By Bob Trask – According to many scouting services, the 2023 NHL Entry Draft is very deep and very talented. This has led to a division among Montreal Canadiens’ fans, some of whom would like to see the team continue to develop and improve while others would like to see the team fall to the bottom of the standings in order to improve their chances at drafting a potentially generational player.
Everyone knows about Connor Bedard, Adam Fantilli and Matvei Michkov but there will be a lot of good players drafted after these three have been chosen.
In order to highlight some of these players, I have put together a reverse power ranking based on winning percentage and goal differential. It’s overly simplistic but it’s a start. As the season goes on, I will add a couple of other factors to create my reverse power rankings. From these rankings, I will highlight a couple of players that fall into the range of where the Montreal Canadiens currently sit. The points are not necessarily a projection of the points a team will earn in a season; they should be used as a comparison of the relative strength of among the teams.
Early in the season these rankings will jump around but as teams face more and more opponents, we can get a better read on how competitive each of them are. Here are the initial rankings:
|1||Columbus Blue Jackets||55.1|
|3||St Louis Blues||58.1|
|4||San Jose Sharks||59.8|
|12||Los Angeles Kings||79.8|
|16||Toronto Maple Leafs||85.7|
|17||New York Rangers||87.6|
|18||Detroit Red Wings||88.9|
|20||Tampa Bay Lightning (Chicago Blackhawks Pick)||89.5|
|21||Florida Panthers (Montreal Canadiens Pick)||89.5|
As you can see, I’ve only gone down as far as the 21st overall pick because that is where Montreal’s pick acquired from Florida falls in these rankings. Based on these rankings, the Canadiens would also have the 43rd overall pick in the second round.
According to tankathon.com, the team with the 11th worst record has a 3.0% chance of winning the draft lottery and a 3.3% chance of winning the second overall pick.
Each Friday I hope to update this list and highlight two names that fall into the range of where the Canadiens will pick. They will be based solely on these rankings without regard to the Draft lottery outcome or the impact of how teams fare in the playoffs.
Charlie Stramel is a 6’3 216 pound forward who is ranked at #11 by the consolidated ranking published by Elite Prospects. He is currently playing at the University of Wisconsin. the Canadiens will be familiar with the Wisconsin program as it’s Cole Caufield’s alma mater. You can check Stramel’s profile on Elite Prospects.
Ethan Gauthier is 5’11 176 pound RW who is ranked $21 over by the consolidated rankings published by Elite Prospects. He is currently playing with the Sherbrooke Phoenix. With Montreal draftee, Joshua Roy, also playing in Sherbrooke this year, the Canadiens will get a good look at Gauthier. Elite Prospects profile.
As the season progresses, team power rankings will change and so will the rankings of eligible players by the scouting fraternity. At the moment, many services have ranked only their top 32 picks but that will like expand to at least the 2nd and 3rd rounds later into the year. When that happens, names will be added for potential later picks.
The reality is that Montreal seems unlikely to have a shot at a top 3 pick if they continue to play the way they have been. However, the Canadiens could still add a massive amount of talent to the organization at the draft. Hopefully this can help create a greater awareness of some of the players who could be available when it is Montreal’s turn at the podium.
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