The Canadiens, who didn’t have a second-round pick, later made a trade to move up in the third round, dealing picks No. 87 and 117 to the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for pick No. 73. With the No. 73 pick, the Canadiens selected defenceman Brett Lernout from the Swift Current Broncos. The Canadiens dealt their second-round pick to the New York Islanders in the Thomas Vanek trade.
Lernout, a Winnipeg native who is listed at 6-foot-4 and 206 pounds, was ranked No. 52 among North American skaters by Central Scouting. In 72 games this past season with the Broncos, Lernout posted 8-14-22 totals, was plus-7 and had 103 penalty minutes.
Lernout didn’t think he’d be selected high in the draft, so he didn’t make the trip to Philadelphia, instead spending time with his family in Winnipeg.
“I was happy that they thought so much of me that they gave up two picks,” Lernout told The Gazette’s Pat Hickey over the phone. “I think they’re going to need physical defencemen in the future and that’s my game.”
Said Trevor Timmins, the Canadiens’ director of amateur scouting: “He’s a tough kid and we moved up in the draft because we wanted him and we thought there were some other teams that might have grabbed him if we didn’t make that move.”
With their next pick, in the fifth round (125th overall), the Canadiens selected defenceman Nikolas Koberstein from from the Old Grizzlys in the Alberta Junior Hockey League. In 51 games last season, the 6-foot-2, 180-pounder from Barrhead, Alta., posted 5-13-18 totals and had 153 penalty minutes. He was ranked No. 205 among North American skaters by Central Scouting.
With their second pick in the fifth round (147th overall) the Canadiens picked Daniel Audette of the QMJHL’s Sherbrooke Phoenix. Audette (photo above) is the son of former Canadien Donald Audette. In 68 games last season with the Phoenix, the 5-foot-8, 177-pounder posted 21-55-76 totals with 79 penalty minutes and was minus-37. He was ranked No. 75 among North American skaters by Central scouting. Audette was the No. 1 overall pick at the 2012 QMJHL draft.
Donald Audette is an amateur scout for the Canadiens, but Timmins told reporters in Philadelphia that there was no element of nepotism in the pick.
“Whenever we discussed Daniel in our meetings, we asked Donald to leave the room,” Timmins said. “And when the draft started, he wasn’t at the table, he was up in the stands with his son. We felt they should be together.”
Timmins added: “I said before the draft that we weren’t going to ignore a skilled player just because he’s small and Daniel falls into that category.”
In the sixth round (177th overall), the Canadiens selected goalie Hayden Hawkey of the USHL’s Omaha Lancers. Hawkey was named the USHL’s top goalie last season after posting a 22-6-3 record with a 1.99 goals-against average and .926 save percentage.
In the seventh round (207th overall), the Canadiens took forward Jake Evans, who plays for St. Michaels in the OJHL, with their final pick of the draft. In 49 games last season, the 6-foot, 172-pounder posted 16-47-63 totals with 79 penalty minutes. He was ranked No. 106 among North American skaters by Central Scouting.
On Friday, the Canadiens selected Russian left-winger Nikita Scherbak of the Saskatoon Blades with the No. 26 overall pick in the first round. Listed at 6-foot and 172 pounds by Central Scouting, Scherbak led all Western Hockey League rookies in scoring last season with 28-50-78 totals in 65 games. He was ranked No. 15 among North American skaters by Central Scouting.
You can the complete list of draft picks from all seven rounds by clicking here.
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)