A Review of The Montreal Canadiens at the 2013 NHL Draft: Picks 71, 86, 116, 176

USA TODAY Sports

An examination of each selection made by the Canadiens at the 2013 NHL Draft.

With the conclusion of the 2013 NHL Draft, no doubt many of you are thinking "who are these guys?" and "when do they start playing for the Canadiens?" While the second question is a bit more difficult to answer, I will attempt to cover both questions in my annual review of the Montreal Canadiens work at the draft table.

For this year, I have called upon the resouces of Future Considerations, McKeen's Hockey and HockeyProspect to evaluate each of the newest members of the Canadiens organization.

The Montreal Canadiens had 9 draft picks in the 2013 NHL Draft, this section will review the 71st, 86th, 116th and 176th picks. Montreal's 7th-round selection was dealt to Florida in exchange for their 7th-rounder in 2014.


71st overall: C Connor Crisp

Team: Erie Otters (OHL)


Rankings:

Future Considerations: Unranked

McKeen's Hockey: Unranked

Hockey Prospect: 97

Average: N/A

Height: 6'4"

Weight: 225lbs

Shoots: Left


2012-13 Statistics:

Regular Season: 63GP, 22G, 14A, 139 PIM


Playoffs: 0GP, 0G, 0A, 0 PIM (Erie did not qualify for the 2013 OHL Playoffs)

What the Scouts Say:


With Connor Crisp being unranked by McKeen's and Future Considerations, the scouting analysis will come entirely from HockeyProspect for Crisp so this will be notably abridged.

Hockey Prospect is very dismissive of Crisp's skating abilities. They note he lacks speed and has heavy feet. They note that he has a great deal of work to do for his skating to reach even an average level and it has a very low probability to be a useful part of his game. Crisp is noted as displaying some decent finishing abilities around the net and being adept at using his frame as a goal mouth prescence. Crisp shows an ability to read plays and make good decisions without hestitation with not many mistakes either. His true gift is his physical game; he will charge the net to create havoc and is difficult for defenders to handle because of his large frame. He is a strong checker and is more than willing to fight. He is credited with some defensive ability, nothing exceptional, but he does seem to understand the need for a responsible game to be a better contributor.

Quote from Hockey Prospect on Crisp: "Connor battles extremely hard out front of the opposing net making life difficult for goaltenders and defenders due to his huge frame."

Thoughts:

This is the pick that still leaves me shaking my head. Connor Crisp was passed over in the 2012 Draft and scored less than 40 points, even on a weak junior team that is not what we call encouraging for being a scorer at the NHL level. Crisp can be argued to be a 'man amongst boys' in physical stature in the OHL but didn't seem to be able to employ that advantage to help his numbers.

While Crisp did essentially miss the 2011-12 season due to injuries and that no doubt affected his development, one has to wonder what his ultimate upside is when Future Considerations, McKeen's and even the NHL's Central Scouting Bureau didn't seem to consider him worthy of being ranked.

At this stage I feel this is a wasted pick, and Crisp will have to make a pretty dramatic jump in his production to gain any relevance as a prospect. Without a consensus of scouting data from other sources either, it is hard to gauge just how accurate HockeyProspect's scouting data on Crisp is as well. He reads as a fringe candidate for any serious work in pro hockey given the knocks on his skating and low numbers in his 18-year-old year in the OHL.

Personal projection: Begins challenging for a roster spot in 2018.

86th overall: Sven Andrighetto

Team: Rouyn-Noranda Huskies (QMJHL)

Rankings:

Future Considerations: Unranked

McKeen's Hockey: 101

Hockey Prospect: 83

Average: 92

Height: 5'9"

Weight: 181lbs

Shoots: Left


2012-13 Statistics:

Regular Season: 53GP, 31G, 67A, 45 PIM


Playoffs: GP, 8G, 22A, 14
PIM

What the Scouts Say:


Not quite in the same vein as Crisp, both McKeen's and HockeyProspect rated Sven Andrighetto but Future Considerations appears to have passed him over, which will again see a more abridged analysis than usual.

Hockey Prospect speaks very well of Andrighetto as a skater, describing excellent top speed, solid acceleration and great agility. McKeen's rates him as having good stop speed, but believes he is an even better lateral skater and keeps his feet moving during crossovers.

Quote from HockeyProspec on Andrighetto's skating abilities: "His skating abilities are great, whether it’s his rarely matched top speed, superb acceleration or his fantastic agility."

Hockey Prospect rates him with high-end offensive skills, noting great puck control, a great release and great power on both his wrist and slapshots. McKeen's remarks him as a slick playmaker, with excellent creativity and vision and posessing very quick hands.

Quote from McKeen's on Andrighetto's offensive talents: "unpredictable in possession - and masterful at disguising intentions... orchestrates the power play from the right point like a conductor... conjures up dazzling and imaginative plays - and strikes with lightning speed thanks to fast, soft hands"

Hockey Prospect rates as him having improved his defensive game, showing good poise and rarely ever cheating on his backchecking assignments. He displays a willingness to battle for the puck and does not seem to fear taking a hit. HockeyProspect does note he will need to add bulk to gain effectiveness at the pro level, but notes he is able to take the physical abuse so far. McKeen's does not have any remarks to the effectiveness of his defensive game, but does speak well of his effort level and credits him with a solid frame.

Quote from Hockey Prospect on Andrighetto's physical game: "He’s not a big player and will need to bulk up to be as effective in pro hockey, but has proven that he can physical abuse and keep the puck against bigger players on multiple occasions."

Thoughts:

While the size isn't ideal for most, this is a much more reasonable selection in the risk/reward column in my view. Hockey Prospect seems to think the world of his offensive skills and he certainly has a production level that backs it up, especially doing better than two points per game in the QMJHL playoffs. He was 6th in the QMJHL in regular season scoring and 4th in playoff scoring. While obviously this does have a lot to do with his age and development compared to 17/18 year old prospects, if he had been drafted in 2011 this would read as excellent production from a player finishing his junior hockey career.

There are concerns, of course. Why is it that despite his great production, Andrighetto went unranked? We have seen players posting exceptional overage years get ranked for draft consideration but Andrighetto seemed to go unnoticed by Future Considerations and McKeen's as well as the NHL Central Scouting Bureau. His size is not ideal either, but his skills package seems built to bypass the issues typically surrounding smaller players.

Can't see him jumping on to the Canadiens roster right away, and since he has just turned 20, he is likely destined to be playing with the Hamilton Bulldogs as he adapts to pro-level hockey and works on adding more muscle. Not a player I was coveting, but his scoring and skills package does offer the promise of being a potential contributor at the pro level.

Personal Projection: Begins challenging for a roster spot in 2016.


116th overall: C Martin Reway

Team: Gatineau Olympiques (QMJHL)

Rankings:

Future Considerations: Unranked

McKeen's Hockey: Unranked

Hockey Prospect: 175

Average: N/A

Height: 5'10"

Weight: 174 pounds

Shoots: Left


2012-13 Statistics:

Regular Season: 47GP, 22G, 28A, 56 PIM


Playoffs: 10GP, 1G, 11A, 20
PIM

What the Scouts Say:

For the 3rd and final time, with no scouting reports from either Future Considerations or McKeen's to weigh on, I will be reduced to giving a more limited scouting analysis of Martin Reway from Hockey Prospect.

My Hockey Prospect guide had no remarks about Reway's skating abilities, but I was fortunate enough to get in contact with Jérôme Bérubé of Hockey Prospect who generously provided these remarks (and whom you really ought to be following) about Reway's skating abilities:

"Reway is a quick skater with above-average acceleration. His quick feet give him great lateral skating abilities again serving him well in the east-west hockey he plays."

In terms of offensive skills, Reway is regarded to be an excellent playmaker who can make excellent passes whether they are cross-ice, behind the back or straight up feeds. His great vision serves him well here, as he seems to have an excellent sense for where his teammates are at any given time. He displays great talent as a puck handler as well and is very good at finding space for himself. Reway also shows some aptitude for defensive coverage, using his vision and an active stick to break up plays as they develop and interfere with the play and has a good grasp on positional coverage. When examining his physical game, there is essentially nothing to compliment. Reway struggles to win 1-on-1 battles and is expected to always get pushed around by larger players due to his small frame. He shows a disturbing tendency to be unwilling to get hit and will not engage physically himself.

Quote from Hockey Prospect on Reway: "A great powerplay player, he controls the play with ease and shows tremendous poise with the puck before executing a superb pass or getting space for a shot on goal."

Thoughts:


The Canadiens go back to selecting 1st-time eligibles here, and Reway does have some appealing attributes. He displays high-end vision and top playmaking skills, and this was his transition year to the North American rink so he could show a notable improvement in 2013-14. His skating fits in well with his small frame, although like any smaller player he will likely have to get even faster to help his pro prospects along.

What disturbs me is the notes that he seems to be unwilling and is perhaps even afraid of contact. Even small players need to be able to willing to take some kind of physical toll to play in the NHL, and if Reway will not show a willingness to get into the physical side of hockey, then I would severely doubt his pro prospects and deem him a long-term project as this is unlikely a stage of his game that will change overnight, if it can change at all. I suspect his unwillingness to deal in contact may have been why he was left unranked by other services.

Personal Projection: Begins challenging for a roster spot in 2018.

176th overall: C Jérémy Grégoire (QMJHL)

Team: Baie-Comeau Drakkar

Rankings:

Future Considerations: 139th

McKeen's Hockey: 115th

Hockey Prospect: 108th

Average: 120.7

Height: 6'

Weight: 190 pounds

Shoots: Left



2012-13 Statistics:

Regular Season: 62GP, 19G, 13A, 100 PIM


Playoffs: 18GP, 9G, 7A, 27
PIM

What the Scouts Say:


The Canadiens return to a fully consensus choice in Jérémy Grégoire after arguably going off the board against the general rankings, selecting a player that is ranked by Future Considerations, McKeen's and Hockey Prospect.

There is a sense of disagreement around Grégoire's skating abilities among the scouts. Future Considerations and Hockey Prospect consider it to be the weakest element of his game. Hockey Prospect notes it is below average for junior hockey and lacks acceleration, and Future Considerations ranks it as being very weak and needing serious improvement. McKeen's differs here, ranking him as having a smooth skating stride and being fluid in his motions. Given the disagreement, one has to consider the majority opinion.

Quote from Hockey Prospect on Grégoire's skating:"His top speed is below average for major junior and his explosiveness will needs improvement. "

Hockey Prospect had the most to say about Grégoire's offensive skills. They describe him as having a natural scoring instinct and working well to get his points from working close in and around the net. McKeen's notes nothing attention-grabbing to his skill set, but he does have a skill level that should not go unnoticed.

Quote from Hockey Prospect on Grégoire's offence: "Most of his offensive production comes from tenacity around the net whether those are quick passing plays, finding soft areas to release shots or banging away on rebounds until they cross the goal line."

There is good universal agreement on Grégoire's future as a defensive forward and his physical game. Future Considerations considers him a defensive-minded player who is good at disrupting offence. McKeen's credits him as a physical forward who will finish checks and is very committed to two-way play. Hockey Prospect regards him as an agitating prescence with good physical strength who also commits to defensive play, willing to block shots and backcheck with vigilance.

Quote from McKeen's on Grégoire's physical game: "mid-sized but tough for his size and aware of how to use his body .. throws and finishes checks, creates space through his physical proficiency."


Thoughts:


Grégoire was taken right at the back of the draft and while his rankings would argue he fell, falling at this point any draft year can be a little irrelevant given the probability of such a player reaching the NHL. While there are good compliments to his defensive and physical game, it was hard to get many remarks about his puck skills and the talk on his skating abilities was divided, but mostly in the negative which never bodes well for an NHL player's prospects.

It is hard to really argue against a 6th-round selection except to say he is not likely to make the NHL, and it is the longshot area of the draft. His display of defensive acumen is a good sign that he has a skill set he could develop that would make him a useful player at higher levels, but there will be a lot of work between now and that time before it can happen, with some breaks along the way as well. He will need to improve his skating and likely his puck skills to fold into further defensive improvements to make the professional levels of hockey.

Personal Projection: Can start challening for a roster spot in 2018.


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