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Getting to know Montreal Canadiens 68th overall selection Scott Walford

Walford is a solid two-way defender who can contribute in all facets of the game

Victoria Royals v Vancouver Giants Photo by Ben Nelms/Getty Images

The Montreal Canadiens made their fourth pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, choosing defenceman Scott Walford with the #68 pick.

The pick was acquired from the Buffalo Sabres in the Nathan Beaulieu trade.

Walford is the new age of stay-at-home defenceman. He’s not going to be active offensively like the top scoring defenders, but he is a very capable skater who can make passes and make sure the team exits the zone.

He is a left-handed shot. He’s not the biggest player at 6’2”, 193 lbs but he doesn’t shy away from physical play, and draws solid remarks on his overall game.

If you look at the above video, you can see that he is very capable with the puck. He’s not going to have end-to-end rushes, but he is a very intriguing prospect.

I noticed at the last development camp, Canadiens defence prospects seem to all be able to skate and pass the puck and Walford strikes me as another similar player to that. He is definitely an intriguing prospect and despite his low offensive numbers, he wasn’t drafted as a defensive defenceman.


Future Considerations

He is able to be an efficient and effective defender by doing the little things of the game well. He is a smart player who can move the puck quickly and shows a lot of confidence in his ability.

Hockey Prospect Black Book

Scott has proven to be impactful offensively both on the powerplay and at even strength [...] He is decisive and makes decisions quickly, and makes some occasional tough cross-ice passes. Walford is a powerful body who can contribute at both ends of the rink. Although he may not develop into a productive offensive defenseman, his size, skating ability and solid decision making skills make him an intriguing defensive prospect.


DraftBuzz Hockey: 122
Future Considerations: 165
Hockey Prospect: 125
ISS Hockey: 111
McKeen’s: 116
Craig Button: NR
Bob McKenzie: NR

He seems to be a bit of a reach, according to draft rankings. His highest ranking was 111th (by ISS) and his consensus ranking was 122nd. There were players ranked below him in the consensus rankings who were drafted earlier than him in Round 2.

Walford is a player who will add depth to the Canadiens organization. He is the new age of defenceman that the Canadiens have shown to like. Players who aren’t flashy offensively but do all of the little things right to help you win hockey games without costing you anything or hurting your team.

This isn’t just a big body here to punish opposing skaters. Walford looks like a player who can find a home on the second power play while playing on the penalty kill as well, and very reliable in terms of his positioning and own-zone coverage.

He may have been a bit of a reach at 68th overall, but there’s a lot to like about the Habs pick.