I have very mixed feelings after this draft. The Canadiens made a few decisions that I absolutely love, and a few that I really don't. In the end, they picked up four new prospects to add to the existing pool, and added a roster player from a perennial contender.
Let's get things started with something good.
Mikhail Sergachev (9)
Love. This. Pick. Mikhail Sergachev was arguably the best defender in the entire draft class. I view him as having a very good chance of becoming the next Andrei Markov, and he has hands like Alex Kovalev. I know these are very lofty comparisons, but what I've seen from Sergachev has me very excited.
You don't see a ton of defencemen who can skate, and handle the puck like he can. You see even fewer that do so with his size. And the crazy thing is he still looks a little skinny. He's going to get bigger, and when he does he will be pretty scary at the next level.
This selection gets a well-deserved A+ from me.
The Lars Eller Trade
Flat out don't like this move. Lars Eller has and would have continued to be a solid presence on the Canadiens roster. They traded him for two second-round picks, which sounds alright on the surface, but they are for the next two drafts. Giving up a dependable defensive forward for the uncertainty of future second-round picks seems rather dangerous.
I don't see how this improves the team. In the future, maybe it does, but it does little to help them now. It is always nice to have extra picks, especially in positions where skilled players often fall for various reasons. I'm really struggling to understand the motive, but perhaps their next move had something to do with it.
On it's own, I give this trade a D.
The Andrew Shaw trade
This one is very difficult for me to wrap my head around. They trade for two picks in future years, and then decide to give away their two second-round picks for this year? It makes little sense. Andrew Shaw is not a bad player, but he doesn't even have a contract, and is rumoured to be looking for a long term deal.
I guess this one can be swallowed pretty easily if Marc Bergevin can manage to lock him down at a reasonable price. Anything over $3.5 million AAV, and I would be very disappointed. He can definitely help the team, but not if he's handcuffing them salary wise.
The big thing for me that makes this a bad trade is that two players the EOTP staff were quite high on went right around those two picks they lost. Alex Debrincat, and my personal favourite, Samuel Girard. They could have had both of those players. I would have been very happy with that. Most fans probably would.
I award this trade a C.
Will Bitten (70)
Very easy pick to get behind. Bitten definitely fell in the draft due to his size, and he is excellent value at 70th overall. He stood out for Canada at the U18 tournament, scoring eight points in seven games. He also managed a near point-per-game pace on a Flint Firebirds squad that had a very tough year.
This is a pick that we could easily be looking back on as a steal in the future.
This pick gets a solid B+
Victor Mete (100)
Jared Book refers to this pick as Samuel Girard lite, and in many ways he is basically that. A great consolation prize in my eyes for the player I would have liked to get in the second round. Very skilled defenceman who was projected to go higher than he did. Good value.
I give this pick an A
Casey Staum (124)
Bit of a confusing selection here. Staum is coming straight out of high school, so the Canadiens must know something about him that we don't. He was not ranked by most outlets, and his only ranking came from Future Considerations, who had him at 149. Not so sure I can be on board with this one, until and unless he proves me wrong.
He's NCAA bound, so I guess he'll have a few years to do exactly that.
I give this pick a C
Michael Pezzetta (160)
This is an interesting one. There were arguably more skilled players still on the board, but the Canadiens went with Pezzetta anyways. His numbers in Junior haven't been great, so he doesn't look to have a ton of offensive upside at the next level. Physical, solid defensive player though, so there could be something there.
I give this pick a B.
Arvid Henrikson (187)
Aside from the fact that his name is awesome and he sounds like someone who might challenge Ragnar Lothbrok's kingship, I don't know much about Henrikson. Haven't even seen a photo of him. He is more of a stay-at-home defenceman, and plays a strong physical game. The Canadiens traded into the seventh round to get him too, so it is very possible that this was a player they had their eye on.
I'll give this pick a B as well.
So there you have it, the complete Canadiens draft class. I am surprised that they took as many defencemen as they did, because I honestly thought they were going to try and stock up on forwards. Maybe if they had held on to those two second rounders, they would have done so.
Overall, I would call this draft a B. But not everything is about me. How do the rest of my fellow Habs fans feel? Have your say in the poll and discuss away in the comment section.