Excerpts from the Hockey’s Future article by Jason Menard:

Ryan McDonagh, D (1st round, 12th overall, 2007) — University of Wisconsin

McDonagh has rapidly played his way to the top of the Canadiens’ prospect pool. He’s been a rock on the Badgers’ blueline and was a physical force during the U.S.’ fifth-place performance at the World Junior Hockey Championships.

The 6’1, 203-pound blueliner has logged major minutes as a sophomore with the 17th ranked Badgers, and has scored four goals and added five assists from the back end. These numbers are comparable to his 2007-08 totals of five goals and 12 points in 40 games. McDonagh’s also played more of a physical presence in his 20 games at the collegiate level this season, earning 37 minutes.

The two-way blueliner was a presence at the World Juniors, adding three assists to the cause, while finishing with a team-leading plus-five rating in Team USA’s six games. The fact that he only registered two shots in those games was more of a reflection of the defensive role he was asked to play at the tournament.

Greg Pateryn, D (5th round, 128th overall, 2008 — selected by Toronto) — University of Michigan

Last year, the Canadiens made a rare trade with their historical rivals, the Toronto Maple Leafs, in which the mercurial Mikhail Grabovski was shipped to Ontario in return for a 2010 second-round selection and Pateryn, the Leafs’ 2008 fifth-round selection. Considering that the John Kordic for Russ Courtnall trade was one of the most lopsided in NHL history, the Habs should hope that lightning strikes twice.

The Canadiens plucked one promising player off the Wolverines’ roster by signing Max Pacioretty to a pro contract in the off-season — Pateryn can only hope to enjoy as much success with the maize and gold. To date, the 18-year-old freshman blueliner has four assists with the club. At 6’2, 212 pounds, Pateryn combines solid defensive awareness with good size and the potential for above-average offensive production.

Last year, with the Ohio Jr. Blue Jackets of the USHL, he scored three goals and added 24 assists in 60 games, along with amassing 147 PIMs. This season he’s helped the Wolverines to a 15-7-0 record, 9-5-0-0 in conference. They are currently tied with Ohio State for fifth in the CCHA and have jumped four spots in the latest poll to sixth overall.


  1. McDonagh doesn’t have much offensive upside. Pateryn probably has more as a matter of fact. McDonagh is going to be a Josh Gorges type of defenseman, although he is bigger and stronger. But considering the fact that Gorges was an undrafted free agent, and McDonagh was taken 12th overall in the first round, he doesn’t stand up as a shining example of drafting brilliance on the part of Canadiens. Pateryn is a sleeper pick, he has been brought along slowly at Michigan where they have terrific defensive depth, but I think he could really blossom once Mitera and Kampfer leave. He is the youngest player on the team, I believe, but was playing both the power play and penalty kill units as a freshman. Greg has an interesting blend of size, agressiveness, and puck skill.

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