Monday, January 10, 2011

Draft by Decade: Montreal Canadiens

Early in the decade the Habs made some very solid picks. 2001 they took Mike Komisarek 7th, and Tomas Plekanec 71st.  Chris Higgins in 2002 at 14 has had an up and down career but certainly contributed to Montreal's success.  2003 was a great draft as the Habs found last year's playof starr Jarosalv Halak at 271st, a hulking d-man from Canadian Jr. A, Ryan O'byrne in the third round, and took a flyer on a kid from the Q who plays a pretty big role with this team, Max Lapierre at 61st.  In 2004 they continued to have succesful late round picks taking Mark Streit 262 and Mikhail Grabovski 150.  They had some misses in that time for sure, succeeding in late rounds but flubbing on Andrei Perezhogin at 25th in 2001, Andrei Kostitsyn 10th in 2003 and Kyle Chipchura 18th.

2005 was an incredible draft year, and the Habs passed up a number of current NHLers to take Carey Price, who has had a tumultuous NHL career, losing the Number One job he was handed early in his career but regaining it in fine form this year proving to be one of the games best. Their second round selection of Guillaume Latendress wasn't looking very fruitful until after they moved him to Minnesota last year, where he scored 25 goals in in only 55 games. They also took Matt D'agostini in the 6th round.

Following this trend Montreal's first pick in 2006, David Fischer, is still finding his game, but their two second round picks, Ben Maxwell and Matieu Carle are looking good in Hamilton. 2007 the Habs got a big gift when they were able to select PK Subban in the second round...I guess nobody felt they needed a skate-like-the-wind d-man that year.  Ryan McDonagh at 12th is yet to develop, and Max Pacioretty seems to have the make-up of an NHLer, but they could've done better at 22nd. The Habs had no first round pick in 2008 and did well to take Danny Kristo at 56 with their first selection.  2009's late first round pick of Louis Leblanc was respectable.  He looked good on a line with Carter Ashton and Case Cizikas at the WJC. Jared Tinordi in 2010 wasn't a bad late first round pick either.

All in all the Habs missed a few too many first rounders to make it to the B+ relm, but barely, they did manage to draft and develop a strong core.  They get a strong B for their efforts.

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