’t want to be too optimistic of coming back quickly and finishing the regular season. All I’m trying to do is think about keeping myself in the best shape I can with the circumstances and whatever the rest of the season holds, I’ll be worried about that when I lace the skates up again.”
Going into the break, Carlson was on an 89-point pace and if he had achieved that total, he would have been only the ninth defenseman in NHL history to score that many points and it would have represented the highest total since Raymond Bourque scored 91 points in 1993-94. And with 13 games remaining, Carlson was only six points behind the franchise record for points by a defenseman, set by Larry Murphy in 1980-81. So that gives you an idea of what kind of season he was having. Even if you remove the Norris Trophy consideration and the numbers, it had to be frustrating to have a season like that one stopped in its tracks.
The Capitals, meanwhile, well, they were one of the league’s most confounding teams this season. At times they looked like the team that won the Stanley Cup two years ago and at other times they looked lost and confused. Even though they were in first place in the Metropolitan Division going into the break, they were just one point ahead of the surging Philadelphia Flyers and four ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Had they not finished first in the Metropolitan, it would have marked the first time in five seasons they were not the division’s best regular-season team.
“As a team, I don’t think we were where we needed to be, probably the last 30 games or so,” Carlson said. “So that was definitely a big talking point for us coming down the stretch – trying to find the right balance. The way we play and our systems, I felt like they were starting to come back.”"
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