The Montreal Canadiens are maybe essentially the most well-known crew within the NHL. They’ve earned a whopping 24 Stanley Cup wins all through the years, extra wins than every other crew within the NHL. With such a distinguished legacy, followers and hockey analysts alike have been scratching their heads in recent times, questioning why the Canadiens haven’t been performing as constantly as prior to now.
Previously decade or so, Canadiens administration has chosen a variety of attention-grabbing picks within the NHL Entry Draft. A few of these selections have pushed the crew additional forward, equivalent to Carey Worth, Brendan Gallagher, and Jesperi Kotkaniemi, whereas others haven’t lived as much as expectations.
Basic Supervisor Bob Gainey of the Montreal Canadiens presides over the Canadiens draft desk throughout the second day of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft on the Bell Centre on June 27, 2009 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Photograph by Dave Sandford/NHLI through Getty Photographs)
With the 2019 NHL Entry Draft solely weeks away, we’re going to take an in-depth take a look at a few of the Canadiens’ largest draft busts since 2008.
On the 2008 Draft, former basic supervisor, Bob Gainey determined to commerce away the crew’s 25th general decide together with their second-round decide in 2009 in trade for Alex Tanguay.
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The Canadiens’ subsequent choice got here at #56 the place they selected ahead Danny Kristo.
Kristo, who hails from Eden Prairie, Minnesota, was ranked 40th amongst North American gamers by NHL Central Scouting and was one of many prime American-born gamers eligible within the draft.
The Canadiens drafted the previous Eden Prairie Excessive College standout out of the extremely praised US Nationwide Workforce Improvement Program, the place he performed alongside different gamers equivalent to Kyle Palmieri of the New Jersey Devils, and former Vancouver Canucks first-round decide Jordan Schroeder.
After being chosen by the Canadiens, Kristo made the transition to the USHL the place he performed for the Omaha Lancers together with teammate and Canadiens 2009 first-round decide Louis Leblanc. In Omaha, he had a terrific season, scoring 57 factors in 50 video games, which put him second on the Lancers when it comes to factors, behind solely Leblanc.
After such a robust season, Kristo took his abilities to the College of North Dakota the place he performed Division 1 School Hockey. At North Dakota, he starred in all 4 seasons, racking up 161 factors in 157 video games, whereas additionally incomes a level. Throughout that point, he received gold on the 2010 World Junior Championships and was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award in 2013.
Danny Kristo was drafted by the Canadiens in 2008. (Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports activities)
On the completion of his collegiate profession and 5 years after the 2008 Draft, Kristo lastly signed a two-year entry stage take care of the Canadiens in April of 2013.
Kristo reported to the Habs’ affiliate within the AHL, the Hamilton Bulldogs, which was on the time in Hamilton, Ontario the place he had three assists in 9 video games.
These 9 video games can be his final as a member of the Canadiens’ group, as later that summer season he was traded to the New York Rangers in trade for Christian Thomas.
Since being dealt away from the Habs, Kristo has but to play a single recreation within the NHL and most definitely by no means will.
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The 2016-17 season was his final in North America, as he determined to maneuver his recreation abroad. In 2017-18, he performed for Dinamo Riga within the KHL and this previous season he began the yr in Brynas of the Swedish Elite League however was later acquired by SC Rapperswil-Jona of the NLA (Switzerland).
The 2008 draft was horrible for the Habs. Within the 11 years since, not one of many Canadiens’ choices has performed a single recreation within the NHL.
The 2009 NHL Entry Draft was stuffed with expertise and included a few of at the moment’s brightest stars. Amongst these picked was Louis Leblanc, who was chosen by the Canadiens’ at #18.
Louis Leblanc was drafted within the first spherical of the 2008 Draft. (Wikipedia)
By taking Leblanc with the 18th general decide, the Habs handed on gamers like Chris Kreider, Marcus Johansson, and Ryan O’Reilly, all of whom have turned out to be wonderful gamers within the NHL.
Leblanc, who grew up within the Montreal suburb of Kirkland, was one of many prime gamers in Quebec and plenty of would have thought he’d be a certain shot to succeed in the NHL.
At 15 years outdated, he performed for the Midget AAA Lac St-Louis Lions, a crew well-known for growing gamers like Alex Killorn, Jonathan Drouin, Mike Matheson, and Marc-Edouard Vlasic. After his rookie season with the Lions he was drafted 18th general within the QMJHL Draft by Val D’Or, and if it weren’t for rumors swirling round about Leblanc strongly contemplating enjoying within the NCAA, he may have been chosen as excessive as first.
As a substitute of reporting to Val D’Or, Leblanc performed one other yr in Midget AAA and scored a whopping 54 targets in 43 video games, together with 152 penalty minutes.
In the summertime of 2008, Leblanc made the choice to go on the QMJHL once more and head to the USHL to play for the Omaha Lancers alongside 2008 Canadiens draftee Danny Kristo. Whereas enjoying for the Lancers, Leblanc tallied 59 factors in 60 video games which put him 10th amongst all USHL gamers and solidified his possibilities of being chosen within the first spherical of the NHL Draft.
Leblanc with the Canadiens. (Kevin Hoffman-US PRESSWIRE)
Main as much as the draft, many scouts and analysts weren’t bought on Leblanc due to his dedication to play at Harvard College, which on the time, wasn’t thought-about to be a robust program throughout the NCAA. Nevertheless, Canadiens administration didn’t flinch and selected the Kirkland-native with their 18th general decide.
Leblanc then reported to Harvard the place he solely performed one season. He signed with the Habs throughout the 2010 low season and performed the next season within the QMJHL for the now defunct Montreal Juniors.
Following his season within the QMJHL, Leblanc bolted for the professionals and commenced the 2011-12 season in Hamilton of the AHL earlier than being known as as much as the Canadiens in November. He performed a complete of 42 NHL video games that season the place he notched 10 factors.
Leblanc performed a complete of 50 video games in a Habs uniform earlier than being traded to the Anaheim Geese within the 2014 low season for a conditional fifth-round decide. He by no means noticed any motion with the Geese and remained in Norfolk, which was Anaheim’s AHL affiliate on the time, for the season. On the finish of the season, Leblanc and the Geese parted methods, and the previous first-round decide’s profession was in shambles.
Leblanc then signed a tryout contract with the New York Islanders in 2015 however was lower from the crew within the final stage of the coaching camp.
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With no NHL contract, Leblanc determined to check the waters in Europe in hopes to revive his profession. In what can be his remaining season as a hockey participant, he performed for 3 completely different groups in three completely different European leagues. The final of which, was a four-game stint within the Swiss-A League for HC Lausanne, the place he scored just one aim and added 25 penalty minutes. He retired from hockey on the age of 25.
Since retiring, the previous Habs decide has returned to Harvard to finish his diploma, whereas additionally being a volunteer assistant coach on the lads’s ice hockey crew.
With the 22nd general decide within the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, the Canadiens selected 6-foot-6 defenseman Jarred Tinordi from the US Nationwide Workforce Improvement Program.
Jarred Tinordi was drafted in 2010. (Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports activities)
Tinordi was born in Minnesota when his father Mark was the captain of the Minnesota North Stars. He was, nevertheless, raised in Maryland outdoors of Washington, D.C. as his father was traded to the Washington Capitals.
When the Canadiens selected the massive, uncooked, defenseman they thought they may develop him right into a top-four shutdown defenseman who may match up in opposition to a few of the league’s prime gamers and be a drive on the penalty kill.
After solely two seasons with the London Knights within the OHL and 4 seasons cut up between the minors and the NHL, it was clear that the Habs’ plan for Tinordi was a failure. The NHL’s tempo continued to get sooner and Tinordi’s mobility and talent to course of the sport couldn’t sustain.
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In 2016, the Canadiens traded the 6-foot-6 defenseman together with Stefan Fournier to the Arizona Coyotes in trade for Victor Bartley and John Scott. He solely appeared in seven video games with the Coyotes. Tinordi has but to attain his first NHL aim.
Jarred Tinordi (Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports activities)
This previous season, Tinordi performed for the Milwaukee Admirals, the AHL affiliate of the Nashville Predators, and was the crew’s captain.
In 2012, the Canadiens employed Marc Bergevin because the crew’s basic supervisor. His first likelihood to make his mark on the Habs’ legacy was the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
After taking Alex Galchenyuk with the third-overall decide, the Canadiens’ subsequent decide was at #33 the place they chose Swedish ahead Sebastian Collberg.
Main as much as the draft, Collberg was one in all Sweden’s prime prospects and was a member of the 2012 World Junior crew that received a gold medal. The World Juniors event usually consists of 18 to 19-year-olds, however Collberg was solely 17 and amassed a formidable seven factors in six video games en path to the Gold Medal.
2012 NHL Draft Eligible: Swedish Sniper Sebastian Collberg (Elite Prospects)
In NHL Central Scouting’s remaining rankings, the expert Swede was ranked third amongst eligible gamers in Europe. He was ranked forward of Anaheim Geese defenseman, Hampus Lindholm and San Jose Sharks heart, Tomas Hertl.
Habs followers and administration thought that that they had an actual expertise in Collberg, however he by no means lived as much as expectations.
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After the draft, he returned to Sweden the place he bounced round from league to league, however most of his time was spent in Frolunda of the SHL.
The closest Collberg ever got here to enjoying for the Canadiens was in April of 2013 when he joined the Hamilton Bulldogs for a two-game stint on the finish of their season.
2012 Draft Eligible Sebastian Collberg of Workforce Sweden sports activities his Gold Medal (Chris Ralph/THW)
In 2014, Collberg was the primary piece in a commerce that introduced Thomas Vanek to the Habs from the New York Islanders. That deal was one in all Bergevin’s finest, as Vanek turned out to be one of many Canadiens’ finest gamers of their 2014 journey to the Japanese Convention Ultimate.
Following the commerce to the Islanders, he performed two seasons for Bridgeport Sound of the AHL together with a seven-game stint in Stockton of the ECHL, and by no means cracked the Islanders lineup.
In 2016, the previous Canadiens’ second-round decide returned to Sweden the place he has performed for the final three seasons.
Within the upcoming season, Collberg is scheduled to play in Austria for Graz of the EBEL.
The 2013 NHL Entry Draft was highlighted by Nathan MacKinnon and Seth Jones, however the draft, as an entire, was loaded with high quality gamers who’ve turned out to be a few of the recreation’s largest stars.
Sadly, the Habs selected Michael McCarron from the USNTDP with the 18th general decide and the remaining is historical past.
McCarron is a 6-foot-6 energy ahead who hails from Grosse Pointe, Michigan and has an older brother, John, who was drafted in 2012 by the Edmonton Oilers within the sixth spherical.
Mike McCarron with the USNTDP. [photo: Tom Sorensen]
After being drafted by the Canadiens, Michael, not like his brother John who attended Cornell College, opted to play Main Junior for the London Knights of the OHL moderately than play within the NCAA.
The towering ahead performed two seasons within the OHL. In 2015, he was traded from London to Oshawa, the place he received the Memorial Cup.
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Within the subsequent season, McCarron performed 20 video games for the Canadiens, tallying solely two factors.
Since being drafted in 2013, he has but to solidify himself on the Canadiens’ roster, nor has he proven any potential to be a participant that the crew can depend on sooner or later.
Michael McCarron was drafted 25th general in 2013. (Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports activities)
In 70 profession video games, the previous first-round decide has solely two targets and 6 assists, together with 110 penalty minutes.
Nikita Scherbak was drafted 26th general by the Canadiens in 2014.
The dynamic winger from Russia was supposed to suit the function of a top-six ahead who may produce offensively and be a menace on the facility play.
Earlier than coming to the Canadiens group, Scherbak performed two seasons within the WHL with Saskatoon and Everett, the place he confirmed super offensive potential, averaging over some extent per recreation in every season.
Scherbak made the bounce to the professionals in 2015 when he performed 48 video games for St-John’s of the AHL. The next yr he noticed some recreation time with the Canadiens however spent the vast majority of the yr within the minors.
Nikita Scherbak of the Montreal Canadiens skates in opposition to the New Jersey Devils on the Prudential Middle on March 6, 2018. (Photograph by Bruce Bennett/Getty Photographs)
The Scherbak experiment ended this previous season when the Habs positioned the younger ahead on waivers, the place he was picked up by the Los Angeles Kings.
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He performed solely eight video games for the Kings and was positioned on waivers a bit over a month after becoming a member of the crew. After that, the 23-year-old from Moscow was assigned to the Ontario Reign of the AHL, the place he completed off his season.
Scherbak’s profession is certainly not over, however time is shortly working out for the previous Canadiens hopeful.
Hope For The Future
Though the Montreal Canadiens have made a variety of poor choices in recent times with their draft picks there’s nonetheless hope for the crew within the close to future.
Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)
As I’ve talked about earlier than, the crew has made some nice selections in recent times as properly. All there’s to do now could be wait till the 2019 NHL Entry Draft in Vancouver to see if the Habs are going to push their legacy farther, or add to the checklist of draft busts.