Montreal Canadiens: Grading Every Habs Pick From The 2014 NHL Draft

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 27: Nikita Scherbak is selected twenty-seventh by the Montreal Canadiens in the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft at the Wells Fargo Center on June 27, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 27: Nikita Scherbak is selected twenty-seventh by the Montreal Canadiens in the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft at the Wells Fargo Center on June 27, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

The Montreal Canadiens are always under plenty of scrutiny for their draft choices. Let’s take a look back on their performance at the 2014 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 2014 NHL Draft is a little too recent to look back on and come up with definitive grades for every pick. These players are 23 or 24 years old so they should be just about to hit their prime, but some of them could be late bloomers and have their best years in the future. Still, the league is on hiatus so why can’t we take a look back at old drafts and grade the Habs performance?

The Montreal Canadiens had a solid season in 2013-14. They finished the regular season with 100 points before beating the Tampa Bay Lightning and Boston Bruins en route to the Eastern Conference Final. They might have taken out the New York Rangers as well, but Carey Price was injured in the first game of the series and they ultimately fell in six games.

That meant they wouldn’t be picking until late in the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft. The Habs had also traded their second round pick to the New York Islanders along with Sebastien Collberg in a trade for Thomas Vanek and a fifth round pick. They would also use their third and fourth round picks to move up in the third round.

This left the Canadiens with a first round pick, third round pick and then two fifths, a sixth and a seventh. Let’s take a look at how they did with every one of those selections.

D. Scherbak scored 78 points in 65 games for the Saskatoon Blades of the WHL before being drafted by the Habs. He was a skilled winger but it took him a few years to start scoring at the AHL level and he never got comfortable at the NHL level. He was lost on waivers to the Los Angeles Kings four years after being drafted and is now in the KHL where he scored 11 points in 31 games. <strong>Others available: </strong>Nikolay Goldobin, Josh Ho-Sang, Brendan Lemieux. 1st Round. 26th Overall. NIKITA SCHERBAK

3rd Round. 73rd Overall. BRETT LERNOUT. D. The Canadiens traded the 87th and 117th picks to move up in the third round and take Lernout. He was a big, physical right defenceman who was playing for the Swift Current Broncos of the WHL. He played some decent minutes for the Habs AHL affiliate for four years before the Canadiens decided not to give him a qualifying offer last summer. He played a total of 21 NHL games. <strong>Others available: </strong>Elvis Merzlikins, Brayden Point

5th Round. 125th Overall. NIKOLAS KOBERSTEIN. D. Koberstein was another big right-shot defenceman who was playing in Alberta Junior leagues at the time of his draft. He played four years at Alaska-Fairbanks but was never signed by the Habs. He is now playing in Sweden’s third tier pro league. <strong>Others </strong><b>available: </b>Gustav Forsling, Clark Bishop

B -. Audette was a small, but skilled forward and had well over a point per game in the QMJHL as a 17 year old before the Habs drafted him. He basically maintained that pace for the next two seasons before turning pro. He had three decent years for the Laval Rocket, topping out at 39 points last season, but the Habs elected to not give him a qualifying offer last summer and he became a free agent. He scored 38 points in 58 AHL games this season for Springfield. The Rocket could have used him with all their injuries. Finding a reliable AHL scorer in the fifth round is better than most picks at that point in the draft.. 5th Round. 147th Overall. DANIEL AUDETTE

6th Round. 177th Overall. HAYDEN HAWKEY. C. Hawkey went to Providence College after being drafted by the Habs and was excellent there for four straight years. He was traded to the Edmonton Oilers for a 5th round pick in 2019 which the Habs used to select Rhett Pitlick. He barely played in the ECHL this season but looked quite promising during his college career. <strong>Others available: </strong>Dylan Sikura, Victor Olofsson

A +. Evans took the long road to the Montreal Canadiens, but when a 7th round pick ends up in the NHL at any time it is a success story. He was great for Notre Dame for four years after being drafted and had a successful rookie AHL season. He was called up to the Habs after the trade deadline and would have stayed the rest of the season if it was not postponed. <strong>Others available: </strong>No one available this late in the draft could do what Evans has so far.. 7th Round. 207th Overall. JAKE EVANS