Marc Bergevin made what looks like a great selection with his first draft pick as general manager of the Canadiens, selecting Alex Galchenyuk No. 3 overall last year (photo above). Galchenyuk made the club as an 18-year old, playing in all 48 games and posting 9-18-27 totals along with a plus-14.
Bergevin’s job will be tougher this year, since the Canadiens – unless they make a deal – won’t have a pick until No. 25 overall.
The Canadiens have had some first-round busts in the draft over the years. Here’s a look at five of them:
8th overall, 1995, from Tri-City Americans
8 NHL games, 0 goals, 0 assists
Higher picks: Bryan Berard, 1st, Wade Redden, 2nd.
Lower picks: Radek Dvorak, 10th, Jarome Iginla, 11th.
Ryan scored 98 goals in three years with the Tri-City Americans, including 50 in 1994-95, but is a living example of how big the jump from junior hockey to the NHL can be. When a No. 8 overall pick plays only eight games in the NHL and doesn’t register a single point, that’s a big bust. Imagine if the Habs had selected Iginla instead.
11th overall, 1997, from Erie Otters
336 NHL games, 36 goals, 45 assists
Higher picks: Joe Thornton, 1st, Roberto Luongo, 4th
Lower picks: Marian Hossa, 12th, Brenden Morrow, 25th
The rugged forward was a first-round OHL pick and a two-time member of Canada’s national junior team, but he was never able to carry that style of game into the NHL. He had some success in the AHL, but his best NHL season was in 2005-06 with the Rangers when he posted 10-18-28 totals.
16th overall, 1998, from Quebec Remparts
90 NHL games, 11 goals, 11 assists
Higher picks: Vincent Lecavalier, 1st, Alex Tanguay, 12th.
Lower picks: Simon Gagne, 22nd, Scott Gomez, 27th.
The Habs were hoping Chouinard would be a chip off the block of his father, Guy, a 50-goal scorer with the Atlanta Flames in the NHL. Eric scored 50 goals in his final season of junior hockey but never scored more than 4 goals in an NHL season.
18th overall, 1994, from North Bay Centennials
330 NHL games, 2 goals, 27 assists
Higher picks: Ed Jovanovski, 1st, Ryan Smith, 6th
Lower picks: Jason Botterill, 20th, Dan Cloutier, 26th
Brown had 32 points and 196 penalty minutes and led the Centennials to the OHL championship the year the Habs drafted him. That combination of offence and toughness didn’t bring the same success at the NHL level, but he did have 747 career PIM in 330 NHL games.
20th overall, 1992, from Kamloops Blazers
167 NHL games, 10 goals, 26 assists
Higher picks: Roman Hamrlik, 1st, Alexei Yashin, 2nd
Lower picks: Grant Marshall, 23rd, Peter Ferraro, 24th.
The big defenceman was part of Team USA at the 1993 and 1994 world junior championships and had 40 points and 153 PIM the season before the Habs drafted him. His best NHL season came with the Habs in 1996-97 when he posted 6-9-15 totals.
Montreal has six picks in the first three rounds this year, more than any team, including three in the second round. The Canadiens will pick at No. 25, 34, 36, 55, 71 and 86.
The Canadiens have had success in the second round of the draft in the past. P.K. Subban, who won the Norris Trophy this season, was selected in the second round in 2007 (43rd overall). Danny Kristo, who was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Trophy as the top player in U.S. college hockey this past season, was selected by the Canadiens in the second round of the 2008 draft (56th overall). Kristo posted 26-26-52 totals in 40 games with North Dakota University this past season.
Other players the Canadiens have selected in the second round of the draft over the years include Guillaume Latendresse (45th overall in 2005), Maxim Lapierre (61st in 2003), Mike Ribeiro (45th in 1998) and Jose Theodore (44th in 1994).
(Photo by Keith Srakocic/The Associated Press)