Why Expected No. 1 NHL Draft Pick Models Game After Patrice Bergeron

Bergeron's style has served him well


Dec 22, 2021

Even the best of young hockey players want to be like Patrice Bergeron.

Shane Wright, the projected No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NHL Draft, explained in a piece ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski published Tuesday why he models his game after the Boston Bruins captain. While some youngsters aim to be the next Sidney Crosby, Wright believes the Pittsburgh Penguins superstar has too much natural talent for prospects to copy realistically. Therefore, Wright has set out to mimic Bergeron’s cerebral, two-way style of play.

“He thinks the game at such a high level. He can get points, but he takes care of his own end very well,” Wright said. “Sid is such an incredible player. He’s that god-level player. He and Bergeron have such similar games, but Bergeron is more the attainable (talent). Not taking anything away from him. But Crosby’s more the god-level, and Bergeron’s more the attainable player.”

TSN’s Craig Button told Wyshynski Wright, 17, won’t dominate highlight reels and internet clips with his play, but his decision making reminds him of Bergeron’s.

“The first thing I would say about Shane: You’re not going to get this spectacular flash and dash,” Button said. “I’m not saying that negatively. He’s just not a Nathan MacKinnon or Connor McDavid type. That’s not who he is. But there are two things that have always stood out to me about Shane: The hockey sense is superb and the precision with which he plays the game. That’s why I’ve compared him more to a Patrice Bergeron.”

Bergeron’s understated style has served him well, as he has racked up 940 points in 1,168 NHL games, has won the Selke Trophy four times and been a finalist for the best-defensive-forward award for the last 10 seasons. His resume will put him in contention for a place in the Hockey Hall of Fame when he retires.

The 2022 NHL Draft is scheduled July 7, 2022. If Wright continues in Bergeron’s footsteps, a long and bright career should follow.

Thumbnail photo via Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports Images
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