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HFNHL Canadiens 04-01-2013 01:58 PM

HFNHL Canadiens: 2008 Draft Review
This was my first draft as the GM of the Canadiens. With the rebuild in full swing, I had acquired many picks (4 in the top 33) and looked to add some young pieces to build the team around. Looking back 5 years later, I would say that this draft was a huge success for this franchise.

1/3 - Zach Bogosian - D
At the time, we had Zach at #2 and we were very pleased to select him with the 3rd pick. In hindsight, Pietrangelo would have been a better pick, but Zach is a very good player in his own right. He has had a pretty injury prone career thus far, but looks to be well on his way to becoming an agressive top pairing two way dman. Zach was traded in a deal for Patrice Bergeron.
Notable Misses: Alex Pietrangelo
Status: NHL player

1/21 - Erik Karlsson - D
Karlsson was the guy we wanted this pick and we were very happy to see him fall to 21. He was shooting up the charts on draft day and we figured that he would've been selected earlier. Definitely the best pick I've ever made in the draft, Erik is already arguably the best dman in the NHL and one of the cornerstones of the franchise. Despite all of the offers and inquiries for him, we've managed to hold onto him.
Notable Misses: none
Status: NHL player

1/27 - Joe Colborne - C
A 6'5 bean-pole with a good head on his shoulders putting up big numbers in Jr. A and going to a pretty good NCAA program... sounds like a pretty good choice with the 27th pick. After a pretty good college career with Denver he left 2 seasons early and turned pro. He had had a bit of trouble with adapting to the pro game but still seems like a solid prospect. Next year will be a make or break season for him. He was traded in a deal for Jakub Voracek.
Notable Misses: Jacob Markstrom, Tyler Ennis
Status: NHL prospect

2/33 - Jake Gardiner - D
We took yet another dman with this pick and were really enamoured with his physical tools. He had a decent college career, which contained a prominent sophomore slump. Jake adapted to the pro game seamlessly and looks to have a very bright future as a mobile PMD in the NHL. Jake was traded in a deal for Jarome Iginla.
Notable Misses: none
Status: NHL player

3/61 - Patrick Wiercioch - D
After a huge growth spurt and a big second half in the USHL Wiercioch flew up our draft list. We actually wanted to take Hutchinson with this pick, but he was taken one spot before. Wiercioch had a pretty successful NCAA career with Denver, and at one point he was actually a pretty highly touted prospect. Seemed to struggle with the pro game, until this season where he was one of Binghamton's better defenders during the lock-out and is currently putting up some nice numbers with the Sens playing on the PP. Wiercioch seems well on his way to becoming a solid top 4 offensive dman. He was dealt to Carolina in a deal for Duchene.
Notable Misses: Slava Voynov
Status: NHL player

3/70 - Braden Holtby - G
After missing out on Hutchinson with the last pick, we were looking goalie for this pick. Praised for his athletic ability, Holtby had a solid but unspectacular career in the WHL. After spending the first part of his pro career in the ECHL, Holtby was called up to the AHL where he took his game to a new level. After having success in the AHL, he was called up and has been the Caps goalie of the future ever since. He is currently the starting goalie of the Caps and looks to have a bright career ahead of him. Holtby was foolishly traded to LA for Dennis Wideman.
Notable Misses: none
Status: NHL player

3/80 - Kelsey Tessier - F
Tenacious undersized forward who put up some big numbers in the Q. After a successful QMJHL career he was not offered a contract by the Avs and has been playing for Hartford in the AHL in a 3rd line role ever since. Due to a lack of skating ability and size will likely prohibit him from making the NHL, despite success as a 3rd liner in the AHL. He has since been released from our prospect list.
Notable Misses: Wayne Simmonds, Derek Stepan
Status: AHL player, probable bust

3/89 - Colin Long - F
Put up huge stats in the WHL after being passed over in his first year of draft eligibility. Looked to be a late bloomer with upside, but ultimately was too much of a perimeter player and struggled in the AHL/ECHL. He is currently playing in the DEL where he is finding success as a point per game player.
Notable Misses: Wayne Simmonds, Derek Stepan
Status: Euro player, bust

4/104 - Paul Byron - F
After a break-out season in the Q after being passed over in the HFNHL draft the previous season, the small and speedy Byron seemed like a good fit here. After a successful junior career the tenacious water-bug type player transitioned well to the AHL. Has had a few call-ups to the NHL during his AHL career and looks to be on the verge of sticking in the NHL full-time.
Notable Misses: Andrei Loktionov
Status: First NHL Call-Up

5/123 - Jase Weslosky - G
Was passed over in the HFNHL Draft and put up some nice stats for St. Cloud State in the NCAA. Combine that with his size and he seemed like a decent goalie selection for the 5th rnd. Weslosky ended up struggling a bit the following season and was ultimately kicked off the St. Cloud State team for failing to meet the academic requirements. After a stint in the ECHL he is now playing in the Chinook HL.
Notable Misses: Adam Henrique, Carl Hagelin
Status: Chinook HL All-Star, bust

5/134 - Cameron Gaunce - D
A rookie in the OHL, Gaunce was lauded for his two-way play, decent size and character. He was surprisingly picked in the 2nd in the NHL draft and had a pretty successul junior career. Gaunce has transformed into more of a defensive dman at the AHL and has been called up for 11 NHL games. He appears to have been passed over by younger dman recently and might not be in the plans for the Avs. He still remains a legit prospect and might find success in a different organization. He was traded out of the Habs organization as part of a deal for Jarome Iginla.
Notable Misses: Travis Hamnoic
Status: NHL prospect

5/139 - Doug Rogers - F
After a break-through season for Harvard, Rogers seemed like good value in the 5th rnd. Scouting reports described Rogers as a hard working, two-way forward. His production declined dramatically over his final 2 years at Harvard, and ultimately found himself playing in the ECHL. He appears to be out of hockey all-together now, probably making use of his Harvard degree.
Notable Misses: Travis Hamonic
Status: out of hockey, bust

5/140 - Taylor Stefishen - F
Stefishen had a decent career in the BCHL, committed to Ohio State, where he struggled. He was ultimately released after his sophomore season and played in the WHL as an over-ager where he had some success. He is currently playing in the CIS for Calgary and is no longer considered a serious prospect.
Notable Misses: Travis Hamonic
Status: CIS player, probable bust

6/153 - Rylan Schwartz - F
He wasn't really rated by any of the scouting services I used, but I noticed he was dominating the SJHL and was committed to Colorado College so I thought it would be fun to make my last pick some long-shot that put up big numbers in an obscure league. It turns out that he had a pretty talented brother who ended up being picked in the first rnd, while Rylan continued to get passed over, despite success in the NCAA. He just recently completed his NCAA career with a pretty good senior season and is currently garnering some interest as an undrafted FA. It remains to be seen how he will adapt to the pro game, but at this point he is a serious prospect in the Canadiens organization.
Notable Misses: Marco Scandella, Anders Lindback

All in all, the first 3 rounds were a huge success with 5 NHLers, 1 NHL prospect, and 2 busts. The later rounds were not nearly as successful with only 3 picks out of 6 that still have a shot at the NHL, and none of those likely to be more that 3rd/4th line, bottom pairing types.

kasper11 04-01-2013 02:17 PM

You added top top-pair dmen, two third-paid dmen (with potential to be more) and a starting goalie. Not a bad day's work.

MatthewFlames 04-01-2013 02:25 PM

Excellent days work - and two of those guys are now Flames - so I'm happy for this draft for you :D

Ohio Jones 04-01-2013 02:39 PM

...and this was officially when I started worrying about the new guy in Montreal being a bit of a shark.

Thankfully you make regrettable trades, just like the rest of us. :)

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