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Did the Montreal Canadiens get the steal of the draft in high-scoring winger Cole Caufield?

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The diminutive sniper was one of the best objective scorer the Group USA Nationwide Group Growth Program has ever seen, and he plans on making each crew that handed over him remorse the choice to take action.Cole Caufield |Wealthy Lam/Getty ImagesVANCOUVER – With out even a touch of irony, one of many first issues Cole Caufield talked about after being drafted by the Montreal Canadiens was how he “appears as much as Alex DeBrincat.” He really appears down on the Chicago Blackhawks star. Caufield’s official measurement on the draft mix was 5-foot-7 ¼, a quarter-inch taller than DeBrincat’s 5-foot-7 itemizing.
However like DeBrincat, Caufield plans on spending his NHL profession filling nets and making a bunch of groups remorse the truth that they scouted him with a tape measure. The child is perhaps quick in the case of stature, however not when the problem turns to self-confidence. Or expertise. The 15th total decide is the No. 1 objective scorer within the historical past of the USA Hockey Nationwide Group Growth Program and he was steadfastly unwilling to concede to the notion that the one purpose he scored a lot was that No. 1 total decide Jack Hughes was his middle.
“I’ve mentioned this earlier than, however (Hughes) wouldn’t have had the variety of assists if it wasn’t for me, too,” Caufield mentioned. “I’m assured in myself in that approach and I do know he’s such an incredible participant he could make anyone higher, however the way in which we work so effectively collectively is our brains are so good and we do issues at such a excessive tempo. I can play with anybody, I could make anybody higher.”
The plan for Caufield in the meanwhile is to try this subsequent season on the College of Wisconsin, the place his older brother, Brock, will likely be a sophomore and fifth-overall decide Alex Turcotte will likely be attending. But when I’m Soo Greyhounds GM Kyle Raftis, I might be calling this child each day and promoting him on the deserves of taking part in main junior hockey as a result of it is a younger man who desperately needs to be on the quick observe to the NHL. (The Greyhounds personal his main junior rights, having drafted him 240th total in 2018.) First, he acknowledged that he needs to go to coaching camp with the intention of creating the crew, which might instantly void his faculty eligibility. And when he was requested what his main at Wisconsin will likely be subsequent season, he replied, “I don’t know.” Severely.
Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin didn’t precisely throw a bucket of chilly water on the notion. Bergevin mentioned he absolutely expects Caufield to be at Wisconsin subsequent season, however the crew’s upcoming improvement camp – one thing through which Caufield is ready to take part – will present the group with a greater concept of his improvement curve. “I feel most youngsters wish to play within the NHL, so he’s no totally different than anyone else,” Bergevin mentioned. “It’s approach too early. We’ll place him subsequent week at camp and we’ll see the place he’s at. More than likely he’ll be in faculty subsequent yr. More than likely, however you by no means know. I don’t anticipate him to play subsequent yr, however he received’t spend 4 years in faculty. I don’t assume so. I hope not.”
Considered one of eight gamers from the USNTDP picked within the first spherical, Caufield scored a mind-boggling 72 objectives in 64 video games this previous season. His shot is dynamic, notably his one-timer. For a company that’s starved for objectives and impotent on the facility play, Caufield was simply too troublesome for the Canadiens to move up. Bergevin mentioned Caufield’s advisor, Pat Brisson, informed him Friday that until he was ready to commerce up into the highest 10, he wouldn’t get Caufield. When requested to explain his recreation, the primary two phrases out of his mouth have been, “I’m thrilling.”
“Purpose scoring is at a premium on this league,” Bergevin mentioned. “It’s laborious to attain objectives and in all places he was, he was ready to try this so I don’t see why he received’t have the ability to try this on the subsequent stage.”
If he does find yourself at Wisconsin and issues go effectively, you may most likely anticipate Caufield to be a one and performed. Does that imply he’ll be within the NHL as quickly as 2020-21? Effectively, it’s troublesome to inform at this level, however with these sorts of elite abilities, his dimension received’t stop him from taking part in. As Bergevin mentioned, he’s needed to cope with all of it his life. It’s not as if he was 6-foot-Four and abruptly awakened in the future at 5-foot-7. Chances are high, he’s performed rising and even when he’s not, his additional development will seemingly be negligible. Caufield’s father, Paul, who received three NCAA Division III championships on the College of Wisconsin-Stevens Level and stays the college’s all-time main scorer, his 5-foot-10 and his grandfather, Wayne, who performed minor professional hockey, is 5-foot-Eight.
“I don’t assume I’d be the participant I’m in the present day with out my dimension,” Caufield mentioned. “I can’t do something about it and I feel I’ve used it to my benefit my complete life and I’m going to proceed to try this as a result of it hasn’t slowed me down but.”
With Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Ryan Poehling and Nick Suzuki down the center, the Canadiens are a lot stronger organizationally at middle than they’ve been in years. That was partly why Bergevin felt snug getting a smaller participant, albeit one who has the potential to create copious offense. If that occurs, both within the short- or long-term, we’d look again in 10 years and speak about how the Canadiens obtained a serious steal within the 2019 draft.
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Tags: draft, montreal canadiens, nhlConnect: In regards to the AuthorKen CampbellKen Campbell, The Hockey Information’ senior author, is in his second tour with the model after an eight-year stint as a beat reporter for the Maple Leafs for the Toronto Star. The Sudbury native as soon as tried out for the Ontario League’s Wolves as a 30-year-old. Evidently, it did not work out.

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