To the surprise of no one – least of all 12,700 noisy fans at the Bell Centre – the Canadiens take homeboy Louis Leblanc with the 18th pick of the draft’s opening round.
He’s off to Harvard this fall, but Leblanc projects as a heady, two-way forward in the NHL.
Bob Gainey described Leblanc as “intelligent, very competitive, with good skills and the opportunity to get better and get bigger.”
Trevor Timmins says Leblanc “participates in all aspects of the game, offensively and defensively … he gets his nose dirty in the corners and he’s a natural scorer.”
Four Quebecers were selected in the draft’s opening round: Leblanc, Jordan Caron by Boston, Philippe Paradis by Carolina and the last pick of the round, Simon Despres by the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins.
The draft’s second round begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday. The Canadiens have no second-round selections.