Montreal Canadiens: The 2017 NHL Draft could prove to be one of the best

CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 24: Cayden Primeau greets the team after being selected 199th overall by the Montreal Canadiens during the 2017 NHL Draft at United Center on June 24, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 24: Cayden Primeau greets the team after being selected 199th overall by the Montreal Canadiens during the 2017 NHL Draft at United Center on June 24, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
1 of 5
Next
Montreal Canadiens
CHICAGO, IL – JUNE 24: Montreal Canadiens (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images) /

Teams hope to find talent at the NHL Draft every year, and it looks like the Montreal Canadiens found a lot of it in 2017.

The 2016-17 season was bittersweet for the Montreal Canadiens. A hot start propelled them to the top spot in the Atlantic Division which they managed to keep for the whole year. It came at the expense of Michel Therrien’s job, but they went into the playoffs as one of the team’s to beat.

The post-season didn’t go as well as the regular season did. Although the Habs got up to a 2-1 series lead after Game 3, they lost the next three. That summer would require some tweaking from general manager Marc Bergevin who needed to address the lack of scoring seen at times in the playoffs. The draft was the first step.

Montreal went into Chicago with seven picks at their disposal. Their first-round selection was set to be in the 20s again, but the pair of picks in the second and third rounds paved the way for Trevor Timmins and the scouting staff to work some magic. Fast forward to the present day, and those picks look to have value behind each one.

Many of the players have grown over the course of a year and brought value to their respective seasons. Some struggled, but that’s what comes with developing.

Montreal Canadiens
`MINNEAPOLIS, MN – JUNE 22: (Photo by Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

Round One

The Montreal Canadiens took Ryan Poehling of the St. Cloud State Huskies in the first-round. Although he was a centre which would address an organization league, many worried how well he would progress. It also didn’t help that the excess frustration from Michal McCarron’s development was still present.

Poehling was described as a defensive-minded centre with an underlying offensive game that needed to be build up. His 7 goals and 6 assists in 35 games made that a little hard to believe. However, that was only his freshman year. The Minnesota native presented an overwhelming drive and demeanour to get better, and fans saw that this season in St. Cloud.

The 19-year-old improved in all areas of the ice bringing his point totals up to 14 goals and 17 assists. Poehling also took part in the World Junior Championships for Team USA adding a goal and 2 assists to go along with his bronze medal.

His size and hockey sense allowed him to win battles with opponents in the corners and along the boards, as well as know where to put the puck for his teammates.

Poehling may not project at the moment to be a top-six centre, but he is progressing well to be a steady number three at least. However, that could change allowing that projection to be a possibility.

He’s already committed to play another year with the Huskies granting him more time to improve. Who knows at what stage in his development he’ll be by next summer.