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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KENT, WASHINGTON – OCTOBER 22: Kaiden Guhle (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
KENT, WASHINGTON – OCTOBER 22: Kaiden Guhle (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images) /

Kaiden Guhle

An imposing two-way defenseman with both size and speed, Kaiden Guhle is not your grandpa’s 6’3″ d-man. Listed at 185 pounds, Guhle has room to grow and oh boy, do his skills seem enticing.

The left-handed Alberta-native has done an admirable job in his two seasons with the Prince Albert Raiders. In 64 games, Guhle posted 11 goals and 29 assists for 40 points. While he doesn’t light up the scoresheet, Guhle isn’t necessarily projected to be a top-flight offensive defenseman.

Guhle’s skillset is touted to be one of a solid crease-clearer with skating ability and good hockey sense. While the Canadiens tend to privilege drafting purely offensive defensemen, Guhle would be a smart pick at 16th, despite one that would raise a few eyebrows.

Projected to go somewhere in the later first round, Guhle would likely only be an option if the Habs have missed out on all their more glittery potential prospects.

He’s projected to be a first-pairing defenseman and a dominant force on the defensive side of the puck, however, so the Habs might just take a chance on the kid.

Braden Schneider

Selecting Braden Schneider would be yet another off-the-board pick for the Montreal Canadiens, but the 6’2”, 202-pound right-shot defenseman brings a lot of promise.

Already built like an NHL player, the 19-year-old Schneider has the potential to seamlessly slot into a lineup. According to Corey Pronman, the Brandon Wheat Kings player draws comparisons to Montreal Canadiens captain Shea Weber.

For such a large boy, Schneider is able to move around like a winger with a deft skating stride and intriguing speed. Though he’s a good passer, Schneider’s shot leaves a little to be desired despite its accuracy and intelligent placement.

While not the most physical defenseman, Schneider’s ability in his own end shows good promise for the speed of the NHL. He’s both able to win corner puck battles and cut off passing lanes with a clever stick.

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Schneider will likely need some more development in the WHL but his skillset shows a lot of promise. Again, he likely won’t be the first choice for the Habs, but a solid one if all their other options are off the board.