With the NHL Draft coming up, Trevor Timmins and his team are working alongside Marc Bergevin to determine the Montreal Canadiens’ next moves when it comes to replenishing the prospects’ cupboards. The Canadiens’ General Manager has always been reluctant to trade his draft picks, particularly his top rounds picks, and when he does (see the Andrew Shaw trade), he usually tries to get them back somehow (see the Lars Eller trade).
There is little doubt that the loss of Mikhail Sergachev, the team’s top prospect, sacrificed in the trade to acquire Jonathan Drouin, has contributed to depleting the quality and depth of the prospect pool. Sergachev, who many including myself saw as Andrei Markov‘s eventual replacement, had some immense potential and time will tell if he reaches it. But looking at the Canadiens’ top picks over the last few years, one has to wonder if he will.
Those of follow this blog will remember the complete analysis of Timmins’ track record with the Canadiens since 2003 proving that he did quite well, but when taking a closer look at the top two rounds of the draft, it seems like his record isn’t as shiny as his overall performance. But as you know, I’m not one going on speculations rather than facts so let’s get right to it and look at Timmins’ picks in the top two rounds over the years, and where those players are today. Notice how 2007 was a homerun year for Timmins in the top two rounds…
- Andrei Kostitsyn – 1st round, 10th overall – 398 NHL games played
- Cory Urquhart – 2nd round, 40th overall – 0 NHL games played
- Maxim Lapierre – 2nd round, 61st overall – 614 NHL games played
- Kyle Chipchura – 1st round, 18th overall – 482 NHL games played
- Carey Price – 1st round, 5th overall – 509 NHL games played
- Guillaume Latendresse – 2nd round, 45th overall – 341 NHL games played
- David Fisher – 1st round, 20th overall – 0 NHL games played
- Ben Maxwell – 2nd round, 49th overall – 47 NHL games played
- Mathieu Carle – 2nd round, 53th overall – 3 NHL games played
- Ryan McDonagh – 1st round, 12th overall – 467 NHL games played
- Max Pacioretty – 1st round, 22nd overall – 562 NHL games played
- P.K. Subban – 2nd round, 43rd overall – 500 NHL games played
- Dany Kristo – 2nd round, 56th overall – 0 NHL games played
- Louis Leblanc – 1st round, 18th overall – 50 NHL games played
- Jarred Tinordi – 1st round, 22nd overall – 53 NHL games played
- Nathan Beaulieu – 1st round, 17th overall – 225 NHL games played
- Alex Galchenyuk – 1st round, 3rd overall – 336 NHL games played
- Sebastian Collberg – 2nd round, 33rd overall – 0 NHL games played
- Dalton Thrower – 2nd round, 51st overall – 0 NHL games played
- Michael McCarron – 1st round, 25th overall – 51 NHL games played
- Jacob De la Rose – 2nd round, 34th overall – 64 NHL games played
- Zachary Fucale – 2nd round, 36th overall – 0 NHL games played
- Arturri Lehkonen – 2nd round, 55th overall – 73 NHL games played
- Nikita Scherbak – 1st round, 26th overall – 3 NHL games played
- Noah Juulsen – 1st round, 26th overall – 0 NHL games played
- Mikhail Sergachev – 1st round, 9th overall – 4 NHL games played
I don’t know about you, but I was shocked at the number of misses in Timmins’ top two rounds, guys who didn’t even make the NHL in some cases. Granted that drafting is not a perfect science as you are not only evaluating a players’ skills at 17-18 years olds amongst peers of his own age, but you are asking recruiters to trying to predict not only the ceiling of those teenagers, but their development as well. This is why I am a strong supporter of moving the draft age up from 18 to 19 years of age. Not a huge difference, but an improvement none the less.
At the time of writing these lines, Timmins will have six players to select on Friday and Saturday in Chicago. The Canadiens will select 25th overall in the first round, then will be speaking twice in the second round: their own pick at 56th and the Washington Capitals’ pick at 58th, obtained in the Lars Eller trade. The Habs also have two third round picks as they will speak at 68th, the pick they received from the Buffalo Sabres for Nathan Beaulieu, and again at 87th with their own pick. They will then pick again at number 149, in the fifth round before calling it the day, unless trades occur.