The less immediately interesting but very important later rounds of the entry draft are complete. The consensus from the prognositators is that Montreal had an excellent draft as of right now. On the other hand, the managed to take two scoring forwards without a regular season point between them with the first two picks.
Pick 33 – Sebatian Collberg. Skilled Swedish scoring winger was seen as a top 20 talent in this draft fell out of the first to the Canadians at 33, probably due to the run on defenseman in the first round. He recorded 0 points in the SEL this year due playing minimal minutes in a mens league as a 17 year old. Against his peer group Collberg is an offensive force, crushing Swedish under 20s as a 16 year old and had a strong showing at the WJC this year.
Collberg’s strengths are his excellent speed and shooting ability but is somewhat undersized as a forward at 5’10″
Pronman: 11th overall
Red Line Report Mock Draft: 27th
The Hockey Writers: 10th
Future Considerations: 12th
Central Scouting: 3rd European Skater
Pick 51 – Dalton Thrower. Team mate of current Habs prospect Darren Dietz. Thrower is a good all-round defenseman who is very tough despite being undersized. He is famous for fighting much bigger tough guy Tomas Wilson (1st round pick in this draft) during this year’s top prospect game. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvGW2wP1aNE
Beyond toughness, Thrower has a balanced skill-set for a defender. Many were expecting him to go in the later part of the first round.
Pronman: 57th overall
Future Considerations: 28th
CS: 26th NA skater
Pick 64 – Tim Bozon. Scoring LW was a point per game (71 in 71) his rookie year in the WHL. With decent size, skill and overall ability this French forward was considered by some to be a first round talent and usually made the 2nd in most mock drafts. Many wonder how he managed to fall into Montreal’s lap in the third round.
Bozon is the son of the best French skater to make the NHL, defenseman Phillipe Bozon and suits up internationally for France. He is seen as one of the better offensive forward talents from the CHL available this season and a relatively rare one that managed a point per game for a full season.
Pronman: 27th Overall
Red Line Report Mock Draft: 28th
THW: 23rd Overall
Future Considerations: 49th
CS: 42nd NA Skater
Pick 94 – Brady Vail. Two-Way C from the Windsor Spitfires of the OHL. Known for his hockey sense as well as having decent size, speed and skill. Described as a “swiss army knife” type of all situations player.
Pronman: 85th overall
THW: 60th Overall
Future Considerations: 51st
CS: 38th Skater
Pick 122 – Charles Hudon. The organization’s one pick from the QMJHL. Hudon is as close as there is to a Qubecois strong offensive talent in this draft who has generally been looked over for lack of size. In the tradition of 2010′s Brendan Gallagher and 2011′s Oliver Archembault, Hudon is the Canadiens late round gamble on a small but offensively gifted forward.
Hudon had an excellent 16 year old season and has been very good for Team Canada so far in his career. He’d be the definition of a boom-bust pick that might produce a top six forward if it pans out.
Pronman: 34th overall
Future Considerations: 51nd
CS: 95th NA Skater
Pick 154 – Eric Nystrom. The Nystrom pick came out of the cliche story of a scout finding someone he liked unexpectly while he was looking for something else. Canadiens draft guru Trevor Timmins spotted Nystrom in Sweden last year while he was taking a look at his teammate Michael Sammulson (2nd round pick in this draft). Finding a combination of skill, speed and effort he liked in a player that had gone largely unnoticed, the Canadiens elected to take a flyer on the young Swede with their last selection in the 2012 draft.
A fan of the Modo squad for whom Nystrom plays (Fregus) had this to say on HfBoards:
“Insane speed, good vision and great wok ethic. Played solid in the few SEL-games he got to play last season and will be fighting to grab one of the last spots on the senior team next year.
A very exciting player to watch, with his speed and puck control he makes things happen almost every time he’s on the ice.”
CS: 85th European Skater
Other draft notes:
Don’t believe anyone claiming Alex Galchenyuk is 6’2″ or 6’3″. His official results from the draft combine are 6’0.5″ and 194 pounds. It should be noted that he is basically at NHL weight already at 18, a silver lining of a season spent in the gym rather than playing. He does have an upright skating stride that makes him appear taller on the ice which might have led to some of the confusion by the likes of Pierre McGuire (who said he is 6’3″). He is still expect to grow a bit more and I would bet he plays in the NHL at 6’1″+ in height.
Francophone Player Watch
For those who care about language spoken by Habs players, here is the breakdown of French speakers from this draft class.
Charles Hudon – Native Francophone Quebecer.
Tim Bozon – Native of France and Switzerland, speaks French with a contenental accent and when interviewed at the draft demonstrated his familarity with French Canadian swear words.
Alex Galchenyuk – Fluent in English, Russian and Italian. He claims to have previously learned French during his father’s stint in Switzerland but to have since forgotten it. Also claims to be starting French lessons to relearn it now that he’s Canadiens property. Given his polyglot background I’d give pretty high odds he learns how to basically converse in Francois during his stay in Montreal.
Collberg, Thrower, Vail and Nystrom: I have seen no indication they have any facility with the French language.