Chasing the Draft – December 11th Edition

By Bob Trask – After a busy week in the NHL and more than one-third of the season done, the final record of where teams finish is becoming more predictable. There will still be changes in the actual order but teams currently at the bottom third of the standings will likely finish near the bottom while teams currently in the top third of the standings will likely finish near the top.

Using my reverse power rankings where points earned and goal differential are both considered, the Montreal Canadiens are lumped in a group with Buffalo, Vancouver, Nashville and Washington. Should Ottawa win a couple of games in a row, they would join that group. My current draft order for these teams, not taking into account lottery results is

  • Ottawa – 8
  • Vancouver – 9
  • Buffalo – 10
  • Montreal – 11
  • Nashville – 12
  • Washington – 13

Montreal’s second pick in the first round is the one they acquired from Florida Panthers in the Ben Chiarot trade. My rankings currently have Florida with the #15 overall pick.

According to Tankathon the #11 overall finish in the draft order has the following odds in the draft lottery:

  • 1st overall – 3.0%
  • 2nd overall – 3.3%
  • 11th overall – 79.9%
  • 12th overall – 13.4%
  • 13th overall – 0.5%

The #15 overall finish in the draft order has the following odds in the draft lottery:

  • 5th overall – 0.8%
  • 6th overall – 0.3%
  • 15th overall – 97.9%
  • 16th overall – 1.1%

So far this season, the management and staff have walked the fine line between developing and maintaining the abilities and the confidence of the young players while striving for a reasonable draft position. Now that the youth have a almost 30 games under their belts, team management and the coaching staff know that they belong. As a result, the need for veterans to shelter them from stiffer competition has been reduced; the veterans have played their role well for the most part by keeping the young squad from being overwhelmed but it’s time to hand over the reins.

It’s not unreasonable to assume, therefore, that the Canadiens will begin to reduce their reliance on veterans by trading one or two of them in the coming months and adding to their stockpile of draft picks.

Next week I will take a closer look at some of the prospects who are ranked in the range where they Canadiens rank in the draft.

More reading…