One prospect we would like to see fall to the Canadiens at No. 26 in the NHL Draft

The NHL Draft is close, and as it nears, let’s talk about the Montreal Canadiens “other” first-round and who could freefall to them at No. 26.
Finland v Great Britain - 2024 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Czechia
Finland v Great Britain - 2024 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Czechia / Eurasia Sport Images/GettyImages

If you were to ask NHL fans who they would like to see freefall if their team had a pick in the second half of the first round of the NHL Draft, you would end up with a plethora of answers. It would be no different if you focused on fans of just the Montreal Canadiens, both at pick No. 5 and No. 26. 

While way too many players can fall to the fifth pick, you can’t say the same about those at No. 26, so who is one prospect that fans should be pushing to see fall from, let’s say, the top fifteen and into the late first round? If you asked for my opinion, it would be Konsta Helenius of Jukurit, whom Tankathon has going 12th overall to the Philadelphia Flyers as of June 16th. 

Helenius possesses above-average size and he’s already shown that he can excel in Liiga, Finland’s top level of pro hockey. Throughout 51 games for Jukurit, Helenius scored 14 goals and finished the regular season with 36 points, and he also averaged a point per game (two goals) in the postseason. And this also doesn’t mention how well Helenius fared in international play, but his numbers in Liiga show us all of what we need to know. 

Konsta Helenius would be an epic steal for the Canadiens in the NHL Draft

While there is a slim chance, at best, of Helenius falling to the Canadiens on June 28th, this exercise is all about identifying a player who would end up as an ultimate steal later in the first round at least 10 slots after a player is projected to be selected in the mock draft mentioned in the above section. 

One reason I chose Helenius is because he already looks like a player with a complete game, starting with his sound hockey IQ. This also means he isn’t as much of an unfinished product defensively, as many prospects slated to go in the top half of the first round can be, even high-scoring defensemen, for that matter. 

So if Helenius is so good as an all-around player, why would I even entertain the notion that he could be the one to freefall right to the Canadiens at No. 26? The truth is that Helenius, while well-rounded, doesn’t possess a skill that you can point to and say, “That’s one of the best in the class.” Because of this, his overall ceiling may not be as high as other forwards in the class, which could, although unlikely, lead to a fall on draft day. 


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