#1 - It doesn't matter, fans are/were confused, but not angry that we didn't select Esposito. None of us were that mad about it.
#2 - There's always a few stupid people like the crew at RDS that put way too much value on nationality, but in our fanbase they are the minority, generally our fans respond quite well to Gainey's unorthodox methods. And it wouldn't have been so strange for Gainey to select a non French player anyway because that's what he usually does.
#3 - Who cares? There's nothing unreasonable about getting excited about a hometown kid being selected.
There's nothing to indicate the crowd would have reacted unfavorably to Gainey selecting Kassian, Holland, or Schroeder.
Except for the outcry of more franco players on the team day in day out...That crowd was wayyyyyyyy too into the whole draft the french guy. Anyone else would have had a very unpleasant day.
Of course I know that. But I'm just saying, Montreal Canadiens, Quebec boy, draft was in Montreal in front of Habs fans. It just seemed like they took the best prospect that would appease the crowd.
I guess the issue would be it's a loaded description. Often it's phrased as if Montreal drafted Leblanc almost solely because of his birth certificate, instead of Leblanc being a guy Montreal scouts were very high on who had the added bonus of being a Montrealer. As a comparison, it's not like Burke and Toronto fans were very high on Brayden Schenn just because he's Luke's brother or the Leafs were pressured into considering Brayden Schenn to appease their fanbase just because he's Luke's brother; no, Brayden is a hell of a player in his own right, who the Leafs hoped would drop to them, who also has the added bonus of being brothers with who they hope will develop into their cornerstone defenseman for the next 10-15 years.
There are too many similar players to Leblac out there. If he pans out he's like a second line center. He MIGHT become top line material..but prob not. He may not even become a second liner.
Schroeder is simply a better player. Because he is so small he may not fill any other role aside from a top line scorer.(he is an amazing pker tho), Still, I think that his skill set is at a MUCH higher level than Leblacs, so much so that he is the better prospect. Many had him ranked MUCH higher than he was taken. His skillset is more "rare" so i'd pick him. Leblac is another pretty good dime a dozen prospect.
Then again this is from the standpoint of not having specific team needs. If your team has a few boom or bust type guys then maybe you go for the safer pick.
You can't bash any of these picks until we have actually seen them in the NHL. I'd like to know how many people here have seen LeBlanc play, eh Leaf fans? How many times? 0?
I'll be honest, at the time I wanted Schroeder. I thought John Moore would be a good pick too.
Would like to echo that sentiment to all the Habs fans who bash Kadri as well. See it works both ways...
Of course it's very unfair to evaluate a prospect before he's actually had time to prove himself...but that's what most of these threads set out to do.
And just to stay on topic, if I have the choice between the two, I go with Leblanc for the simple fact that obviously Montreal saw something in this kid, and Schroeder slipped in the draft. I haven't seen nearly enough of either one of these kids to form an opinion that actually matters- just like nearly everyone else commenting here.
Schroeder has a higher potential and expectations...that being said their is a reason he dropped like he did. Im guessing that the most scouts did not see his game translating to the nhl due to his size. At this moment i would have taken Schroeder ahead, but i think it is also a big risk for the canucks to pick him up because they already have some top end forwards prospects and are lacking on defensive prospects. If Schroeder doesnt live up to his hype this pick could really hurt the canucks IMO.
What im trying to say is that i think the canucks should have gone with a defensemen. That being said Schroeder's potential/hype was to much too pass up on.
Corey Locke won the OHL scoring title and was named CHL MVP in his draft year in 2003. By your logic, he should have been a better pick than Staal, Carter, Richards, etc.
Let's not forget about Lucic's lackluster stats in his draft year and he turned out to be quite the player.
Points at 16, 17, 18 years old mean nothing. Scouts don't look at stats, they look at the players skill, ethic, attitude, their hockey sense and other various attributes, points are only a bonus. That whole guy's post about points was just fail.
It's very simple. Schroeder Imo, is high risk, high reward player, where as Leblanc is the safer pick. Let's not forget about the team's needs. Montreal is stacked on the wings and very thin at center where as vancouver has a very good prospect at center and can afford to take a chance on a winger.
Who's better, it depends on what you like. If you want to take a chance for a big pay out, take Schroeder, if you want a guarenteed nhl player take Leblanc, if Leblanc becomes more than a 2nd line center, it's a plus, where as you really hope Schroeder will be that star winger because that's why you drafted him.
IMO, Leblanc is a Saku Koivu in the making, that is a good leader, good character and great work ethic.
Leblance- Safe pick, good skill
Shroeder- Riskier Pick, better skill
And for all those saying that Montreal doesn't purposely draft French/Quebec players because the last one was 11 years ago is a little misleading. The 2009 draft was IN Montreal....last time that happened- 1992. It's a huge factor; drafting hometown kids.