To listen to what Trevor Timmins, the Canadiens’ director of amateur scouting, had to say to the media Thursday afternoon in Philadelphia, click here:
Who will the Canadiens take with their first-round draft pick?
That’s the question Habs fans are asking ahead of Friday night’s NHL Draft in Philadelphia (7 p.m., TSN, RDS) with the Canadiens holding the 26th overall pick.
Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin told reporters in Philadelphia Thursday that he might make a trade to move up in the first round, he might move down or he might stay at No. 26.
“If teams want to talk, we’ll listen,” Bergevin said, adding that he expects things to heat up on Friday.
Bergevin and Trevor Timmins, the team’s director of scouting, both said that the Canadiens will continue to draft the best player available, regardless of position.
Bergevin confirmed that Thomas Vanek, George Parros and Douglas Murray won’t be back next season, but he hasn’t ruled out bringing back captain Brian Gionta, Mike Weaver or Francis Bouillon. Bergevin met with P.K. Subban’s agent, Don Meehan, on Thursday to talk about a new deal for the restricted free agent.
One possible pick at No. 26 for the Canadiens is Brendan Lemieux (photo above), the son of former Canadien Claude Lemieux. The 6-foot-206-pound forward plays for the Barrie Colts in the Ontario Hockey League and is ranked No. 28 among North American skaters by NHL’s Central Scouting.
Lemieux scored 27 goals and added 26 assists for 53 points in 65 regular-season games this past season with the Colts and had a team-leading 145 penalty minutes. In 11 playoff games, he had 7-3-10 totals.
The Gazette’s Brenda Branswell spoke with Dan Marr, the NHL’s director of Central Scouting, to get his take on some of the players who might be available if the Canadiens keep the No. 26 pick.
Here’s what Marr said about Lemieux: “He can be an agitator and get under your skin, but he likes to let the other players take the penalty. He’s good at drawing penalties. But the way he plays the game, he gets into a position where he does have to defend himself. He does play with the same grit, the same passion where he does get involved and take penalties.”
Marr added that the one thing that stands out as very similar to his father is Brendan’s skating stride.
After their first round pick, the Canadiens will pick 87th overall (third round), 117th (fourth round), 125th (fifth round), 147th (fifth round), 177th (sixth round) and 207th (seventh round).
(Photo by Jeff McIntos/The Canadian Press)