Canadiens Montréal News, Rumors, Injuries & Recruiting
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Habs Eyes On The Prize: The Montreal Canadiens may be changing the way we think about the draft before our eyes
There's no worse feeling than thinking you've prepared for the draft more than any other year, waiting for the team you cover to make their picks and constantly saying to yourself, 'Who?'
But that's what it was like for me watching the Montreal Canadiens on the second day, and I'm sure it was like that for many fans as well. The instinct is to sit back and think that the scouting staff is the one in the wrong. But after some reflection, I think it's the people on the outside who are wrong. And we may have to change our way of thinking, not demand the Canadiens do the same.
Fansided: Montreal Canadiens Need To Make A Patrick Marleau Type Trade
The Montreal Canadiens are in the catbird seat when it comes to salary cap space. They have almost everyone signed from their team last season and over $10 million to spend this offseason. They could dip into free agency, or they could bail out a rival team, at a steep price of course.
The Canadiens do have a need on left defence. There are not many options in free agency to fill that need aside from Jake Gardiner. The American defenceman is a left shooting, smooth skating, puck moving option, but will come at a huge price.
Fansided: Montreal Canadiens add to the defence drafting Jayden Struble
It took some time for the Montreal Canadiens to name a player in round two after taking Cole Caufield, but they made it by taking Jayden Struble with 46th overall.
Struble answers the Habs need in trying to find more left-shooting help on the blue line and is coming out of high school spending the last two years at St. Sebastian. What makes him an attractive option for Montreal to add to the cupboars is his offensive ability.
The points speak for itself putting up 40 points in 30 games last year and improving that to 40 points in 28 games this past season.
Habs Eyes On The Prize: Getting to know 46th overall pick Jayden Struble
The Montreal Canadiens love to draft athletic prospects, and Jayden Struble fits the profile. He is one of the better skating defenceman in the entire draft: agile as he quickly switches between edges skating up and down the ice and quick off the mark to pinch in the offensive zone. Struble can also pick up speed and rush the puck up. He makes good use of crossovers as he switches direction to slides through the defence.
Birthplace: Cumberland, Rhode Island, USA
Date of birth: April 9, 2001
Weight: 194 lbs.
Fansided: Montreal Canadiens select Gianni Fairbrother from the Silvertips
For the third time in a row, the Montreal Canadiens went back to the blue line. After plucking a player from the United States and Sweden, Marc Bergevin and Trevor Timmins chose to go to Canada drafting Gianni Fairbrother from the WHL's Everett Silvertips.
Fairbrother matches the mould the Habs have been going for so far. He's 6'0'', not the tallest but still with room to grow, and is touted as being a really good skater on the back end. It's starting to seem like the trend from last year's draft is continuing as well. The Montreal Canadiens are looking to add players with mobility, offensive awareness, and offensive skill and Fairbrother is another example of that.
Habs Eyes On The Prize: Getting to know 77th overall pick Gianni Fairbrother
The Montreal Canadiens have taken their third defenceman of the 2019 NHL Draft in Gianni Fairbrother. Fairbrother is a smooth skating defenceman who was selected in front of his hometown faithful, as the North Vancouver native didn't have to travel too far for the draft.
Birthplace: North Vancouver, BC, Canada
Date of birth: September 30, 2000
Weight: 194 lbs.
Team: Everett Silvertips
Fairbrother plays for the Everett Silvertips in the WHL where he finished his third full season.
Fansided: Jacob Leguerrier is the latest defenceman to join the Montreal Canadiens
At this point, Montreal Canadiens fans should assume that every pick from this point forward will be a defenceman. After taking Gianni Fairbrother from the Everett Silvertips, the Habs went to the Ontario Hockey League selecting Jacob Leguerrier for their first fifth-round pick at 126th overall.
Leguerrier is by far the biggest player the Habs have selected this weekend standing at 6'3'' and 198 pounds. Additionally, he shoots right whereas the other defenceman Montreal has taken so far have all shot left.
The 18-year-old has spent the last three years playing for the Sault. Ste.
Fansided: Rhett Pitlick is the first forward for the Montreal Canadiens on day 2 of the draft
There goes the defensive streak for the Montreal Canadiens on Day Two of the 2019 NHL Draft. The Montreal Canadiens continued early on in the fifth round but finally decided it's time go for some offence (or at the very least, their pick was the best player available at the time). The latest name to join the organization is Minnesota's own Rhett Pitlick.
Pitlick is a small statured left-winger who spent the majority of the 2018-19 season playing through school. He played in 25 games at Chaska High scoring 28 goals and 33 assists for a total of 61 points as well as 33 games for Team Southwest of the Upper Midwest HS Elite Hockey League where he was at a point-per-game with 13 goals and 18 assists in 31 games.
Fansided: The reduced salary cap ceiling helps the Montreal Canadiens
Well, it's better late then never right? NHL insiders have been teasing the release of the salary cap ceiling, and the hockey world finally got its answer. The Montreal Canadiens, as well as the other 30 teams in the NHL, will have up to $81.5 million to work with while the floor is $60.2 million.
It's only a $2 million salary cap increase from last year's $79.5 million. In many cases, an increase is an increase, but NHL teams are concerned of how little the increase was. Some were reporting the salary cap could go up to as high as $83 million giving teams who are right up against the ceiling some more room to work with.
Fansided: The Montreal Canadiens don't forget about goaltending adding Frederik Nissen Dichow
This is going to be a fun name to say down the line. The Montreal Canadiens haven't selected a goaltender in the draft since 2017 with the number of names they have in their system. Carey Price is obviously at the top of the castle followed by Charlie Lindgren, Cayden Primeau, Michael McNiven, and Connor Lacouvee. But you can never have enough depth and that's why the Habs went with goaltender Frederik Nissen Dichow.
Goalies are magic beans and you never know what they can bring to the table down the line. Take Primeau for example who looks like an absolute stud despite being taken in the seventh round.
Fansided: Montreal Canadiens Make Unique Choices Late In NHL Draft
The Montreal Canadiens started out the 2019 NHL Draft by grabbing an excellent goal scorer in Cole Caufield. He will help them provide offence, especially on the power play in the near future. For now, he will go light up the NCAA for Wisconsin.
After taking Caufield, the Canadiens decided to fill an organizational need. They used their second round and both their third round picks to bring in left shooting defensemen. This is an area that the team could use help with immediately, but also needed to stock the cupboards with a few as well.
Their second round pick was Jayden Struble.
Fansided: Another scoring threat joins the Montreal Canadiens in Arsen Khisamutdinov
Frederik Nissen Dichow was a name for the Montreal Canadiens, but Arsen Khisamutdinov will be a fun name to say and a difficult one to place on the back of Habs sweater if he gets to that point.
The Habs only had one draft pick this round and chose to use it on a Russian forward. The last Russian Montreal selected in the draft was Alexander Romanov who was their first selection early on day two of the 2018 NHL Draft. It's at different ends of the event, but there is a lot to be excited for when looking at a player like Khisamutdinov.
Habs Eyes On The Prize: Getting to know 136th overall pick Rhett Pitlick
Rhett Pitlick is a dominant skater. Once again, a characteristic shared by many of the Canadiens' picks this draft. He carves his way up and down the ice with crossovers, looking for an opening to get in the offensive zone. However, it's not enough to be a great skater to play in the modern NHL -- you also have to be a quick thinker. Fortunately for the Habs, that is one of Pitlick's strengths. His ability to find outlets under pressure is exceptional.
Pitlick isn't one of those high-school players who thrived on slowing the game down and abusing the space.
Fansided: Montreal Canadiens move up in the draft to take Rafael Harvey-Pinard
206 was meant to be the final draw for the Montreal Canadiens but it looks as if they had one more player they wanted to add making a deal with the Philadelphia Flyers giving up a 2020 seventh-rounder in the process. It would be odd if the Habs went a whole draft without diving into the QMJHL at least once, and they did that taking Rafael Harvey-Pinard 201st overall.
Harvey-Pinard is an overage player who finished his third full major junior season as captain of the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies. The Habs likely got a glimpse or two of him while tracking Samuel Harvey and Joel Teasdale in the playoffs.