The NHL Scouting Combine is underway for the first time since 2019–the last two years the event has been canceled due to COVID-19 concerns–and Shane Wright has all eyes on him as the potential (but not consensus) first-overall pick. Mike Morreale of NHL.com tweets that Wright will have interviews with 12 different teams, including the Montreal Canadiens, New Jersey Devils, and Arizona Coyotes, teams that will select in the top three later this summer.
While no sure thing to go first overall, it is unlikely that Wright drops much further than that meaning other teams with interviews booked don’t have a chance unless they found a way to trade up. The Devils at No. 2 have at least considered a move, should one present itself, though it still would need quite the return package after they moved up by way of the lottery.
- David Jiricek, in the race for the top defenseman in this year’s draft, will not attend the combine according to Morreale. The young Czech just finished his World Championship run on Sunday (winning bronze) and now he won’t be able to meet with teams in person. Jiricek was fourth on NHL Central Scouting’s final ranking of international skaters, just behind Simon Nemec, the other player vying to be the first defenseman off the board this year.
- Toni Utunen is one of the players whose draft rights will expire this week, and Rick Dhaliwal of CHEK TV reports that the Vancouver Canucks have no interest in signing him. The 22-year-old defenseman had 11 points in 59 games while playing in Finland’s Liiga this season. He will be an unrestricted free agent if not signed by June 1.