Habs Draft Day Targets: Drafting a Winger


An Examination of the Left/Right Wing prospects the Habs could potentially Draft at 9th overall in the upcoming NHL Draft.

We have already discussed the centers or defensemen that may be available at the 9th overall pick. With all of the available talent at both premium positions, we often forget that wingers can be valuable assets as well.

So now we will begin to take a look at why the Habs may draft a winger and what Wingers could be available when the Habs pick.

Reasons Habs may Draft a Winger

The Habs have a need for some experienced players on the wing. After players like Max Pacioretty and Brendan Gallagher, the team lacks consistent and proven talent on the wings. This up coming season, young players like Daniel Carr, Sven Andrighetto, Artturi Lehkonen, Michael McCarron, and Martin Reway could all be battling for roster spots on any of the bottom 3 lines.

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All of these prospects have good potential but are far from a sure thing in the present or in the future. So if the Habs are in a position to land a top ranked winger at the draft, they could easily pull the trigger and take one.

Wingers Habs Should Consider

Alexander Nylander is a haighly skilled forward who has really high potential. He is the brother of William Nylander, who plays for the Toronto Maple Leafs, and is the son of Michael Nylander, who also played in the NHL. Nylander’s style of play would bring speed and creativity into the Habs lineup.

The Draft Analyst gave this rave review of Nylander

"“He’s an excellent skater with a deadly shot, but he can score goals from in close thanks to a ridiculous set of hands. Nylander is able to make smart decisions as he maneuvers through traffic, and his ability to stick handle in and around a dense field of sticks and skates while knowing exactly where his line mates will be makes him an indefensible threat on the rush."

Julien Gauthier is a big power forward at 6’3″ 225lbs. He would definitely give the Habs some much needed size and power. He is known to effectively use his size along the boards or in the corners to win puck battles. Gauthier is not only big, but has excellent goal scoring instincts as evidenced by his 41 goals in 54 games for the Val-d’or Foreurs last season.

Future Considerations had this scouting report on Gauthier

"“He is a big, strong winger with a powerful stride and impressive top speed. He is tough to contain when he is at the top of his game. Can be creative with the puck and set up his teammates with well-timed passes; is a beast along the wall and in the corners.”"

Tyson Jost has a similar skill set to Nylander in being a very slippery skater who possesses excellent play making ability. Jost also has a knack for scoring goals with his excellent shot. Jost scored 42 goals and had 62 assits for 104 points in only 48 games with the Penticton Vees in the BCHL last season.

Joe Curtis had this high praise for Jost

"Tyson Jost is a crafty goal-scorer that carries out plays as quickly as he envisions them. As someone who thinks and plays at a fast tempo, it comes as no surprise that he creates a lot of energy as an offensive catalyst. He sees the ice very well and has the willingness and determination to win battles in the tough areas."

Next: Montreal Canadiens 7 Round Mock Draft 1.0

Who the Habs Should Pick

If Alexander Nylander somehow falls to the Habs at 9, than I would take him in a heart beat. He is an electric play maker who can be a game changer for the Habs offense for many years to come. In my first mock draft a scenario actually came up where this was possible, but it is unlikely.

However, in the event Nylander is gone, and I was going to draft a winger, than I would choose Julien Gauthier. He is a big power forward who can win along the boards and in the corners. He is also a very productive goal scorer who could also have a big impact on the Habs offense in the future.