OTTAWA, ON. — Well fans, its draft week, one of the most exciting times to be fan of the National Hockey League. Teams have been preparing for years; scouting players that they think will fit within their organization. They’ll pick a young player based on a number of factors, including athleticism, hockey skill and personality.
Organizations build their foundation for the future through the draft. Needless to say, teams are anxious, just as much as the young players who will start their career paths with a team that will remain unknown until their name is called on Friday or Saturday.
This week is often filled with signing and trades, giving fans a lot to follow and be excited about. Our All Habs team will have you covered on all the latest Montreal Canadiens news with contributors in Sunrise, Montreal and across the globe, so be sure to check-in.
Unless a trade is made involving the Montreal Canadiens first round selection, the Habs will pick 26th overall in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft and will also make one selection in the third, fifth, sixth and seventh rounds.
Before we dive into who the Habs could take, let’s concentrate on their first round selection starting with the Habs’ track-record over the past 10 years.
5th Overall – Carey Price (Canada)
The net-minder is regarded as the best goaltender in the world, so not much to say here other than the Habs would make this pick over and over again if they had the opportunity to re-draft.
20th Overall – David Fischer (United States)
David Fischer never made it to the NHL, and is now a member of the Krefeld Penguins in the Deutsche Eishockey League in Germany. It was a rough draft overall for the Canadiens. The Habs’ third round pick, Ryan White has had the most NHL success and now plays a limited role for the Philadelphia Flyers.
12th Overall – Ryan McDonagh (United States)
22nd Overall – Max Pacioretty (United States)
The 2007 draft was monstrous for the Habs. Not only did they select two all-star players in the first round, they also selected P.K. Subban in the second round. Ryan McDonagh is a touchy subject for many Habs fans who have watched him grow into a reliable player and leader for the New York Rangers after the Bob Gainey regime traded him for Scott Gomez. However, fans are reminded just how good the 2007 draft was each and every time Pacioretty snipes and Subban flashes his skill.
26th Overall – traded to the Calgary Flames as part of a deal that brought Alex Tanguay to Montreal
18th Overall – Louis Leblanc (Canada)
Montreal hosted the 2009 NHL Entry Draft as part of the Montreal Canadiens centennial celebrations. The organization selected a Quebec native, Louis Leblanc, which pro analysts acknowledged was a bit of a stretch and many fans have attributed the selection to the French culture of the team.
22nd Overall – Jarred Tinordi (United States)
The Canadiens have been looking for a big, mean defenceman for quite a while and although we have yet to see him reach his potential, Jarred Tinordi may be that player. Greg Pateryn was chosen to play throughout the last 20 games of this past season over Tinordi, who in all fairness was dealing with some injuries. I expect Tinordi and Pateryn to battle for one of the seven defenceman positions with the Habs at the start of the next season. Tinordi is currently a restricted free agent. Another note from the 2010 draft, the popular Brendan Gallagher was selected in the fifth round.
17th Overall – Nathan Beaulieu (Canada)
Beaulieu has blossomed into quite the player for the Habs and is continuing to improve. He spent most of the season with the big club and was rewarded last week with a two-year, $2M contract. His role as a two-way defenceman with the Habs should increase this upcoming season.
3rd Overall – Alex Galchenyuk (United States)
Alex is currently a restricted free agent looking for a new contract. He has played with the big club since being drafted and possesses some of the silkiest hands and softest playmaking abilities. He has yet to reach his potential and it is still unknown as to whether he will play the position he was drafted in, centre.
25th Overall – Michael McCarron (United States)
After struggling through the 2013-14 season, McCarron had a very solid 2014-15 campaign in the OHL. Habs fans are once again excited about this pick and are hopeful that he will make a strong impact at training camp. Sven Andrighetto and Jacob de la Rose were also drafted in 2013.
26th Overall – Nikita Scherbak (Russia)
I wrote briefly about Scherbak a few weeks ago, pointing out his offensive ability and strong training camp last season. Spending last season in the WHL, fans and the Habs organization are hoping he can continue to develop and perhaps make the leap to the pro game.
Now that we’ve recapped the Canadiens first round selections from the past decade, who will the Habs look to snag in the first round this Friday? There are a fair amount of options available at each position that the Habs could look at to improve their team.
2015 Draft Class
Thomas Chabot, D, Saint John (QMJHL)
6-2, 180 lbs., Shoots L, Canada
CSB: No. 16 | ISS: No. 16 | THN: No. 23 | HP: No. 20
2014-’15: 66 GP, 12 G, 29 A, 41 PTS (Saint John Sea Dogs)
In need of a solid left-shot defenceman, I could see the Canadien picking Chabot if he is available at 26. Most known for his offensive skill, the Quebec native has been improving his reliability in his own zone and can continue to develop that part of his game as time goes on. Chabot has good size and makes quick, sound decisions with the puck.
Colin White, C, US NTDP (USHL)
6-0, 183 lbs., Shoots R, United States
CSB: No. 29 | ISS: No. 15 | THN: No. 19 | HP: No. 23
2014-’15: 20 GP, 4 G, 13 A, 17 PTS (Team USA)
As shown above, the Habs have a willingness to draft players from the United States in the first round. Colin White is a lethal scorer that has proven to be solid in all areas of the ice. White dealt with injuries and illness (mononucleosis) this past season and that may hurt his draft stock. If he drops to 26 and is available for the Canadiens, we could see the Habs who need scoring on the right wing select White. Colin has committed to Boston College for next season.
Daniel Sprong, RW, Charlottetown (QMJHL)
6-0, 185 lbs., Shoots R, Netherlands
CSB: No. 20 | ISS: No. 26 | THN: No. 25 | HP: No. 37
2014-’15: 68 GP, 39 G, 49 A, 88 PTS (Charlottetown Islanders)
Sprong was born in Holland and moved to Quebec at a young age to play hockey. He is another right winger with size and the ability to score that could be available for the Canadiens. From what I’ve read, Sprong is one of the most highly offensively skilled players in this draft and can also play defence. However, teams may be hesitant to select Sprong as his draft stock has continuously fallen due to perceived attitude/personality issues.
Filip Chlapik, C, Charlottetown (QMJHL)
6-1, 183 lbs., Shoots L, Czech Republic
CSB: No. 18 | ISS: No. 40 | THN: No. 30 | HP: No. 43
2014-’15: 64 GP, 33 G, 42 A, 75 PTS (Charlottetown Islanders)
Filip was a linemate of Sprong’s this past season and posted 75 points (a rookie record for the Islanders) in 64 games for the Charlottetown Islanders. Chlapek is a skilled centreman with raw talent and room to develop. From what I’ve gathered Chlapek’s skating is his biggest weakness, but I’ll remind everyone that the only knock about Tavares was his skating.
Brandon Carlo, D, Tri-City (WHL)
6-5, 195 lbs., Shoots R, USA
CSB: No. 25 | ISS: No. 21 | THN: No. 30 | HP: No. 27
2014-’15: 63 GP, 4 G, 21 A, 25 PTS (Tri-City Americans)
As I mentioned above when speaking of Tinordi, the Canadiens have been looking for a big, crushing defenceman for quite some time. Brandon Carlo fits that mould at 6’5” and nearly 200 pounds. He is naturally defensive, and won’t be relied upon to put the puck in the net. Carlo is a smooth skater for a player his size and has the potential to be defenceman that could eat up a lot of minutes in the future.
Joel Eriksson Ek, C, Farjestad (SHL)
6-2, 185 lbs., Shoots L, Sweden
CSB: No. 4 (IS) | ISS: No. 20 | THN: No. 27 | HP: No. 15
2014-’15: 34 GP, 4 G, 2 A, 6 PTS (Farjestad)
Many believe Eriksson Ek is high on the Canadiens draft board, and why wouldn’t he be? Eriksson Ek is known for being a responsible player in all areas of the ice with strong hockey sense and scoring ability. His skating is exceptional and is versatile enough to play many roles. Personally, I don’t think he’ll be off the board a few picks before the Canadiens.
Jeremy Roy, D, Sherbrooke (QMJHL)
6-0, 182 lbs., Shoots R, Canada
CSB: No. 21 | ISS: No. 23 | THN: No. 26 | HP: No. 26
2014-’15: 46 GP, 5 G, 38 A, 43 PTS (Sherbrooke Phoenix)
Roy is a Quebec native that could be on the Habs’ radar and available in the late first round. From what I gather, Roy plays with a lot of intensity and possesses a winning attitude that we all know is highly valued in the Canadiens organization. Roy is skilled both defensively and offensively and sees the game very well.
Brock Boeser, RW, Waterloo (USHL)
6-1, 192 lbs., Shoots R, USA
CSB: No. 27 | ISS: No. 35 | THN: No. 14 | HP: No. 18
2014-’15: 57 GP, 35 G, 33 A, 68 PTS (Waterloo Black Hawks)
Boeser is primarily known for his offensive ability. The intangibles are there to improve on the defensive side of the puck and should he be selected by the Canadiens it will become a priority. His release and hockey sense make him a dangerous player for the opposition.
Oliver Kylington, D, Farjestad (SHL)
6-0, 181 lbs., Shoots L, Sweden
CSB: No. 6 (IS) | ISS: No. 32 | THN: No. 20 | HP: No. 29
2014-’15: 18 GP, 2 G, 3 A, 5 PTS (Farjestad)
Another left handed shot on defence for the Canadiens to consider should he be available. There has been a plethora of real good Swedish defenceman in the NHL over the past few years and it may be the Habs’ chance to jump on the bandwagon. He’s known as a smooth player, one that can adjust his style to both ends of the ice
Paul Bittner, LW, Portland (QMJHL)
6-4, 204 lbs., Shoots L, USA
CSB: No. 26 | ISS: No. 17 | THN: No. 17 | HP: No. 30
2014-’15: 66 GP, 34 G, 37 A, 71 PTS (Portland Winterhawks)
Bittner is the only left winger to make this list and I am hesitant to think he’ll be available at the 26th pick. With Bittner’s size and skating ability, he has the potential to become a very effective player in the NHL. He has a relentless pursuit of the puck which can go a long way in making space for his teammates.
Jacob Larsson, D, Frolunda (SWE Jr)
6-2, 191 lbs., Shoots L, Sweden
CSB: No. 3 (IS) | ISS: No. 34 | THN: No. 32 | HP: No. 31
2014-’15: 20 GP, 1 G, 2 A, 3 PTS (Frolunda)
Once again, I’ve pulled from the crop of left-shot defencemen. Larsson is projected to go early in the second round by many, but if the Habs feel comfortable with him they may snag him a few picks early. Larsson is known for being a two-way defenceman with puck-moving ability and sound decision making. He has room to grow, but all prospects do.
Personally, I think the Habs go with one of the left-shot defenceman, particularly Chabot if he is available at 26. Currently on the left side of the backend, the Habs have Andrei Markov, Alexei Emelin, Nathan Beaulieu and Jarred Tinordi. They need to find a replacement for Markov when he decides to hang up the skates; will this be the draft they find their guy?
Who do you think the Habs will grab at 26?
Who should the Canadiens choose with their 1st round pick in the NHL Entry Draft?
- Daniel Sprong, RW, Charlettown (22%, 140 Votes)
- Brock Boeser, RW, Waterloo (19%, 121 Votes)
- Jake DeBrusk, LW, Swift Current (15%, 96 Votes)
- Joel Eriksson Ek, C, Karlstad (13%, 85 Votes)
- Thomas Chabot, D, Saint John (13%, 82 Votes)
- Brandon Carlo, D, Tri-City (13%, 80 Votes)
- Jacob Larsson, D, Frolunda (5%, 32 Votes)
Total Voters: 636