A year after heading into the 2018 NHL Draft with 10 picks, the Montreal Canadiens will be doing the same in Vancouver in six weeks’ time. While this year’s selections aren’t as condensed into the first three rounds, they still offer plenty of chances to add some great prospects to a strong system.
The Canadiens knew their position for eight of the picks when the regular season came to a close, but had to wait until the end of the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the other two.
With the Carolina Hurricanes and St. Louis Blues advancing in the post-season, they have locked themselves into one of the bottom-four spots in the draft reserved for conference finalists. The Winnipeg Jets, who finished in a three-way tie with those two teams at 99 points, were ahead in the overall league standings with more regulation and overtime victories this season, but now move up those two spots — from 22nd to 20th — in the draft order. As a result, the seventh-round pick Montreal acquired in the Joel Armia trade last year will be the 206th selection.
The trade that sent Max Pacioretty to the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for Tomas Tatar and prospect Nick Suzuki also came with a second-round selection that had belonged to the Columbus Blue Jackets (incentive for Vegas to take on the contract of David Clarkson in the expansion draft). The reworking of the draft order after the second round of the playoffs had no effect on their position; the three post-season teams that had fewer points than Columbus also came up short of the final four. Their picks will therefore stay in the original spot of 19th in all seven rounds of the draft, though going all-in ahead of the playoffs means they only have one of their own picks remaining, and two total selections for the entire event.
Montreal also holds three fifth-round picks obtained through various transactions over the past year. You can see the details of those, and any other pick from the 2005 draft to now at our regularly updated organizational depth chart page.
Marc Bergevin was busy on the draft floor in 2018. He not only came away with 11 prospects from the 10 picks he entered with, using a series of trades to add a few slots in 2019 as well. With a wealth of assets once again, a similar approach could be expected this June.
In the meantime, check out our profiles of a few of the players the Canadiens could be targeting in first three rounds (with plenty more reports to come before June 21) in our 2019 NHL Draft Hub.