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Grading the Montreal Canadiens’ 2022 NHL Draft

1st general – Juraj Slafkovský

Grade: A

The Montreal Canadiens appreciated what they noticed of their analysis of Slafkovský and took him at primary. He is a giant, robust, puck-carrying participant with good fingers and a robust work ethic whose trajectory grew the longer the season progressed.

There’s a lot to love about Slafkovský, and the principle factor for me is his stage of play within the dwelling plate space the place his talent with the puck and measurement shall be invaluable.

Slafkovský’s confidence was on full show every week earlier than the draft as he boldly said that he’d be a great match with Cole Caufiled and Nick Suzuki, and he shortly endeared himself to the Montreal followers with quotes and high-fives all via the night.

Nevertheless, the most effective issues that I heard was that he would get AHL time if he wanted it; there isn’t a have to rush him. I personally do not suppose he’ll have to go that route, however I believe it is vital that the membership and followers will not see that as a step again for his growth. I believe he’s NHL prepared, and that he shall be on the ice opening night time. He has, nevertheless, solely performed a restricted variety of video games on the senior stage and will use time within the minors to get some relaxation and confidence again, if the hunch hits him arduous.

Trades – Alexander Romanov and the 98th decide for thirteenth general; thirteenth and 66th picks for Kirby Dach

Grade: A-

I will mix these trades collectively, for apparent causes.

The attention-grabbing factor is the reply to the query that Eric Engels requested on the press convention after day one: the commerce was agreed upon previous to the choice at first general. It addresses the necessity for a middle and Montreal will get a younger reclamation challenge to fill a top-six function.

Shedding Romanov hurts on a private stage, however his commerce worth had solely ever been greater as soon as: the spring that he left Russia after successful the Gagarin Cup with CSKA when he was an unknown commodity.

It’s a good transfer, particularly contemplating the defensive depth that Montreal has proper now.

The vital bit right here is that if Montreal will get Dach understanding then they’re primed for fulfillment down the road. However what occurs if he would not?

Nonetheless, I like these trades.

twenty sixth general – Filip Mešár

Grade: A

I like this decide. It was perhaps a bit early, however within the consolidated draft rankings that Jared Guide put collectively, Mešár was at place 26.

A brief, good winger with a great to nice shot … the place have we heard that earlier than? Let me let you know proper now, that is the brand new Artturi Lehkonen. The one factor that followers want to recollect, nevertheless, is that it took Lehkonen 4 years to get to the NHL, and I anticipate a fairly lengthy street for Mešár to get there as effectively. The vital phrase is persistence.

The good transfer right here from the Canadiens was to select Mešár within the first spherical, which implies that he can go to the AHL subsequent season. Montreal is in full management of his growth, and since he’s drafted out of Europe, Montreal has 4 years to signal him.

thirty third general – Owen Beck

Grade: A

Including one other middle is at all times good, and Owen Beck has a toolkit that needs to be good for his growth. He is likely one of the higher skaters within the draft, robust within the faceoff circle, and he is kind of a positive wager to make the NHL in not less than a bottom-six function.

With good growth and actually ensuring the mind, fingers, and eyes catch as much as his ft may make Beck attain an excellent greater place within the lineup, particularly if it comes with a scoring contact.

The identical as with Mešár, persistence is vital for Beck’s growth.

62nd general – Lane Hutson

Grade: B+ (however may very effectively flip into an A+ down the road).

This can be a swing for the fences. The quick defender has abilities which are translatable to an NHL profession. He reads the play extraordinarily effectively, his positioning is kind of good, he makes use of his stick to chop off passes and steal the puck, and he controls the puck effectively for zone entries and exits.

He’s a dynamo, or a cobra, within the offensive zone as he glides round discovering empty ice and scoring probabilities. It’s a actually attention-grabbing decide and the truth that he introduced a word from a health care provider saying he’s nonetheless rising reveals that he’s wanting to show he has what it takes to be an NHLer. Proper now, the scale is what made him a decide outdoors of the highest 15. perhaps even the highest 10. I like swinging for the fences, and I would like this child to succeed.

seventy fifth general – Vinzenz Rohrer

Grade: B

Proper the place Rohrer was projected to go in our consensus rankings is the place Montreal snatched him up. He performs with an edge, however could be very good about it and extra bodily than his body appears to have the ability to dish out. He’s a flexible participant who by no means quits, and these are abilities which are essential if you are going to make it to the NHL from this place. My colleagues at McKeen’s have been raving about Rohrer the entire spring.

I perceive the decide. It isn’t a swing for the fences decide however reasonably one to get on base. It is easy to challenge into the longer term.

92nd general – Adam Engström

Grade: C+

It’s simple to overlook that Engström is on the ice typically, as he falls out of the highlight. He is aware of what he must work on — protection and offense — however his transitional play is there and that is what Montreal is banking on.

Engström left Djurgården for Rögle, which is an effective transfer. In recent times, Rögle has develop into a great vacation spot for younger gamers to take that subsequent step ahead. I do not see Engström turning into a high 4 defenseman, however reasonably a serviceable bottom-two if — and it is a massive if — he can work his protection out.

I might have most popular one other high-risk decide right here, and that is the rationale for a decrease grade.

127th general – Cedrick Guindon

Grade: B+

This can be a decide I actually like. Guindon has instruments and a projection that may lead into the NHL. The smartness of a participant can actually assist him develop additional and his two weaknesses are skating and physique, two issues which are fixable. You possibly can be taught to skate higher and you may construct muscle.

The AHL has a great deal of guys like Guindon, as do the European leagues; guys who’re on the verge of reaching the NHL and with the precise state of affairs they get an opportunity and might develop into a part of the NHL group regularly. It is a good decide in that regard.

128th general – Traded to Vegas for 2023 fourth-round decide

An okay commerce, and a uncommon one for a 2023 choice. It provides a mid-round decide for subsequent 12 months.

a hundred and thirtieth general – Jared Davidson

Grade: B-

When deciding on an over-ager this early within the draft, you take a look at trajectory, and the one factor that Davidson has is simply that; he has develop into higher offensively with each passing 12 months. The middle has gone all-in on offense and appears to proceed to progress alongside that route.

It’s an attention-grabbing decide, Montreal undoubtedly noticed one thing in him as they picked him sooner than the second- and third-year gamers additional down the order.

There was no standout prospect that I might have taken at this stage of the draft, so selecting one with a optimistic trajectory and extra out there knowledge is a great transfer.

162nd Total – Emmett Croteau

Grade: B

Croteau is a giant goalie from the USHL and the NCAA route will give the Canadiens 4 years to guage him. It’s a decide you’ve anticipated Montreal to do in earlier drafts and one can see the logic in selecting a goalie for future growth right here.

From what my goalkeeper associates inform me, the numbers are type of what you anticipate from a high-school goalie. With netminders like Jakub Dobes, Joe Vrbetic, and Frederik Dichow within the growth system, there isn’t any hurt in including one other long-term possibility.

194th general – Petteri Nurmi

Grade: C-

The one factor I like with this sort of decide is that you just take a seventh-round decide and apply it to a participant with a optimistic trajectory. We now have seen Montreal do the identical factor earlier than; Arsen Khisamutdinov, for example. By utilizing a decide, you get the rights to a participant for a few years and do not need to struggle others for him on the open market.

Whereas Petteri Nurmi is not a flashy participant, he was on the WJC group this winter. He performs in Liiga for HPK and it’s a good transfer to go away him there. I’m uncertain of this decide, particularly as Elite Prospects contributor Lassi Alanen would not see a lot upside from it:

I just like the technique of locking on an over-ager right here, I’m simply unsure that Nurmi is the participant to direct the eye upon as I see no excellent talent in any of the sides of his recreation.

216th general – Miguel Tourigny

Grade: A

Once more, getting an over-ager with a seventh-round decide is sensible pondering, and this decide I do like. As a defenseman, Tourigny has a nostril for the purpose, however he does have to work on his skating, particularly for a shorter participant. He thinks offense more often than not, and has abilities within the playmaking space, too.

The query that arises on this case is whether or not it could actually translate to the NHL. In all probability not, and therefore why he virtually went undrafted, however it’s a home-run swing that’s fully comprehensible. I’m positive that Tourigny will play professional hockey in his profession, however will the Montreal Canadiens get the advantage of it. Both approach, I like the selection.

Total, I believe this is a superb draft for the brand new administration with Kent Hughes on the helm. Whereas the group could not have taken a middle with the primary decide, they sorted out a middle through a commerce and picked the participant they believed probably the most in: Juraj Slafkovský.

Whereas including Kirby Dach to the group prices Alexander Romanov, it’s a commerce that is sensible. Our defensive professional on the podcast, Jason Paul, identified that Romanov’s days as a top-six defenseman within the group may need been numbered. The Habs hadn’t been in a position to decide whether or not Romanov was the participant we noticed within the World Juniors or the participant we noticed within the KHL. With the defensive pipeline that Montreal possesses, it was from that depth that the asset for a middle must be taken.

I just like the picks of Filip Mešár and Owen Beck, but in addition that they took an opportunity on Hutson and Tourigny. There’s a number of potential added, and few issues to not like in regards to the work executed over the 2 days of the draft.

Total grade: A+

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