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01-15-2006, 04:00 PM
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Archijerej
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Organisation needs and 2006 entry draft

We are in the mid of a season so it's maybe a little bit to early to talk about the draft but I thought it would be fun to evaluate our team's needs and discuss our draft options. Any feedback on this years prospects will be apreciated. Here are IMO the biggest Canadiens needs:

1a. Defense

With Mike Komisarek (24 years old), Alexei Emelin (19), Ryan O'Byrne (21), Oskari Korpikari (21) and Jean-Philippe Cote (23) we have a decent group of stay-at-home type of defensemen, with different potential of course but no more then #3/4 guys. What we lack is top four offensive/two way kind of defensemen. It's not only prospects need, on current Canadiens roster only Andrei Markov can be considered a legit top four offensive dman. Defense has been Montreal's need for quite some time, and Hainsey's busting did not make the situation any better.

Here are some possible options in this years draft assuming the Canadiens will pick between 10th and 18th spot: Bob Sanguinetti, Nigel Williams, Ivan Vishnevsky, Ben Shutron

Stay-at-home types: Ty Wishard, Mike Mitera, Joe Ryan

1b. Offensive centermen:

Having Kyle Chipchura (20), Maxime Lapierre (20) and Garth Murray (23) gives us pretty safe #3 and #4 centers and good ones.
We may have something out of Plekanec (23), Locke (21), Mikus (19) and M.Aubin (19). But still, we lack high rated offensive centermen especially a potential future #1. This appears an even more glaring need, when you consider that Koivu turns 32 this year, and his previous injury history makes you think that he's not a guy who'll have a long career. Fortunately this years draft seems pretty deep at center so there are some interesting choices to come:

Niklas Baeckstroem, Bryan Little, James Sheppard. This guys will probably be taken before Habs will pick, but you'll never know. There's always someone slipping quite a few spots, so there's a chance I think. Here's some more: Derick Brassard, Jiri Tlusty, Jesse Joensuu.

2. Power wingers

Gainey has done a decent job to bring some grit and forechecking to the lineup aquiring Begin and Murray and calling up Jonathan Ferland. We still lack a sandpaper on the top lines 'though. The only guy who fits the mold of power forward in the organisation is Guillame Latendresse and despite his early succes with the Canadiens, he's still a project with a long way to even make the NHL. Another guy who can do the hard work on the scoring lines is my personal favorite Christoffer Higgins, but he may be best suited on Chipchura's wing on our future checking line. So as you see, a safe guy in Jack Skille's, Brenden Morrow's mold would probably be a wise choice. It's also a Gainey's speciality.

Possible chices: Kyle Okposo, Ryan Flynn, Chris Stewart, Nick Foligno

Note: My knowlege about these guys, except few,is slim and based only on what I've read. I used cvandenberg's and scoutman's lists that recently apeared on the prospects board so I'd like to thank them. Talent analysis of this years prospects, or any comments would be greatly appreciated. I (and I presume many of you) would especially like to know what guys like montreal, Blind Guardien, mcphee etc. have to say on this subject. Hope this starts some interesting discussion. Cheers.


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01-15-2006, 04:23 PM
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Ivan Vishnevsky I haven't seen yet but I'm hearing great things about him and he could be a really good choice for us. I still like Mathieu Carle from Bathurst, although not in the 1st, depending on where we pick. He's looked good in todays game imo, same with Roy who I would be interested in as well but not till later on.

With the prospect game coming up, people will get a look at many of the top prospects. I've been watching a lot of the '06's but it's still so early and I got to think we will end up picking higher then where we are now, maybe 20th or so since we have a lot of games in hand on most teams in the east.

I like Sheppard a lot, so I'd love to get him. Brassard would be a good pick as well. I like Eric Castonguay from Lewiston in the late rounds. Jonathan Matsumoto should have been picked last year, so I'd be interested in him.

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01-15-2006, 04:28 PM
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Brassard is Latendresse' line-mate in Drummondville right? That could be an interesting pick..

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01-15-2006, 04:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Habs13
Brassard is Latendresse' line-mate in Drummondville right? That could be an interesting pick..
ribeiro-dagenais

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01-15-2006, 04:33 PM
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Archijerej
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Originally Posted by montreal
Ivan Vishnevsky I haven't seen yet but I'm hearing great things about him and he could be a really good choice for us. I still like Mathieu Carle from Bathurst, although not in the 1st, depending on where we pick. He's looked good in todays game imo, same with Roy who I would be interested in as well but not till later on.

With the prospect game coming up, people will get a look at many of the top prospects. I've been watching a lot of the '06's but it's still so early and I got to think we will end up picking higher then where we are now, maybe 20th or so since we have a lot of games in hand on most teams in the east.

I like Sheppard a lot, so I'd love to get him. Brassard would be a good pick as well. I like Eric Castonguay from Lewiston in the late rounds. Jonathan Matsumoto should have been picked last year, so I'd be interested in him.
These are QMJHL prospects am I right? I heard alot about Vishnevsky's offensive skills too but isn't his defensive game suspect?

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01-15-2006, 04:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Habs13
Brassard is Latendresse' line-mate in Drummondville right? That could be an interesting pick..

Yeah and he might be available...we never know. And great post Archijerej, you noticed everything we need...

And what's the deal with Sheppard...he don't seem to be a very offensive center

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01-15-2006, 04:36 PM
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I think that this is not the best draft for dman, so why not go for Brassard? Really skilled, awesome vision, fun to watch, great work ethics and smart... He plays well with Latendresse. Brassard and Latendresse could potentially the core of an excellent 2nd line in the future.

BTW, I'd really like us to draft a good dmen. But is there going to be a great one available at our pick?

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01-15-2006, 04:38 PM
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Brassard is definitely my target as well, I expect Backstrom-Staal-Little to be gone.

Brassard reminds me a lot of Simon Gagne. The chemistry with Tender is just a bonus in my eyes.

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01-15-2006, 04:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Habs13
Brassard is Latendresse' line-mate in Drummondville right? That could be an interesting pick..
Brassard indeed looks like an interesting one, but I'm sure the are better reasons than that to pick him

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01-15-2006, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Archijerej
These are QMJHL prospects am I right? I heard alot about Vishnevsky's offensive skills too but isn't his defensive game suspect?

All but Matsumoto play in the Q, he plays in the NCAA. As for Vishnevsky I've heard he needs more work in his own end but we are really lacking offensively skilled defensemen.

Here's a site to some of the top Q prospects,


http://hockeyprospectsonline.com/new...=111&site_id=6


Guys like Vishnevsky, Carle, Marchand, Legault, Frechette, Bouchard, Dubuc, Poulin, and Boivin are guys I'm interested in seeing more of. Dubuc and Boivin I could see them not getting drafted, but they both have decent offensive skills imo.

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01-15-2006, 05:02 PM
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I would disagree that we are in need of a power winger. I guess I'm just happy with the depth we possess on the wings currently. Anyway, I agree with everything else you mentioned.

I was thinking that certain positions seem to be more competitive come free agent time. Obviously, goaltending and defence were at a premium and those guys went for top dollar. I really think defence is an area we should focus on come draft day. That's just my opinion. I don't think you can have too many good young mobile defencemen in an organization.

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01-15-2006, 05:04 PM
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Thanks for the link montreal. We could certainly use a power play quaterback but he seems a bit undersized. Nobody's perfect I guess.

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01-15-2006, 05:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by montreal
Ivan Vishnevsky I haven't seen yet but I'm hearing great things about him and he could be a really good choice for us. I still like Mathieu Carle from Bathurst, although not in the 1st, depending on where we pick. He's looked good in todays game imo, same with Roy who I would be interested in as well but not till later on.

With the prospect game coming up, people will get a look at many of the top prospects. I've been watching a lot of the '06's but it's still so early and I got to think we will end up picking higher then where we are now, maybe 20th or so since we have a lot of games in hand on most teams in the east.

I like Sheppard a lot, so I'd love to get him. Brassard would be a good pick as well. I like Eric Castonguay from Lewiston in the late rounds. Jonathan Matsumoto should have been picked last year, so I'd be interested in him.
I'm like you Montreal, I thought Matsumoto would be picked last year. I actually had him pegged to go in the 4th-5th round. I know he's small, but with the new rules and his skill level, I really thought he'd have gone in the draft. What kept scouts away from him in your opinion?

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01-15-2006, 05:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stan
I'm like you Montreal, I thought Matsumoto would be picked last year. I actually had him pegged to go in the 4th-5th round. I know he's small, but with the new rules and his skill level, I really thought he'd have gone in the draft. What kept scouts away from him in your opinion?

hard to say. His teammate Sigalet got drafted but for whatever reason he didn't. Perhaps it had to do with his size, since it was unknown what the "new" NHL would be like. Might be why a guy like Mathieu Roy went undrafted as well.

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01-15-2006, 05:14 PM
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Anybody believes that Jesse Joensuu is as good as Ruutu? Some describes him as a better Jokinen and more physical, some even said that he's in the top 5 hockey player of all time from Finland but other says that his offensive is not that great. With the last WJC I think his stock has just gone down pretty much.

On D there's David Ruzicka I wonder what happen to this guy, why didn't he go to the WJC? He was ranked second after Eric Jonhson as defencement last year but his stock seam to drop alot since.

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01-15-2006, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by akostitsyn
Anybody believes that Jesse Joensuu is as good as Ruutu? Some describes him as a better Jokinen and more physical, some even said that he's in the top 5 hockey player of all time from Finland but other says that his offensive is not that great. With the last WJC I think his stock has just gone down pretty much.
I've seen him twice and while it's certainly not enough to make a competent opinion on him I find it hard to believe that he's on pair with Ruutu or he's better than Jokinen. Am I the only one who thinks there can be something with his hockey sense? I've seen him couple of times when he got himself in difficult situations just to lose the puck. He didn't seem particularly intense out there, was not using his size to his advantage. Risky prospect IMO, I wouldn't touch him. I liked Lauri Korpikoski much more (I know he's older), reminded me of Koivu but with more goalscoring mentality and better shot.

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01-15-2006, 05:38 PM
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There's still a lot of time for the prospect rankings to level out a bit. Personally, I have to admit I'm not really comfortable yet on picking guys. It's funny, last year with the strike on I really had time to absorb all the leagues and saw more NCAA than I ever have before in my life combined. This year, though, I watch the OHL but I really haven't seen much past that, except for any players who played in the WJC and a few scattered NCAA games on the NHL Network.

So in short, I don't really feel qualified to say too much in general yet. Plus, we're still on the cusp of knowing where our own draft position will be. It's clear enough that we do need D in the organisation. But I don't think that means we have to look for it exclusively in the 1st round. None of the OHL guys I see have really jumped up and made me a believer yet, Sanguinetti, Degray, Shutron.

I kind of like Mark Mitera and Matt Corrente on D, but they are strictly later 1st or "if they drop down in the 2nd" picks, really, not guys you go out and target if we're in a higher spot.

I guess if the CSB rankings have any merit (not sure they have much yet) and if guys like Carle and Vishnevsky really do end up being 2nd/3rd round picks, then that might be a good sign. Like what happened with Letang and Gragnani last year. If talented/speedy D guys are going to drop down, it makes it easier to look at the good forwards in the 1st round, and then have the D picks in mind for subsequent rounds. As long as we stock the cupboard with D at some point, I don't think it matters if we go for one in the 1st. There probably aren't any clearcut saviours past E.Johnson there anyway. We just can't go through the whole draft again and only pick one D in the 7th round or whatever.

Oh yeah, and if we want to sign Bisaillon finally, I'm all for that.

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01-15-2006, 05:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akostitsyn
Anybody believes that Jesse Joensuu is as good as Ruutu? Some describes him as a better Jokinen and more physical, some even said that he's in the top 5 hockey player of all time from Finland but other says that his offensive is not that great. With the last WJC I think his stock has just gone down pretty much.
His stock sure went down according to CSB! 16th Euro, put in the guys ahead of him and the goalies... jeez, it's late 2nd round at best??? That's a bit extreme. I'm not going to be pushing for us taking Joensuu in the 1st, that's for sure, but he really did come on in the later games. I thought he was decent against Canada the second time, a bit shy, but you could see he has the tools. And then quite good actually in the Bronze medal game. I don't think he should have dropped THAT far just on the WJC. But the WJC is all I know of him, so I won't venture to comment on his place in the Finnish prospect pantheon otherwise. Drop him out of the top 10? For sure. Into the late 2nd round? Come on.

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01-15-2006, 05:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc the Habs Fan
Brassard is definitely my target as well, I expect Backstrom-Staal-Little to be gone.

Brassard reminds me a lot of Simon Gagne. The chemistry with Tender is just a bonus in my eyes.
Simon Gagné - Éric Chouinard anyone?

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01-15-2006, 06:42 PM
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I really like what i saw from John Degray during the OHL-Russia game. He's a big 2 way Dman. ISS Had him High at the beginning of the year but he dropped. If Brassard isn't available I'd like us to pick:

1rst round John Degray
2nd round Mathieu Carle
3rd round David Ruczica

Lets do like Nashville and select a lot of good D prospects.

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01-15-2006, 06:47 PM
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I would draft Brassard.

Sign a top end defenseman instead of drafting one.

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01-15-2006, 06:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc the Habs Fan
Brassard is definitely my target as well, I expect Backstrom-Staal-Little to be gone.

Brassard reminds me a lot of Simon Gagne. The chemistry with Tender is just a bonus in my eyes.
i have a friend who have a lot of contacts in Drumondville , and it seems that they are all thinking that Brassard is the better players of the two , but because Latendresse did well with the Habs , peoples give him all the merit .

Brassard is the guy that is doing all the play , Latendresse is the one who is applaude ...

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01-15-2006, 07:18 PM
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Archijerej
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blind Gardien
So in short, I don't really feel qualified to say too much in general yet. Plus, we're still on the cusp of knowing where our own draft position will be. It's clear enough that we do need D in the organisation. But I don't think that means we have to look for it exclusively in the 1st round. None of the OHL guys I see have really jumped up and made me a believer yet, Sanguinetti, Degray, Shutron.

I kind of like Mark Mitera and Matt Corrente on D, but they are strictly later 1st or "if they drop down in the 2nd" picks, really, not guys you go out and target if we're in a higher spot.

I guess if the CSB rankings have any merit (not sure they have much yet) and if guys like Carle and Vishnevsky really do end up being 2nd/3rd round picks, then that might be a good sign. Like what happened with Letang and Gragnani last year. If talented/speedy D guys are going to drop down, it makes it easier to look at the good forwards in the 1st round, and then have the D picks in mind for subsequent rounds. As long as we stock the cupboard with D at some point, I don't think it matters if we go for one in the 1st. There probably aren't any clearcut saviours past E.Johnson there anyway. We just can't go through the whole draft again and only pick one D in the 7th round or whatever.

Oh yeah, and if we want to sign Bisaillon finally, I'm all for that.
I agree. You don't necessary have to adress your weakness in the first round, especially if there are quality kids available later. Besides we have needs in other areas also, so if they decide to pick a forward (most likely center) that they feel is a BPA, then it's a double win. We should start stockpiling defensemen 'though, Nashville did a pretty good job at that in later rounds (Weber, Klein, Laakso recently). I remember Timmins said, that they were aiming for some QMJHL defensive prospects in last draft but they jumped on the opportunity to draft Latendresse. That's says alot how the draft is working and that decisions are often made on the draft day, changing previous plans when a chance appears.
I wonder about Sanguinetti 'though, so far he is ranked as second defenceman behind Johnson and is described as a gifted puckrusher. Could you say something more about him?

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01-15-2006, 07:59 PM
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Like pretty much everyone, I'm liking Brassard. I mean, what's not to like? From all accounts he's got great skill, has great speed/skating, and has a great work ethic. I love players who have all three of those qualities, and Brassard seems to have all those qualities in spades. Sure he's not the biggest guy out there, but even in the old NHL he wouldn't be particularly undersized (Tanguay/Gagne sized, especially when he fills out) and in the new NHL his size shouldn't be a hindrance at all.

His chemistry with Latendresse is a bonus, but even if it doesn't carry over to the next level, I think he's a great prospect in his own right and could form a dynamic line with guys like Perezhogin or Kostitsyn in the future.

That he's a Quebecer is just the icing on the cake. As a player, he would seem to be a great addition to our team, even if he was named Bob Smith and was lighting it up for the Saskatoon Blades, but he's got chemistry with one of our top forward prospects and is a flying Frenchman. It's almost too good to be true, and if we do end up with him, I hope it doesn't fall apart. If we end up passing over him, I sure hope he's not another Gagne (unless we get another Forsberg or perennial all-star caliber d-man instead).

Is Turnbuckle around to add in his two cents? I think he's the only one of us to have contacts with actual scouts and other NHL people, so it's always great to hear his draft insights.

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01-15-2006, 08:04 PM
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Offensive defensman NEEDED.
Sanguinetti or Vishnevsky (we compare him to a Ozolinsh, good O but lacks of defenisv skills, still good btw)

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