Montreal Canadiens: Grading Every Pick From the 2016 NHL Draft

MONTREAL, QC - OCTOBER 20: Mikhail Sergachev #22 of the Montreal Canadiens takes a shot during the warmup prior to the NHL game against the Arizona Coyotes at the Bell Centre on October 20, 2016 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The Montreal Canadiens defeated the Arizona Coyotes 5-2. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
MONTREAL, QC - OCTOBER 20: Mikhail Sergachev #22 of the Montreal Canadiens takes a shot during the warmup prior to the NHL game against the Arizona Coyotes at the Bell Centre on October 20, 2016 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The Montreal Canadiens defeated the Arizona Coyotes 5-2. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images) /
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The Montreal Canadiens are always under plenty of scrutiny for their draft choices. Let’s take a look back on their performance at the 2016 NHL Draft.

The Montreal Canadiens have quickly built up a great group of prospects. They made 21 selections at the past two drafts and the sheer quantity of picks is sure to produce some NHL talent in the near future. However, it is still a little early to grade all of those picks as we don’t know how they are going to turn out.

Even the 2016 NHL Draft is a little too recent to look back on and come up with definitive grades for every pick. However, with the NHL calendar, as well as literally every other hockey league, on pause right now we thought it was as good a time as any to look back on some old drafts.

The Habs 2015-16 season was no pretty as Carey Price was injured and it resulted in the team plummeting down the standings. They finished in the bottom ten of the league and ended up with the ninth overall pick in the draft.

The Canadiens had flipped around a few of their later picks but ended up at the draft with a pick in every round except the second. They had traded their second rounder in 2016 a year earlier when they acquired Andrew Shaw from the Chicago Blackhawks. This pick would end up being Alex DeBrincat which is still a bit of a sore spot for Habs fans.

However, we are not here to discuss the picks Montreal did not make, we are taking a look at all of the players they did pick. So, let’s get started.

9th Overall. MIKHAIL SERGACHEV. A +. Say what you want about the Sergachev for Drouin trade, but taking the big Russian defenceman with the 9th overall pick was the absolute correct move. He is turning into a great top four defender already and looks like a budding top-pairing defenceman for the next number of years. Too bad it will be for Tampa Bay. The next number of picks have not had the same impact.<p><strong>Others </strong><b>available: </b>Tyson Jost, Jake Bean, Logan Brown, Michael McLeod</p>. 1st Round

C +. Bitten was an interesting pick as he put up nearly a point per game on a Junior team riddled with turmoil before being drafted. The problem was, he was traded to the Hamilton Bulldogs after the draft and scored less in the next two years. He is a decent AHL player right now but was traded for Gustav Olofsson. No one else taken shortly after him has had much of an NHL impact.<p><strong>Others available: Joey Anderson, Josh Mahura</strong></p>. 3rd Round. 70th Overall. WILL BITTEN

Mete surprisingly made the Canadiens roster just over a year after being drafted in the 4th round. He has played some big minutes for the Habs already and is still just 21 years old. He may not be a top pairing defender in the long term, but getting someone who can make the NHL as a teenager, can skate like the wind and has the tools to be a great second pairing defender in the fourth round of the draft is a great pick.<p><strong>Others </strong><b>available: </b>No one nearly as good as Mete.</p>. 4th Round. 100th Overall. VICTOR METE. A +

Staum was a longshot right from draft day. He is a low scoring defender who played two more years of USHL hockey after being selected by the Habs. His first year was his best year when he scored 16 points in 55 games. The Habs gave up his rights when they chose not to sign him before the 2018 NHL Draft. Staum played 11 games for Colorado College as a 21 year old freshman in NCAA this season and was minus-11 with one point.<p><strong>Others available: </strong>Colton Point, Max Lajoie</p>. 5th Round. 124th Overall. CASEY STAUM. F

6th Round. 160th Overall. MICHAEL PEZZETTA. D. Pezzetta is a good sized centre but isn’t a high scorer. He had 28 points in 64 games with the Sudbury Wolves before the Habs drafted him. The Canadiens signed him to an entry-level contract after he scored 52 points in 62 OHL games in 2017-18. He is playing for the Laval Rocket this season and has four points in 32 games. <strong>Others available: </strong>Jesper Bratt

D. Henrikson is a massive defenceman who was drafted out of Sweden. He put up decent numbers in one of Sweden’s lower Junior leagues before being drafted, but hasn’t been able to provide much offence anywhere since. He just played his first season of NCAA hockey as a 21 year old and scored two points in 37 games. If he isn’t signed before June 1, he will become a free agent. I think he will be a free agent.<p><strong>Others </strong><b>available: </b>No one really, it was the 7th round.</p>. 7th Round. 187th Overall. ARVID HENRIKSON