The Montreal Canadiens had a fairly strong prospect pool when the headed to Vancouver for the 2019 NHL Draft. Knowing that several players were getting close to the start of their professional careers, the Canadiens’ strategy seemed to be to take on more long-term projects to buy time before they would need entry-level contracts.
Many of those projects also happened to be at what was the weakest position in the organization: the left-side of the defence. Of their 10 selections, half were cashed in for prospects at that position. It’s too early to tell how they will turn out (at the moment, they’re all listed below the players who were on the team before the draft), but the odds of one or two of them turning into realistic NHL prospects should be quite high. Jayden Struble and Mattias Norlinder show some promise on that front.
Left defence was to the 2019 Draft what centres were in 2018 for Montreal. With that forward position filled to the brim, Trevor Timmins and his staff opted to look at the left wing this weekend. Three players were added in that column, with Rhett Pitlick looking like a great choice.
After promoting Cayden Primeau to the professional level, Montreal also added a goaltender to the prospect ranks, keeping the development line rolling with Frederik Nissen Dichow.
And of course, there’s 15th overall pick Cole Caufield, who jumps to the top of not only the right-wing list, but will be challenging for the title of top prospect in the system as well. He will be one of the top players to follow from the 2019 NHL Draft.
The Organizational Depth Chart is regularly updated, and you can always find it here. On that page you’ll also find a table of the draft picks the Canadiens hold, with 2020 updated after yesterday’s transaction, as well as the ones they’ve used since 2005, with details on every one.