6 Targets For The Montreal Canadiens In The First Round Of The 2020 NHL Draft

Montreal Canadiens (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Montreal Canadiens (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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Looking at this year’s draft class, the Montreal Canadiens have a realistic shot at six draftees who can dramatically improve their depth chart.

In the midst of one of the strangest Stanley Cup playoffs ever, the Montreal Canadiens are in full draft mode. In the first round of the 2020 NHL Draft, the Habs are likely looking at six potential draftees.

With an incredibly deep selection of potential rookies to choose from, the Habs are likely to get full value out of their 16th pick. No one really knows what Marc Bergevin and Trevor Timmins are thinking, but if the team’s depth chart is any indication, the Habs will be looking hard at wingers and defencemen.

That’s not to say that they wouldn’t pick a center, though, since an overabundance of centers isn’t really a bad thing.

The Montreal Canadiens and their GM, however, have the tendency to take us all by surprise.

Keeping this in mind, it’s important to look at some of the team’s draft trends over the past few years.

The Canadiens haven’t selected a Canadian-born player in the first round since 2015 when they drafted defenseman Noah Juulsen. In the past decade (2010-present), the Habs have preferred to draft defensemen and centers over wingers, picking only two wingers (Nikita Scherbak and Cole Caulfield) in a 10-year span.

Montreal’s first-round draft picks have had relative success since 2010, playing a cumulative 1,521 NHL games. Their most successful picks, in terms of NHL games played, are Nathan Beaulieu and Alex Galchenyuk.

The Habs haven’t had much success in developing and maintaining their first-round picks this decade, however. Only three players are still with the team – Juulsen, Jesperi Kotkaniemi, and Ryan Poehling. Funnily enough, the Habs have a much better development track with players found in the later rounds, with a collective 1,679 NHL games between all players selected after the first round in the past decade.

With Caulfield potentially going to play in Europe, there’s still a lot of time to see if one of the most highly-touted Canadiens picks in recent memory will pan out. But good news, folks, the pundits say that the Habs are set to have a top goal-scorer in Caulfield for years to come.

And while there’s a lot to say about Montreal’s development record, recent changes in the team’s culture and development staff (sup, Joël Bouchard) indicate that things are looking up for new Habs rookies.

Here are six draft picks the Montreal Canadiens should be targeting in the 2020 NHL Draft.