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Sarah Lefort, Cassandra Poudrier headline Canadiennes 2016 draft class

The 2016 class provides the team with skill and depth as they look to get back to the Clarkson Cup

Sarah Lefort was Montreal's first round pick
Sarah Lefort was Montreal's first round pick
Rich Gagnon

Coming off of a dominant season, Les Canadiennes bolstered their already strong roster by adding both high end talent and depth.

Les Canadiennes selected Boston University forward Sarah Lefort with their first round pick. Lefort, who scored 183 points (92G, 91A) in 146 games in Boston, joins a roster already stacked with scoring talent and will likely play on the first or second line.

Lefort describes herself as "a power forward, somebody who likes to play physical, go to the net hard, and shoot the puck." She also thinks she can bring "some young energy. I'm definitely going to learn a lot from the older girls but I'm going to just be bringing that intensity during practice or workouts or what it may be during the games"

For Lefort, being close to home was a big factor in choosing Les Canadiennes. "I always wanted to go back and play at home. I originally started my career [in Quebec] so it's just nice to go back and play somewhat close to home again. I played in Boston for the past four years and I was also away from home playing at boarding school before that."

There's also an element of familiarity for Lefort, who broke BU's scoring record (previously held by Marie-Philip Poulin) last season. "I'm definitely excited to see Poulin. I'm also excited to see some familiar faces who I played with before, whether that be through Hockey Canada or just in passing in some other camps, so names like Charline Labonte come to mind as well."

With their second pick, Les Canadiennes selected defender Cassandra Poudrier from Cornell University. Poudrier captained the team in her senior year, while scoring 13 points in 28 games. It's a homecoming of sorts for Poudrier as well, who played in the Dawson College CEGEP program.

"I've been away for four years now so it's going to be nice being close to friends and family and just being able to play with some amazing players," Poudrier said of her choice in team. "To be back in Montreal [for the summer] and be around everyone...I think it made the choice very easy to just be like, 'I want to be back in Montreal for the year.""

"I think that over the years I've become more and more offensive," Poudrier said about herself. "I'm a really intense player. I like to make sure I win every single battle on the ice and I think my intensity is something I like to use to describe me. I'm always working hard; it's not always going to be pretty but if your effort's there it's definitely a good thing."

Les Canadiennes made seven other picks on the day. They selected forward Ariane Barker in the third round. She scored 24 points in 22 games en route to a CIS championship win with the Universite de Montreal Carabins. They took that team's captain Marion Allemoz, a forward, in the fifth round. Allemoz is also the long-time captain of the French national team and has lead them in their ascent up the IIHF rankings.

Les Canadiennes also selected two McGill Martlets, Brittney Fouracres and Taylor Hough, a defender and goalie, respectively. Fouracres was named a second team All-Canadian last season and was McGill's highest scoring defender. Hough posted a .924 SV% and backstopped the team to a CIS Championship appearance.

Rounding out their draft class, Les Canadiennes picked defender Melanie Desrochers, goalie Amanda Makela, and defender Nachi Fujimoto. In her senior year with St. Lawrence University, Desrochers scored 32 points in 35 games. Makela makes the jump over from the NWHL's Buffalo Beauts, where she was the backup goalie. Fujimoto has some experience representing Japan at the U-18 level and will join a growing number of Japanese nationals with CWHL hopes.