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Getting to know Montreal Canadiens 66th overall selection Cameron Hillis

The Canadiens take their third centre of the draft with their fifth selection.

Aaron Bell/OHL Images

The Montreal Canadiens made their fifth pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft and went with centre Cameron Hillis

Hillis is coming off of his first OHL season, where he was one of the better playmakers among draft eligible players. He had 20 goals and 39 assists in 60 games. He also played for Canada at the 2018 World Under 18 Championships, earning two assists in five games.

Image credit: Elite Prospects

Hillis is on the smaller size, at 5’10”, 168 lbs but his vision is something that scouts rave about. He also has high-end skills where he can put his vision to good use by having the ability to find his teammates.

He is praised for his work ethic and his high motor. He has always had to fight for his space, and it is something that will translate well to the professional game. Hockey Prospect, who was the lowest on Hillis, ranked him low because they wanted to see him build is body and his base up.

In terms if his skills, he’s a high-end prospect for what you would see in the third round but teams may have been worried about his size and the fact he has only one OHL season under his belt. Most first year eligible players have been in the league for two years.

There are also concerns about his skating, despite the fact that he is on the smaller size. The Canadiens seem to be banking on the fact that it is better than it is thought to be, or that it can be fixed, because above the waist he is a talented player.


Future Considerations

He reads the play well and makes smart decisions with the puck. Intense shift to shift with his hard cuts and good edgework, he generates chances through the neutral zone by dishing to breaking forwards and, in the offensive end, by working from the boards. Rolling off hits, he excels at being first on the puck and getting it to linemates who can finish it off.

Hockey Prospect Black Book

Cam’s playmaking ability and hockey sense are his best assets. He uses a combination of technical fakes and a lethal level of precision when threading passes across the ice, while changing the tempo of a shift in the offensive-zone using his poise and awareness which allows him to play a heavy possession game. This made him an efficient distributor on the powerplay, where he was dangerous along the half-wall and in-front of the slot, making quick one touch passes to his teammates to force goalies to move laterally and open them up for scoring chances


Future Considerations: 48
Hockey Prospect: 144
The Hockey News: 66
Bob McKenzie: 61
Craig Button: 46

EOTP Consensus Ranking: 55

Hillis is somebody who the Montreal Canadiens can use more of in the organization. A high-end skilled player who can play down the middle. If you look at guys like Jake Evans, Will Bitten, and others, they seem to be piling up the skill and that is something you can be optimistic about.

He isn’t necessarily a sure thing at the NHL level, bit he’s the type of player you should be able to bring along in your organization. He’s the player you want to be spending draft picks on and it continues what is a strong draft for the Canadiens.