The latest player to be given early entry into a Canadian Hockey League draft will be a member of the Kingston Frontenacs.
Forward Shane Wright, granted exceptional-player status last month after a review by Hockey Canada, will be selected first overall by the Frontenacs in the Ontario Hockey League draft on Saturday.
Frontenacs president Doug Gilmour confirmed the pick on Friday at Kingston’s City Hall. The league traditionally allows teams with the first selection to make the announcement a day before the draft.
“There is a reason Shane was granted exceptional-player status,” Frontenacs general manager Darren Keily said in a statement.
“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, 15, led the Don Mills Flyers win the OHL Cup minor-midget championship this season, earning tournament MVP honours.
The native of Burlington, Ont., had 66 goals and 84 assists for 150 points in 72 games.
Wright is the sixth player to be given exceptional-player status in the CHL since the policy was introduced in 2005, allowing players to apply to enter a draft a year early.
John Tavares, Aaron Ekblad, Connor McDavid and Sean Day also got early entry into the OHL, while Joe Veleno received the same treatment in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
Wright joins a Frontenacs team that never has reached the OHL final.
He becomes the third player in Kingston franchise history to be selected first overall.
Defenceman Drake Berehowsky was taken first by the then-Kingston Raiders in 1988 and fellow blueliner Bryan Fogarty was selected No. 1 by the then-Kingston Canadians in 1985.