Montreal Canadiens Draft Preview

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With the Stanley Cup Final and ensuing celebrations concluded, the hockey world turns it’s attention to the NHL Draft. The Montreal Canadiens are looking to improve on a surprising season that saw them rack up 96 points. Unfortunately, it was not enough to land them a playoff spot, but it was enough to re-ignite a dormant fan base. Now, for a team looking to build and improve on their season, the NHL draft is their first opportunity. The Habs, as usual, have several irons on the fire. With the draft merely days away, it’s time for the Montreal Canadiens draft preview.

Montreal Canadiens Draft Preview

The Draft is where the future and present of NHL teams cross paths. Teams are looking to find their next superstar to lead them to glory. The draft has also become the place where teams look to make moves to improve their current situations. It’s bound to happen when you get all 32 NHL GM’s in a room together. In this Montreal Canadiens draft preview, all aspects of the draft will be examined.

Habs Needs

The Montreal Canadiens are in an interesting spot. They have 10 picks in the 2019 NHL draft, include three in the top 50. They have the flexibility to do several things. It’s no secret that despite their strong season the Habs still have some glaring holes on their roster. That could see the Habs being extremely active during the draft.

The Habs biggest need is on defence, specifically the left side. The Habs currently have Victor Mete, Brett Kulak and Karl Alzner signed that play the left side. In the pipeline, it’s not much better. Only Alexander Romanov is considered a high-end prospect. Last year’s third-round pick, Jordan Harris, had a solid season in college but remains a long term project.

With the 15th Overall Pick…

There are several intriguing players that should be available to the Habs at pick 15. According to Last Word on Sports Ben Kerr’s rankings, here are some names to keep an eye on.

Moritz Seider

Defence — Shoots Right
Born April 6th, 2001 — Zell (Mosel), Germany
Height 6’4″ — Weight 198 lbs [192 cm / 90 kg]

Full scouting report

This name might sound familiar to some Habs fans, as general manager Marc Bergevin flew out to Germany to meet with Seider. According to Kerr, Seider is a bit of a project but has high-end upside. Seider has all the tools to develop into a franchise defenseman. Still, there are questions about Seider because his game is so unpolished at this point. If the Habs believe they have the patience to cultivate and develop his talent, he could be the seal of the draft.

Cam York

Defence — shoots Left
Born May 1st, 2001 — Anaheim Hills, California
Height 5’11” — Weight 174 lbs [180 cm / 79 kg]

Full scouting report

Cam York’s biggest asset is his offensive ability. He has the ability to move and distribute the puck, quarterback a power play and generally create offence from the back end. While he needs to bulk up, he uses his skating and knowledge in the defensive zone to control gaps and uses a quick stick to poke the puck. He also gets the puck out of the zone very quickly, turning defence into offence.

Raphael Lavoie

Right Wing/Centre — shoots Right
Born September 25th, 2000 — Chambly, Quebec
Height 6’4″ — Weight 198 [193 cm / 90 kg]

Full scouting report

Raphael Lavoie is the first forward on the list. Lavoie is a versatile forward, capable of playing all three positions. Still, he projects as a winger in the NHL. He has a tantalizing combination of size, skill, power and speed that scouts salivate over. While is play in his own zone needs work, he definitely made strides in the right direction this year.

Philip Broberg

Defence — shoots Left
Born June 25th, 2001 — Orebro, Sweden
Height 6’3″ — Weight 203 lbs [191 cm / 92 kg]

Full scouting report

This might be a bridge too far as Broberg is unlikely to be available at 15. Still, it’s a name to keep in mind. Broberg should develop into a top pair NHL defenceman. He has all the tools to become a minute eating defenceman a coach can put on the ice in any situation. His combination of skating and size is rare.

Other Names

Here are some other first-round prospects the Habs could consider:

…The Montreal Canadiens Select

Based on need and talent available the Habs will select Cam York (if available). It’s a close race between York and Seider but the fact the York plays on the left side is what puts him over the top. Truthfully, the Habs seem to have a few prospects to choose from that will be beneficial.

Round Two

The Canadiens own two picks in the second round, 46 and 50. Again, these two picks give the Habs flexibility by adding two more high-end talents to their prospect pool or through a trade.

Round Two Targets

Vladislav Kolyachonok

Defence — shoots Left
Born May 26th, 2001 — Minsk, Belarus
Height 6’2″ — Weight 181 lbs [187 cm/82 kg]

Full Scouting Report

Kolyachonok has the potential to develop into a top-four defender in the NHL. He definitely will require some more seasoning and development before making the jump, however. Still, he has great skating ability, hockey sense and a strong work ethic the should allow him to develop with the proper coaching.

Patrik Puistola

Left Wing — shoots Left
Born January 11th, 2001 — Tampere, Finland
Height 6’0″ — Weight 174 [183 cm / 79 kg]

Full Scouting Report

Puistola possesses all the tools to succeed in the NHL as an offensive winger. His game gets into trouble in his own end. Still, he has shown great work ethic on the ice and if that work ethic continues, his defensive game should be able to be coached up.

Kaedan Korczak

Defence — shoots Right
Born January 29th, 2001 — Yorkton, Saskatchewan
Height 6’3″ — Weight 192 [191 cm/87 kg]

Full Scouting Report

Korczak should develop into a top-four defenceman in the NHL. He will be able to play tough minutes against the opposition’s top talent and kill penalties. He is a more traditional stay at home type defenceman. If he could be paired with a more offensively gifted partner it should help develop his offensive game.

Nikita Alexandrov

Centre — shoots Left
Born September 16th, 2000 — Burgwedel, Germany
Height 6’0″ — Weight 183 lbs [183 cm / 83 kg]

Full Scouting Report

Alexandrov doesn’t have elite upside, but he projects as a solid middle six centre. He has a strong two-way game with good skating ability and a strong work ethic.

Trade

There is the possibility the Habs some of their draft capital in a trade. The Habs could look to move up to ensure they land a prospect like Philip Broberg or Cam York.  That might cost them one of their second-round picks on top of the 15th overall pick. They could also look to move the pick to improve their NHL roster. The Habs have been linked to several players so far. The Habs need for a left-handed defenceman to play with Shea Weber is well known. The question of addressing this issue is another story. With Erik Karlsson re-signing in San Jose, the high-end free agent defence market is very thin. A trade seems more likely. The Habs have been linked to Philadelphia Flyers blueliner Shayne Gostisbehere. While the rumoured trade between the teams seems far fetched, it does not mean the trade is unlikely. The Habs could package the 15th overall pick to land the Ghost.

There’s Always Something

To go along with their three picks in the top 50, the Habs also have seven more picks, including three in the fifth round. There is a lot to look forward to on draft weekend for Habs fans.

The Montreal Canadiens draft will prove to be entertaining. Weather is by making a shocking trade or drafting a prospect that makes some people scream WHAT?! The Habs will keep their fans glues to their TV/radio/social media all weekend long. With the position the Habs are in, something has to happen if they want to keep building on the momentum they created last year.

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