Will the Oshawa Generals be able to stop Shane Wright from torching them (again) Sunday?

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Published March 18, 2022 at 11:57 am

What is the Wright way to slow down a superstar in the making who clearly enjoys playing against your club, having torched them for 20 points in nine games, including 14 in the past four?

The Oshawa Generals wish they had the answer to stopping – or even slowing down – Kingston’s Shane Wright, the projected number one pick in this year’s NHL draft.

They will get one more chance Sunday when Wright and his Frontenacs visit the Tribute Communities Centre for the tenth and final regular season game of the season between the two clubs.

Wright had a slow start to the season, leaving some scouts to re-assess that number one status in the early going. The Generals thought they had him figured out too, limiting him to one point in those first two match-ups last November and winning both.

Then the Burlington native recorded three points in a 5-0 Kingston win on December 3 and really, never looked back.

The Frontenacs have won six of the past seven games against Oshawa, outscoring the Gens 22-8 in the process, with Wright enjoying a five-point game and two four-point games in that stretch.

Wright has 25 goals and 48 assists for 73 points for his team this season, third on the 34-17-3 club in scoring.

The scouts may not be unanimous in handing Wright the presumptive number one selection honours at the July 7 NHL Entry Draft – Finland’s Joakim Kemell and American Logan Cooley are also getting attention – but even if Wright is no Connor McDavid he’s going to be a good player for a long time in the NHL, with the talent assessors raving about his awareness and his lethal shot.

He has game-breaking ability but uses that skill judiciously and while he is not an explosive skater he’s difficult to knock off the puck, drawing comparisons with another player who enjoyed exceptional player status, John Tavares. And following Tavares, Wright (who debuted as a 15 year-old in 2019 against Oshawa and scored his first OHL goal two games later against those same Generals) became the second underage player to win OHL rookie of the year.

So if there are doubts in some quarters, you won’t hear them in Oshawa.

The last time Oshawa and Kingston met Wright had that five-point night – a career best – with his second career hattrick. The 7-2 Kingston win was Oshawa’s seventh in a row, and it cost Head Coach Todd Miller his job.

Some of the Oshawa Generals players getting into the spirit of the Outdoor Showcase game at Hamilton’s Tim Horton’s Field Monday

Since then, with assistant coaches Kurtis Foster and Mike Hedden sharing the duties, the Generals got back in the win column with a 5-4 overtime victory over Peterborough before dropping a 3-0 decision to the league-leading Hamilton Bulldogs in Monday’s Outdoor Showcase game at Tim Horton’s Field.

And before their final match against Wright and the Kingston Frontenacs Sunday the Generals will host Peterborough tonight and then travel to Barrie and Sadlon Arena to play the colts Saturday night.

But Sunday against Shane Wright, that’s the game to watch.

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