Kingston, ON – The Ontario Hockey League announced today that forward Shane Wright of the Kingston Frontenacs has been named the 2019-20 recipient of the Emms Family Award presented to the OHL’s Rookie of the Year.
The 16-year-old from Burlington, Ontario, led all OHL rookies with 66 points in 58 games. He registered 39 goals and 27 assists during the 2019/20 campaign.
“It’s a huge honour to win the Emms Family Award,” Wright said. “It was one of my goals coming into the season and it’s amazing that I was awarded it.”
Shane was picked first overall by the Kingston Frontenacs during the 2019 OHL Priority Selection presented by Real Canadian Superstore. Born January 5, 2004, Wright was granted ‘Exceptional Player Status’ by Hockey Canada to be eligible for the 2019 OHL Priority Selection which featured 2003-born talents. He was just the fifth OHL player to receive the distinction following John Tavares, Aaron Ekblad, Connor McDavid, and Sean Day.
Shane’s 2019-20 goal totals set a new Kingston Frontenacs rookie record. He registered 39 goals, which surpassed Bernie Nicholls’ franchise rookie goals record of 36. Bernie accomplished that feat during the 1979-80 season while playing for the Kingston Canadians. Bernie was 18-years-old when he set the franchise record and he recorded his 36 goals in 68 games.
“The Kingston Frontenacs organization would like to congratulate Shane on winning the Ontario Hockey League’s Emms Family Award,” said Frontenacs General Manager Darren Keily. “It is an incredible honour for any player, but to claim the award as an ‘Exceptional Status Player’ makes it that much more special for Shane, his family, friends, billets, and teammates.”
Wright joins Chris Gratton as the only Kingston Frontenacs players to be named OHL Rookie of the Year. He is also joining John Tavares (Oshawa – 2005-06), Aaron Ekblad (Barrie – 2011-12), and Connor McDavid (Erie – 2012-13) as ‘Exceptional Status Players’ to claim the Emms Family Award.
“I wasn’t sure what impact I would have on the season as a fifteen year old,” said Shane. “Obviously that was something that I wanted to accomplish this season. Now that I was awarded it, I’m so honoured.”
The Emms Family Award was donated by Leighton “Hap” Emms, former owner of the Barrie, Niagara Falls, and St. Catharines OHL franchises. The award is selected by all 20 member club General Managers. Teams were asked to submit only one nominee from their own club for consideration on the ballot and were not permitted to vote for the player from their own hockey club. Players received five points for a first vote, three points for a second place vote, and one point for a third place vote.
Shane reflected on who helped him accomplish this incredible achievement; “My family has sacrificed so much for me to be where I am today and I’m so thankful for that. My coaches this year were amazing and I learned so much from them. My billets, Andrea Cartile and Nelson Martins were amazing and made my transition to Kingston smooth and easy. And finally my teammates for always having my back and pushing me to be the best player I can be.”
When speaking to Darren Keily about what the award means to the Kingston Frontenacs organization, he had this to say; “It’s not just about our organization, it’s about our fans. Shane has just basically scratched the surface of what his potential is. That’s what makes his and our future so exciting. We are blessed to have the opportunity to watch him grow as a player.”