With the 26th pick of the draft’s first round Friday night, the Canadiens drafted defenceman Noah Juulsen of the Western Hockey League’s Everett Silvertips.
Juulsen, who turned 18 in April, had nine goals and 43 assists in 68 games last season. The native of Abbotsford, B.C., is 6’2″ and weighs 181.
Juulsen is an Everett teammate of Nikita Scherbak, the Canadiens’ top pick a year ago.
The Canadiens don’t have another pick until the third round, 87th overall.
A solid two-way defender, Noah Juulsen is able to force plays and always find ways to support his teammates. Juulsen is a smooth, yet not dynamic skater, and is mobile when he needs to be. Plays with a chip on his shoulder, and isn’t afraid to take the hit to make the play. Sees the ice well and has the individual skills to carry out the possibilities he sees. Very poised with the puck; calm and controls the play with authority. Has good hands. Without the puck and in high-pressure situations, Juulsen tends to overthink things and can try to do a little too much; that will go away with time and maturity. All-in-all, an impactful presence on the ice that strives to be difficult to play against; given how hard he works and how smart he is with the puck, he can be a very difficult player to read with and without the puck.
TSN’s Craig Button’s take on Juulsen: Noah is a strong competitor who wants to make a difference in the defensive and offensive zones. He is good with the puck and with improvement in his agility and quickness, his game will become that much stronger. He has a good feel for situations and makes solid plays. Not spectacular in any sense of the word but has that ‘can do, will do’ approach to winning.
Sportsnet’s scouting report on Juulsen: Fantastic skater with a big shot from the point. Able to play big minutes against top competition. Loves the physical game and when he fills out he’ll be scary back there. Comparable: Jack Johnson meets Brian Campbell
The HIO Commentariat – who had hoped the Canadiens would address their lack of offensive firepower – were underwhelmed by the pick.
Habcertain: Scoring goals is really overrated anyways, another big DMan, just what we need
Longtimehabsfan: Memo to MB: WE CAN’T SCORE!!
AH: The Habs are going to get # 25 , one defenseman at a time!! Screw scoring, who needs that.
Nickster13: Aww man, we needed a forward. D-men you can trade for or sign at Free agency when they actually get into their prime. You need to draft scorers because they hit their peak earlier. Not only that, we NEED scoring! I’m a bit disappointed.
But draft guru Mark Edwards likes the pick: Juulson is very solid. Mentioned him on @TSN690 #Montreal radio earlier tonight. No real weaknesses. Steady and smart. #Habs We had him #22
And The Hockey News draft issue quotes a scout who likes Juulsen: I like his competitiveness and I really like his puck skills. He moves well with the puck and is good on the power play. He really has a good shot.
Another scout compares Juulsen to Kevin Bieksa. That would be good.
Some video of Juulsen: