The NHL draft is less than a week away, and the Montreal Canadiens will be selecting 15th in the first round. With that being said, there are a many possibilities of players that the Habs could take in that position.
On the surface, it would seem that they will be selecting a defenseman next Friday. However, if a potential elite forward falls into the Habs lap they may wait until Saturday to grab their defensemen.
In this article I will focus on five prospects who I believe the Canadiens will select. This also won’t include trading up or down in the draft.
Cam York, D
The first prospect is Cam York. Last season, York played with top prospect in this year’s draft Jack Hughes on the US U18 National team. In total, the Anaheim Hills native put up 14 goals and 65 points in 63 games for the program.
Some experts have stated that his stats were inflated by playing alongside such great talents, like Hughes and other top prospect Cole Caulfield. York is determined to show that isn’t the case.
York is a two-way defenseman who is a very smooth skater and has great hockey sense. He reads the defensive and offensive zones very well. At only 5’11, he’s on the smaller side as a defenseman but with the league getting faster that won’t be a worry.
His passing skill, could potentially help him quarterback a Habs powerplay in the future. If available he would be a great pick for Marc Bergevin & Trevor Timmins to make.
Ville Heinola is another 5’11 left handed two-way defenseman. The Finnish native played in 34 games for Luuko of the Liiga, where he put up two goals and 14 points in 34 games. He also played nine games on their U20 team where he got a point per game.
Heinola has a smooth stride which allows him to bring up the puck pretty well. While, his stride may not be as great as York, his ability to quarterback a powerplay may be better. The reason for this is Heinola did this against grown men and played it very well.
Their defensive game is very similar as they both have great vision in that area. However, Heinola’s experience against men could play a part in pushing along his development. At the same time, having never played in North America, could mean he will need more adjustment time than York.
What would be a big reason to draft Heinola over York, is the connection he has to Habs forward Jesperi Kotkaniemi. The two players both trained in the Assat system playing for their three junior levels. This could help the Habs decide to choose him.
Thomas Harley, D
Thomas Harley is a much bigger defenseman than the first two standing at 6’3. He is also another left handed shot. This season with the Mississauga Steelheads, Harley scored 11 goals and 58 points in 68 games. Which are very
His strongest attribute is skating. He may rely on it a bit more than the previous two players. His game is dominated by his skating as it also helps him carry the puck out of harms way in the defensive zone. His skating is among one of the best in the whole draft.
Harley could be a great fit with a more stay at home defenseman like Shea Weber. He should project to be a good NHL defenseman. Harley’s skill and size could allow the Montreal Canadiens scouting staff to consider taking him ahead of smaller defenseman. Having both the skating and size is a great combination and Harley has it. He will just need to put it all together, he is a high reward-high risk at the same time.
Philip Tomasino would be a good choice if the Montreal Canadiens decide to go the forward route. He is a dynamic energy forward who has a good shot and would fit well with the team’s style of play.
He could potentially fit right in on the right side as winger or play as a centre, depending on what is needed of him.
This season with the Niagara Ice Dogs, Tomasino put up 34 goals and 72 points in 67 games. His points don’t jump off the board but the energy he brings make him a great pick that could be a steal for the Habs.
He is a little more unlikely than the defensemen mentioned but he is a realistic forward option at 15. We will see on Friday if the Habs goes for a forward instead.
Moritz Seider, D
Moritz Seider is a 6’4 right handed defenseman who has risen up the ranks quickly as of late. Which is why the Habs may decide to go with him as they did with Jesperi Kotkaniemi last year.
Seider is a two-way defenseman who can play both sides of the ice. He is less offensive than the other defensemen on this list but his hockey sense is what may make him be considered.
Seider has a decent skating ability and while only putting up six points in 29 DEL German league, he put up 13 points in 12 international games for Germany.
He has a great work ethic that would help him fit into the Canadiens lineup someday.
His best attribute according to scouts is his hockey sense that at times puts him steps ahead of his opponents. Which could be a good option for the Montreal Canadiens brass.
Arthur Kaliyev, RW
Ryan Suzuki, C