The NHL Draft is set to begin with the opening round tonight, and the final six rounds taking place tomorrow in Philadelphia. Thanks to their run to the Eastern Conference Final, the Montreal Canadiens will not be picking early tonight, as they are not slated to select until the 26th pick.
The draft does not feature any huge can’t miss prospects like we have seen in recent years. Last season was a spectacular year with Nathan MacKinnon, Jonathan Drouin, Alexander Barkov and Seth Jones at the top of the draft, and all four appear to be franchise players. Although no one appears to be in the same class as those stars this year, it is still a deep draft meaning there will be plenty of solid young players available when the Habs finally take the podium.
The Canadiens dealt their second round pick in this draft to the New York Islanders at the trade deadline along with Swedish prospect Sebastien Collberg for enigmatic winger Thomas Vanek. Though Vanek played well in the regular season for the Habs, he did not show up to play in the postseason when the team needed him most, and general manager Marc Bergevin stated the inevitable yesterday when he announced the big Austrian will not return to the Canadiens next season.
In the same trade, the Canadiens added a 5th round pick in this weekend’s draft form the Islanders, so they still have seven picks in the seven round, two day event. All of their picks are listed below.
1st round – 26th overall
3rd round – 87th overall
4th round – 117th overall
5th round – 125th overall (from New York Islanders)
5th round – 147th overall
6th round – 177th overall
7th round – 207th overall
This is of course subject to change as the draft weekend is one of the busiest times of year for trade activity. Will the Habs move up in the first round, move down, deal a pick for a player, or send a player for an added pick?
Last year the Canadiens kept their 25th overall selection and took hulking winger Michael McCarron who played this past season with the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League. Will they aim to add more size to their organization, like they did with the 6’5″ McCarron?
The draft is a wild weekend and impossible to predict. Keep yourself notified with up to the minute updates on A Winning Habit all weekend, and all summer, as there is no offseason for us!