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2015 Draft Preview – Montreal Canadiens must think big

In what has been an otherwise impressive record of drafting and developing, the Montreal Canadiens have a black hole, the effects of which are being felt by the organization today.
The Hockey News

The Hockey News

In what has been an otherwise impressive record of drafting and developing, the Montreal Canadiens have a black hole, the effects of which are being felt by the organization today. In the 2008 and ’09 drafts, amateur scouting director Trevor Timmins and his staff selected 13 players, none of whom has made an impact at the NHL level. Those players are in their early 20s now and should’ve been in position to not only make contributions, but also carry the team in future years. Perhaps if the Canadiens had been able to mine some talented players with size, they wouldn’t be one of the smallest and poorest possession teams in the league.

PICKS:

Round 1, pick 26

Round 3, pick 87

Round 5, pick 131

Round 6, pick 177

Round 7, pick 207

SHORT-TERM NEEDS:

The Habs have size on the blueline but desperately need some bigger forwards who can play. They drafted hulking Michael McCarron in the first round in 2013, but he’s a few years away, if he makes the NHL at all.

LONG-TERM NEEDS:

Montreal is so far removed from its Flying Frenchmen heritage that even the ghosts of the Forum are annoyed. An infusion of offensive talent would help.

CAP SITUATION:

The Canadiens will be right up against the upper limit of the cap, with just over $66 million committed in signings. The good news is they have no UFAs of consequence and only two noteworthy RFAs: Alex Galchenyuk and Nathan Beaulieu.

IN THE SYSTEM 2015-16:

The most NHL-ready prospect the Canadiens have is defenseman Jarred Tinordi, who has spent the past three seasons shuttling between the big team and the minors. With Sergei Gonchar and Mike Weaver slated to become UFAs, the time has come for Tinordi to prove he’s worthy of full-time employment. Jacob De La Rose has displayed glimpses of being that big winger the Canadiens need, and Sven Andrighetto had a solid season with AHL Hamilton.

DID YOU KNOW:

In the past nine drafts, the Canadiens have used their first pick on a U.S.-born player six times, They hit home runs in 2007 with Americans Ryan McDonagh and Max Pacioretty.

THN will be releasing its Team Reports from Draft Preview for each of the 30 NHL franchises in the week leading up to the NHL Draft. Read them in our “Draft” channel.

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