Hello and welcome to Canadiens Time. This is the first episode of this podcast. My name is D.F Pendrys. I am a relatively recent Habs fan and well I can sort of explain myself over time, but today's episode is talking about as the draft up is upcoming the issue has sort of come up...with that everyone's heard of it thinking “Well of course it’s going to be Shane Wright” but then recently more and more sort of are rumblings have said but maybe it'll be Juraj Slafkovsky and I'm today going to jump into just Wright versus Slafkovsky using some very expert sources since I am certainly not an expert. but one of the things that I'm going to do on this podcast is rely on the experts without sort of just rehashing what their entire articles may say because then what would be the point of you reading the articles. I want you to read their articles and go check out what they've written cuz that seems the fair way to do it.
So when talking about write the one thing is that one of the key points is that his hockey IQ is seen incredibly high and Sebastian High of A Winning Habit recently wrote that quote “He processes the game extremely quickly and in a refined manner, he can find ways out of tricky situations with ease.”and that certainly is a major endorsement for his hockey mind and then later you know Arpon Basu wrote a very very comprehensive piece for The Athletic...went into detail through Wright’s entire skill set looking at a sampling of videos and went one by one by one looking at sort of the whole the whole landscape and I'm not going to get into each skill by skill because the experts have done that and I urge you to go to The Athletic, go to Montreal Hockey Now, go to The Hockey Writers, Go to A Winning Habit. Look at you know point-by-point what Wright brings to the table, Whats Slafkovsky brings to the table, but in the general sense what Basu found was and what he said was one of the things that jumps out about Wright’s game is the “lack of a wow factor” and that's a quote but he was impressed by the shot but he notes that other than the shot that was there was a lot of things that Wright does well but that that wasn't as impressive in terms of wow factors but he also said and I quote “he almost never makes mistakes.”
So that sort of sort of curves back into the hockey mind and but in and I'll get into it when I talk about Slafkovsky. That's sort of the opposite of where the scouts are and the people who are pro Slafkovsky are coming from but where the where the start of detrimental talk has been with Wright has been saying that well he's not Dynamic and where they said is that he should have scored more in juniors and...but what Marco D'Amico said in his piece for Montreal Hockey Now is he points out that “Unlike most 1st overall picks, Wright was used in a far more team-oriented role that didn’t necessarily optimize his usage for maximum offensive output.” that's a quote there and he also had a very heavy defensive role and that might have limited his his scoring even though he scored a ton so so as as D'Amico went on to say “Wright’s underlying numbers are superior to the grand majority of prospects eligible for the 2022 NHL Draft.” so that kind of sort of takes down that criticism and and I think that's important but it was also noted and very important very important to note that Wright was used in a different way and so that he might not have been given the freedom to explode as much as other players might have.
And on that note as well in terms of looking at freedom is at, D'Amico also engaged in another piece where he looked using advanced stats at how Wright compared to another prospect, Logan Cooley. And he also even went and compared Wright to Nick Suzuki's numbers in a similar point in his career and found Wright’s numbers to be excellent and that there are offensive stats that may not be obvious until you dig into it so that you need to do that sort of close look so that was another very key point.
And also a very obvious thing that for Canadiens fans to consider is in a specific decision making process that the Canadiens management is going to be looking at was made by Ryan Szporer of The Hockey Writers and he made four...he made four points and I'm not going to make those four points. You should read the article and all. The Articles will be in the show notes. He pointed out though that whereas Slafkovsky is a winger, Wright is a center and the Canadians definitely need centers more than any wingers and excellent excellent point. But even with all of that all those good points being made and that we and I mentioned what has been the detrimental points...so the recent draft rankings came out from The Athletic and it was Corey Pronman, who is their expert, still ranked Slafkovsky higher than Wright and I won't go into the full write-up that Pronman did for both of them cuz that's behind a pay wall and I won't do the whole thing and that's sort of it's sort of a big deal. But I will say that what Pronman said about both of them...they’re they're both rated very highly and he's sees both players very highly and he sees Wright as having a “chance” to be a star but he also see Slafkovsky as having the “potential” to be a star. And it's a very interesting use of words and I'm not sure if Pronman literally is saying that they have an equal chance to be a to be a star or if through using were like potential for Slafkovsky or a word like chance for Wright he's sort of unsure of Wright’s uh...Wright’s future as opposed to Slafkovsky and that's why Slafkovsky's rated above.
But as as I turn to Slafkovsky what Pronman said is and I quote, “It’s a near coin flip for me to decide.“ He noted that that Wright had a longer track record but that he was drawn to Slafkovsky’s skill-set and so let's...let's go to that. So..so the...Slafkovsky is is seen as being more dynamic and Marc Antoine Godin of The Athletic sort of sums it up. He says that he has a...he has a great skill set. He wrote a piece on Slafkovsky and but he mentioned that the decision making was the issue. He said that “his decisions are not always quite as well thought out as Wright’s and there could be some legitimate concern as to how his best skills might translate to the smaller North American ice surface.” and that's a full quote but he's also he played in Liiga against men and in the Olympics in the world championships. He really stood out. As Vincent Parise of Pucks and Pitchforks noted he had seven goals of the Olympics and nine points at World Championships. That's the second most by an under-18 player.
So the..so the what is sort of seeing is that Slafkovsky is seen as having the greater skill set now and being more dynamic than Wright but there are concerns over what sort of his hockey mind approaching things...but as..as Tammy Sewell in OICanadian has recounted there are scouts who are very high on Slafkovsky like Grant McCagg has been big on him for a very long time and has had him in the first slot. I mean I can't remember when he hasn't and he praised his skill-set and believes that he could go on the Canadiens top line immediately...tweeted that out so whereas they where's the belief has been that Wright would be certain slide it in behind Nick Suzuki on the second line there's there's now McCagg believes that Slafkovsky could just jump in.
So it's it's a very interesting dynamic when you have sort of all these experts sort of coming at it and thinking about can Wright...is seen as quote...unq...not going to say quote unquote “blander” but more more well-rounded and having the mind that is more seen as ready but Slafkovsky is seen as having the more skill sets and potentially people wondering if well if you can get Slafkovsky a more decision-making or better decision-making...can he surpass Wright a it's a tricky decision making but tricky decision to make um it's a it's a good question.
But it just seems to me that you still have the the evidence...seems to back up going with Wright a lot more than Slafkovsky because there's just...you you can't...you can go with the sure thing well it’s not a sure thing of course when you’re going with prospects but you really sort of it seems...you seem to know what you're going to get with Wright even if you know that it's not going to be a Connor McDavid player. But Slafkovsky isn't going to be a Connor McDavid player either and so it just seems that the a lot of the experts have sort of set what they think is going to happen set why they think it should happen and the idea that Wright isn't going to measure up to Slafkovsky. I just think it looks to me like it's not the best idea to elevate Slafkovsky over Wright at this point and I could be wrong and they could... Wright could go first and then Slafkovsky go like second to the Devils and we could be sitting here in a couple years and Slafkovsky's become like this Elite player and Wright has maybe not but it's just put...the the the questions like Mark Antoine Godin raised were there are concerns over how Slafkovsky is going to adapt it doesn't seem to be the same questions or doesn't seem to be the same concerns that you have with Wright and you really need centers on the Canadiens and that just seems to be sort of the logic to go with. So this has been the first episode. Been a bit rambling. Hopefully over time will get things more under control. Thank you for listening and see you next time.