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Monday, June 25, 2012

Montreal Canadiens 2012 Draft Picks Review: Grade A

There was much anticipation before Marc Bergevin’s first NHL Entry Draft. Montreal’s fans were eager to see what the team would do this weekend. Trevor Timmins’ scouting staff evidently did their homework as the Canadiens made several great selections, including Alex Galchenyuk, who, unless he turns into the second coming of Terry Ryan, will be a talented NHL player for years to come.

Here are the players selected by your Montreal Canadiens and their projected rankings.

3rd Overall, C – Alex Galchenyuk
Team: Sarnia Sting-OHL
Date of birth: February 12th, 1994
Ht: 6-1 Wt: 185
Rankings: THW – 4th overall
Central Scouting Ranking – 4 (NA Skaters)
The Canadiens targeted Galchenyuk from the beginning and were very happy to grab him with their first selection. Galchenyuk played only two regular-season games and six playoff games for the Sarnia Sting after suffering a knee injury in a preseason game, but the American had a very good rookie season, scoring 83 point in only 68 games during his rookie season playing alongside Nail Yakupov. The talented pivot might crack the Canadiens’ line-up in 2012, but it is safe to assume that he will need at least one more junior year before making his mark at the NHL level.
GRADE: A
33rd Overall, RW – Sebastian Collberg
Team: Frolunda, Sweden
Date of birth: February 23rd, 1994
Ht: 5-11 Wt: 175
Rankings: THW – 10th overall
Central Scouting Ranking – 3 (European Skaters)
With their second selection, the Canadiens were glad to find that Collberg was still available in the second round. Most experts were expecting he would go in the middle of the first round, but just like fellow Swede Filip Forbserg, Collberg fell down a few ranks. Collberg has one more season remaining on his contract in Sweden, so his transition to Montreal or Hamilton will have to wait until 2013.
GRADE: A+
51st Overall, D – Dalton Thrower
Team: Saskatoon Blades, WHL
Date of birth: December 20, 1993
Ht: 6-0 Wt: 190
Rankings: THW – 16th overall
Central Scouting Ranking – 26 (NA Skaters)
A two-way defender, Thrower is a rugged defenseman who can chip in offensively as shown by his 54 points and 103 PIMs in 66 games with the Blade this season. The Canadiens were pleasantly surprised to see him available so late in the draft as some draft pundits had Thrower gone in the first round! Thrower proved that a name can be destiny.  Thanks to his ability to throw punches, he has nine fights on the books for this season.   His willingness to get physical is a quality the Habs are severely lacking on defense these days with soft rearguards such as Andrei Markov, Tomas Kaberle and Yannick Weber.
GRADE: A+
64th Overall, LW – Timothy Bozon
Team: Kamloops Blazers, WHL
Date of birth: March 24, 1994
Ht: 6-1 Wt: 180
Rankings: THW – 23rd overall
Central Scouting Ranking – 42 (NA Skaters)
The son of former St. Louis Blues forward Philippe Bozon is blessed with offensive skills, racking up 71 points in 71 games with the Blazers. He is a natural goal scorer with an excellent wrist shot and a quick, deceptive release. Bozon, who grew up in France and Switzerland, also speaks French and German, which is an an added value in a bilingual market like Montreal.
GRADE: B
94th Overall, C – Brady Vail
Team: Windsor Spitfires, OHL
Date of birth: March 11, 1994
Ht: 6-1 Wt: 190
Rankings: THW – 60th overall
Central Scouting Ranking – 38 (NA Skaters)
A very good two-way centre, Vail can also produce offensively as shown by his 22 goals and 52 points in 68 games with Windsor in his sophomore campaign. Vail may never be a top-line player, but he could turn into a very good third-line pivot, similar to Chris Kelly of the Boston Bruins.
GRADE: B-
122th Overall, LW – Charles Hudon
Team: Chicoutimi Saguenéens, QMJHL
Date of birth: June 23rd, 1994
Ht: 5-10 Wt: 170
Rankings: THW – 67th overall
Central Scouting Ranking – 95 (NA Skaters)
The first Quebecois drafted by the Canadiens, Hudon is a shifty winger blessed with great hands. Hudon, who turned 18 yesterday, is a long-term project with some upside much like David Desharnais was when the Canadiens signed him as a free agent. The diminutive winger scored 66 points in 59 games for the surprising Sags this season.
GRADE: B
154th Overall, LW – Erik Nystrom
Team: Modo Jr, Sweden
Date of birth: October 30th, 1993
Ht: 5-11 Wt: 175
The Hockey Writers’ Scouting Report: None
Rankings: THW – Not ranked in the top 120
Central Scouting Ranking – 85 (European Skaters)
GRADE: C+
Relatively unknown on this side of the Atlantic, Nystrom is described as a speedy, hardworking player with great vision. The Habs’s sixth round draft pick is a long-shot at making the NHL right now, so he will likely remain in the Swedish Elite League to continue his development for a few years.

Overall, Marc Bergevin and Trevor Timmins were pretty happy with their draft selections and I have to agree with them, as the Habs were able to draft solid players, especially when they selected Collberg, Thrower and Bozon in the middle rounds.

What are your thoughts on the Canadiens' 2012 draft haul?
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Follow Fred on Twitter for more updates on the Canadiens and hockey in general.

Article originally published on The Hockey Writers

5 comments:

Great break down Fred.

I just heard Collberg and Nystrom have both been invited to Sweden's U20 summer camp, so Timmins may have found another sleeper eh?

I was so happy they picked Thrower. Guy reminds me of James Wiesnewski, who I miss dearly since he's gone. Galchenyuk, Thrower and Vail seems like the three most stable prospect in there. Hopefully the others will turn out great also. Timmins is the man.

Thrower's the man. It would be great seeing them on their new bauer skates and seeing to that home run.

I don't deny it, I have been a huge fan of this sport ever since I saw The Mighty Ducks. I even went to a hockey clinic when I was a kid and bought myself some skates.

Ice Hockey is one of the contact sports that I really love to watch. Not to mention the brutal fights this sport offers.

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