By Bob Trask – While the entire focus of many Canadiens’ fans is on the first overall pick in the upcoming draft, it might be worthwhile to step back and look at the entire picture.
General manager Kent Hughes seems like a thoughtful individual and his comments surrounding the Tyler Toffoli trade could give us a clue about his mindset. In that trade, one of the assets acquired was Emil Heineman. Hughes stated that players who already have a year or two of development under their belts are more of a known quantity than a draft pick.
The Canadiens’ GM also has close ties to the amateur hockey programs in the US and he added European scout Nick Bobrov to the staff. In addition, the Canadiens will host another European combine.
When you combine all of these factors there are a couple of inferences that could be drawn.
- Hughes, particularly in the later rounds, may look at players who were passed over in the 2021 draft. They have an extra year of amateur development and their trajectory may be more predictable than a 1st year draft eligible player.
- The Canadiens may also take a longer look at US high school/college players and Europeans than CHL players in the later rounds. They control these assets for 4 years rather than 2 years and Hughes seems very cognizant of asset management.
While there can be an unexpected gem fall into your lap like Joshua Roy, once the obvious choices are made, the approach the Canadiens take may differ slightly from past years in rounds 4 through 7. With a bushel basket of picks, they have the luxury of being creative with these choices and may uncover a gem… or two.
While day one gets the spotlight, day two of the draft will be very interesting.
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