Habs Draft day Targets: Drafting a Center


Examining the Potential Center Prospects who could be available to the Habs in this years Draft

The Habs terrible season has earned them the 9th overall pick in this years draft. This is an excellent draft to have a top 10 pick in, considering it has been made known that this is a deep draft class. This gives the Canadiens many great prospects to choose from, or do like what was discussed in yesterday’s article about the Habs to trading down and acquiring more picks.

Reasons Habs may Consider Drafting a Center

Something that has been lacking on the Canadiens roster the last couple of seasons has been a strong goal scoring center. Someone the team could consistently count on to make plays as well as playing a 200 foot game.

Alex Galchenyuk seemed to finally emerge himself near the end of last season as a potential number 1 center. After Galchenyuk, depth chart  doesn’t seem to have a lot of high end talent at the center position. Michael McCarron has played center in the minors but the Habs seemed to play him more on the wing in the NHL. Tomas Plekanec has been a good two way pivot for many years but is starting to get long in the tooth and only has two years left on his deal.

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Center Prospects Habs Should Consider

There are a few prospects that could help fill the void at Center for the Habs. Players like Logan Brown from the the Windsor Spitfires, Michael McLeod of the Mississauga Steelheads, and Luke Kunin of the Wisconsin Badgers. All of these players could be available when the Habs pick at 9 or in Kunin’s case, they may be able to move back a few spots and still land their target.

Logan Brown has tremendous size at 6’6″ and 225 lbs and use his body to protect the puck in the offensive zone. He could develop into a puck possession monster with that size and skill. Looking at a future of Brown and Michael McCarron up the middle could be a dream come true. That would give a smaller teams nightmares.

Michael McLeod also has good size at 6’2″ and 185 lbs. He doesn’t play the same puck control game that Logan Brown does. McLeod has super speed and creates scoring chances off the rush and uses his great hands to help finish plays. McLeod fits the prototypical Habs mold of a speedy and creative player.

"It’s off to the races, as McLeod combines his speed with keen vision to not only identify others for an option or two, but create one for himself. The best word to describe McLeod’s game is rapid — everything he does is with effort and a sense of urgency. What separates McLeod from the lot of draft-eligible speedsters is that he has the size, strength and puck-control skills to go along with it. He’s an excellent passer either up the ice or diagonally in the offensive zone, and his ability to thread the needle while moving his feet can force opponents to cheat towards the pass- Steve Kournianos"

Meanwhile, Luke Kunin from the University of Wisconson may not have tremendous size but at 6 feet tall and 193 lbs, he’s not necessarily a small player either. He has been described as a good player in all three zones and possesses an elite shot. Kunin hasn’t been ranked as a top 10 talent but I think the Habs could trade back and still get a good talent in Kunin.

"A slick and solid overall centre that plays hard in all three zones. Has some explosive feet and tremendous speed generated in only a few quick strides. His shot is on and off his blade in only a split second and shows outstanding velocity and accuracy. He also shows impressive reads of developing plays and the vision and creativity to make a play out of nothing. Does not slouch defensively as he comes back and disrupts the opponents attack. A slick possession player with quick hands and a quicker mind.- futureconsiderations.ca"

Next: Canadiens: A Case for Trading up in the Draft

Habs Potential Decision

I like the option of the Habs moving back and acquiring a few more picks. This would allow the the chance at selecting Luke Kunin. I think if the Habs could add another 2nd or 3rd round pick in this draft while also getting Kunin, it would be considered a good draft.

Kunin demonstrates great instincts in all 3 zones which Marc Bergevin and Michel Therrien both seem to covet in their players. Kunin also has the ability to attack on the rush with speed. He can play the puck possession game while looking for the open areas on the ice so he can use his good shot. The Canadiens try to do a little of both methods to try and keep opponents off balance and this would make Kunin an ideal fit for the Habs in regards to scheme.

However it takes two teams to make a deal, and if the Habs can’t find a trade partner, than I would pick Logan Brown. His mobility, size and production in Junior make him an intriguing prospect for the future. Again, seeing him and Michael McCarron up the middle would bring bring so much size to their forward group while making them a tougher team to play against.