The Montreal Canadiens are in the midst of a historic start to the season, with praise being given to general manager Marc Bergevin for righting a ship that was listing badly during the 2011-12 season, helmed by then-GM Pierre Gauthier.
Through a few shrewd trades and a philosophy of character above talent, Bergevin has sculpted a winning team, yet 12 of the 23 players on the roster are holdovers from the previous management team, headlined by superstars Carey Price, P.K. Subban, and Max Pacioretty.
Part of a successful organization is the ability to bring up talented prospects through the farm system and developing them quickly enough to ensure that are can become key assets at a low cap hit. Bergevin has taken part in four entry drafts, selecting 26 prospects overall.
Only Alex Galchenyuk has made the transition to the NHL from those 26 draftees. This is good news as it means that prospects are not being rushed to fill Bergevin's roster but given the time to develop.
The IceCaps roster is currently comprised of 11 of those Bergevin draft picks: Sven Andrighetto, Tim Bozon, Connor Crisp, Jacob de la Rose, Zachary Fucale, Jeremy Gregoire, Charles Hudon, Brett Lernout, Michael McCarron, Nikita Scherbak, and Dalton Thrower.
Daniel Audette and Noah Juulsen will probably join the AHL team next season as they have entry-level contracts signed.
The majority of these players are key contributors on the IceCaps who are showing tremendous promise this year, and are seen as shoe-ins to make the NHL sooner than later.
Only six IceCaps are holdovers from Gauthier's time: Mac Bennett, Michael Bournival (lumped in here for convenience), Gabriel Dumont, Mark MacMillan, Morgan Ellis, and Darren Dietz. Each one has a questionable future in the NHL at this point, although in all fairness to half of them, defencemen take longer to develop.
Out of the 26 prospects drafted, only three are no longer part of the Montreal Canadiens organization: Erik Nystrom (2012-6th), Brady Vail (2012-4th), and Sebastian Collberg (2012-2nd). The latter was part of the Thomas Vanek trade, and is currently struggling to stay at the AHL level.
Only time will tell what impact the Bergevin draft picks will have on the organization. Ultimately Bergevin's legacy will be judged on his ability to ensure a steady stream of high-end prospects filling in the ranks of the Montreal Canadiens over a prolonged period of time and putting together a winning team
The latter is already happening, with the former seemingly well on its way. The future seems very bright for the Montreal Canadiens under Marc Bergevin.