As the youngest player on a 46-man roster, all eyes were bound to be on Shane Wright. The Kingston Frontenacs’ star may be just 16-years old, but he has every chance to earn a roster spot on what will be a star studded Team Canada roster.
Team Canada currently has 27 first-round picks taking part in their SportCheck Selection Camp bubble in Red Deer. With many first-round drafted players, plus no shortage of strong players drafted later or undrafted, coach Andre Tourigny has his work cut out for him. Given the abundance of talent, many were skeptical of the likelihood of Shane Wright actually donning the maple leaf come Christmas Day. Well, those rumours can officially be put to rest.
Making the selection camp roster is a big accomplishment for a 16-year-old and is only a sign of things to come. Regardless on whether or not Wright actually ends up making the World Juniors roster, being apart of the camp and learning from older prospects, such as roommate Bowen Byram, is an experience that will surely benefit the young phenom. But Wright isn’t just there for experience.
Tourigny explained that he didn’t just invite Wright to Red Deer so he gets a taste of the camp and can complete in a couple of years. “I signed a one-year contract. So it’s right here, right now.” The bench boss is focused on bringing Canada to their second consecutive gold medal and knows that fans expect that of the team. The first-year head coach made it known that he didn’t name anyone to the roster that he thought would only use the tournament as experience for next year. For Tourigny, all 46 at camp, including Wright, have a legitimate shot of making the team.
While coaching the Ottawa 67’s during the 2019-20 campaign, Tourigny got his fair share of opportunities to watch the 2019 CHL exceptional status recipient face off against his very own team. As Tourigny stated about extending him an invite, “It’s important because he’s a hell of a player… I saw him at Christmas and said, ‘Oh my God, he’s really good’ and then I saw him at the end of the season and said, ‘This guy’s a superstar.’ Every time I saw him, he got better.”
The 51-day long selection camp has just begun, but already, coach Andre Tourigny will have his attention turned to forward Shane Wright.