Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Montreal Canadiens: Draft Stategy

With less than a week before the NHL Entry Draft to will be held at Prudential Center on June 30th, 2013, Montreal Canadiens fans have every reason to get excited about the next Habs' draft. While the team doesn't have a top-three selection like last year when they drafted talented forward Alex Galchenyuk from the Sarnia Sting, the teams holds eight draft picks this season, six of which are in the first three rounds.

Despite the first round upset to the hands of the Ottawa Senators, the organization made great strides this season under the helm of new general manager Marc Bergevin as well as new head coach Michel Therrien. As a result, everyone expects the Canadiens to be competitive next season as well.

With a very deep core of young defensemen such as Nathan Beaulieu, Jarred Tinordi, Morgan Ellis, Marcus Nygren, Dalton Thrower and Darren Dietz, everyone expects Trevor Timmins and his scouting staff to draft a forward with his first-round pick. Will the organization keep their 25th overall pick to draft that forward or will the team try to move up or down the draft to get the player they want?

The rumors coming from Montreal is that GM Marc Bergevin would very much like to move up in the top 10-12 of this particular draft in order to land a quality power forward to add to an already potent group of young and talented forwards, namely Sebastian Collberg, Tim Bozon, Danny Kristo, Charles Hudon, Michael Bournival, Brady Vail and Patrick Holland. While the above group of forwards is very talented, it lacks a true power forward and that's the kind of player the organization is looking to select in 2013.

In order to do so, Bergervin would need to package one or two 2nd or 3rd picks with the team's 25th overall draft pick to accomplish this feat. The team is also shopping center David Desharnais, who has become redundant with the emergence of youngster Lars Eller, who is now ready to become the team's #2 center behind Tomas Plekanec. Don't forget that while he was mainly used as a winger this season, Alex Galchenyuk is also a natural pivot.

Timmins and his staff will most likely draft on of the following forwards: Sean Monahan, Valeri Nichushkin, Hunter Shinkaruk, Max Domi, Bo Horvat, Anthony Mantha, Frederik Gauthier, or Curtis Lazar.

The Canadiens could also draft PK Subban's brother Jordan in the second round of this draft. The younger Subban is currently ranked at the end of the second round by most draft agencies and scouting services, which means the Habs could very well draft him with their 55th overall selection.

Finally, you can also expect the Canadiens to draft a goaltender in the second or third round as the cupboard is pretty bare after Carey Price and Peter Budaj. With career AHLer Dustin Tokarski and unproven Robert Mayer are the team's goaltenders of the future, Montreal really needs to address that weakness through the draft.


Fred where did you hear that the habs are shopping Desharnais? That would be a dream come true.

Also wondering who you think the Habs #1 target is.

I'd like to see a kid like Kerby Rychel.

@Bryan I can't tell you where I learned it, but I can tell you he was almost traded recently. As for the #1 target, it would be Monahan if they can move up to #7 or 8.


You have absolutely made my day. If you were siting next to me then I would kiss you right now.

Sorry, when I said target I meant in and around where they are drafting, 25th.

If I had my choice of the draft (excluding the top 3-4)then I am totally with you on Monahan.

I agree. Trading away Desharnais would be great. Get what you can for him but we can't go up against the beasts of the east with guys like Plek, Desh, and Eller. Need some grit there. And Gally can fill in up the middle if need be

The Canadiens is currently talking with the Hurricanes for the #5 selection!

@Fred Poulin how good our your sources ?

Great read!I wonder what the 'Canes would want for that pick. Many say this is a deep draft so even if Bergevin does not trade up, this draft is still a great opportunity to stockpile quality depth.

@Patrick very good and reliable source

@Anonymous the Hurricanes need help on defense and the Habs need cap relief... so the player would be AM!

Weeeelll 3/4 of this article is crap.
Dalton Thrower didn't sign.
Charles Hudon, Michael Bournival, Brady Vail and Patrick Holland are not "talented prospects." Don't expect to see them in the NHL anytime soon. Bournival will see some 3th line duties, but that's it.
"The team is also shopping center David Desharnais" - this is 110% false.
Sean Monahan, Valeri Nichushkin, Hunter Shinkaruk, Max Domi, Frederik Gauthier will be gone before 10-12. So even IF they manage to get to 12 (which they wont) they wont be drafting any of these guys.
"Dustin Tokarski and unproven Robert Mayer are the team's goaltenders of the future" Robert Mayer is going to the Swiss league next year, you can wave him bye-bye.
Seriously, dude, don't quit your day job.

(For Bournival, I meant 4th line.)

@Anonymous Who are you to tell me I'm wrong on everything when you can't even use your real name?

You're an Internet tough guy.

I wonder why, with so many people commenting every day about virtually everything having anything to do with the Canadiens, no one ever talks about the possibility of dealing Carey Price. It seems that, since the day he was targeted in the draft, it has been impossible to consider him NOT being the Canadiens' goalie. But he does not seem to be improving, he does not seem to have settled on a style, he is grossly overpaid for the work he is doing, and opposing goalies are stealing games from the Habs, rather than Price stealing them from the Canadiens' opponents. Goals against, and save percentage, really don't mean much; they reflect a team's style as much as the goalie's ability. Price is paid to win games that can go either way. He is not doing this.

Many teams, including the two in Florida, which have the #2 and #3 pick, need goalies. Might they deal their #1 pick for Price? Might the Canadiens be better off with a truly elite prospect, instead of Price? Any goalie might fail in Montreal; it is a tough hockey environment. So might any prospect. But Price himself seems to be struggling in Montreal. He himself might be better off in a less pressure-packed environment.

I am not saying that Price should be traded. I am only wondering why there cannot be a serious discussion about the possibility.

Paul Franklin

Sorry buddy (Anonymous, 3 posts up), you are actually wrong on a number of things. 1. All signs are pointing to Dalton Thrower playing for the Hamilton Bulldogs next season (per Thrower and Canadiens Management). 2. Charles Hudon is a very talented player. His success is due in large part to his skilled play. 3. Gauthier and Domi will not be gone before 12. Domi may go around 12, but no way Gauthier goes before 12. 4. It has been confirmed that Mayer will return to Hamilton next season, as his Swiss League team has released him from his contract. I suggest you get your facts straight before you call somebody else out. Makes you look a bit foolish.

I like the idea of trading both markov and desharnei this draft to move up so I hope your sources prove true.. Another player I think we canpart with that might help bring good return is diaz

Dear Anonymous what do you do for a living that's hockey related, anything? Thrower will prb be at training camp, from there M. Gauthier and coaching staff will prb have a much better assessment of him and all other players attending than your couch perspective view. its way easier for you to criticize them than they of you. So, this from anyone involved in hockey....... and you are?

" Thrower will prb be at training camp, from there M. Gauthier and coaching staff will prb have a much better assessment of him "

... Basically, Thrower is traded to Chicago?

Since when is Thrower traded to Chicago?

Tim mins drafts more busts than a balloon in a needle factory. And nobody wants Desharnais or Plekanec, two soft centers, or did you not watch an average team like Ottawa kick Habs butts.

I also heard that the Habs are looking to deal Plekanec, rather than Desharnais, at the draft.

Trade AM and DD. Pick up Bozak (UFA) and Letang (trade)

Do we take a stab at landing Vinny Lecavailier? What can he provide at 34 this year and how much will it cost. He does bring size and skill to the C, but he's hardly one to use that size consistently.

@Paul the problem with trading Carey Price is that you need to replace him and we don't have any suitable replacement right now.

@Nick I don't see the Habs trying to sign Vinny with the plethora of centers we have, unless MB is able to ship DD or Pleky somewhere else.

Fred, I'm sure you trust your sources, but without any evidence - there's no reason I should. Especially given that audacity of the information - DD traded after signing a LT contract. Doesn't often happen when the contract signing is clearly a mistake.

My realistic hope is that they move DD to a wing and sign Vinny. Slot him 1, Pleks 2, Lars 3 (they may switch over the season) and Gally 4th. That's an obscenely deep center. I would also put DD with Gally and hope DD's ability to make those around him better continues. I'd also put Bourque with Pleks to offset Pleks size disadvantage. Vinny with Max should be pretty sweet.


Better yet....Vinny, Pleks, Eller with both DD and Gally on the wings.



@Anonymous Galchenyuk on the fourth line... Really?

I think Anonymous is a leafs fan... he/she is sabotaging this thread and I would suggest you guys ignore him/her. Otherwise a good read... I'm soooooo excited to see what happens at the draft and during the ofseason... the Habs are on the rise

I think there are just too many variables...Bergevin should make a play for Lecavalier before the draft at a reasonable price 3M for 3-4 years. If he doesn't sign, Bergevin should stockpile players from all his draft choices. It's a deep draft and he should wait to trade later, not bet the farm on prospects.

Thrower is a bruising defenceman that will need a couple of years before playing for the HABS. We should try to pick Samuel Morin, and he could be within our draft choice. He has the size and mean streak needed.

Power forwards are needed and should be acquired by trading when the season starts, they need to better evaluate Collberg and Kristo. Markov, I love the guy but, he should be dealt while he still has high value for a power forward.

With Vinny shopping a dozen teams, the one that lands him will grossly overpay for him. A future hall-of-famer, yes, but not far off from getting to that age where production will start to drop. Furthermore, rumour has it the Habs weren't on a the list of teams that 'impressed him' today (Det, Stl, Dal, Phi and... *gulp* TO).

Rumour has it that the Habs are receiving calls about Pleks, but not necessarily 'shopping' him persay. Apparently Stl, a popular trade partner with the Habs, is dangling Perron for him.

Finally, I almost had a stroke when I heard this: The Habs are apparently the front runner's in the Letang sweepstakes. Not to get anyone's hopes up - nothing big ever happens to our habs, but its practically garaunteed we'd have the deadliest PP in the league with Subban, Letang, and Markov back there!

I'd love to see them trade up in this draft. We have a few spare defensive prospects and extra draft picks we could offer the 'Canes if this rumour is indeed true.

GHG and happy draft day everyone! :)

*sorry, correction to that last post, Detroit was NOT on that list of Vinny's fav's as he isn't meeting with them until tomorrow morning.

@Fred, yes, Gally (and DD) on the fourth line. He's only in his second year and needs to develop. DD may help that. And with Therrien preferring to roll four lines, his icetime should be okay. I don't expect the lines to remain static, but as a starting point, I have no problem with Gally fourth on the depth chart.

@Jarrett - ??

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