A Perfect First-Round Pick for the Montreal Canadiens

Jun 22, 2018; Dallas, TX, USA; Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 22, 2018; Dallas, TX, USA; Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

The Montreal Canadiens have the 30th pick in the first round. They officially have the 31st pick, but with the 11th pick forfeited by the Arizona Coyotes, the Canadiens get to make the 30th pick.

As awesome as it would be to draft someone like Owen Power or Matthew Beniers, it’s just not going to happen. There is no way they don’t get picked 1st and 2nd respectively, in my opinion.

But one player they could possibly draft is the American defenceman Sean Behrens.

Another player the Canadiens could draft is Mackie Samoskevich, but my guess is that he will be drafted earlier than 30th overall. So, I think Behrens is a more realistic choice for the Canadiens.

Behrens is also a defenceman, which the Canadiens really need with their ageing d-core. Samoskevich is a center, but he would be great prospects for a Canadiens team as well. They are still developing young talent in their regular lineup in Nick Suzuki, Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Cole Caufield, and Alexander Romanov, and one more in one or two years wouldn’t hurt.

Behrens is a puck-moving defenceman who’s willing to take the risk to go the front of the net. The Canadiens’ blueline has been lacking offensive defencemen, with only Jeff Petry able to put up numbers this past season, so Behrens would be a great prospect and could learn from Petry, or other possible future acquisitions.

This 18-year-old isn’t scared to play a physical game despite being only 5’9. If there is anything we saw this season with Caufield, is that his size did not affect his offensive production, or his way of playing altogether. Although Behrens is a defenceman, I still don’t believe his size will hinder his NHL career and performance, especially if he focuses on being an offensive defenceman and considering he’s not scared to play physical.

His ability to make stretch passes also creates good scoring opportunities for his teammates, and when we look at the young talent and speed on this Canadiens’ team, this sure could be helpful.

In the 2020-21 season, Behrens scored seven goals and 28 assists, for a total of 35 points in 46 games played on the U.S. National U18 Team (USDP). He also put up four goals and 14 assists for 18 points in 23 games played in the USNTDP Juniors (USHL), and one goal and three assists (four points) in five games played in the USA U18 “A”.

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Behrens’ offensive numbers are already present and quite impressive, so watching him grow and get better should be extremely fun. He is expected to start in the NCAA next season for the University of Denver, and whichever team drafts him will be making a great addition to its prospect pool.