Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Early favourites for the Canadiens' 26th pick in the First Round of the 2015 NHL Draft.

As the Canadiens are eliminated and spring turns into early summer, a youngish man's fancy turns to the NHL Draft.

Some thoughts:

1)  Numerous comparisons of Sherbrooke Phénix defenceman Jérémy Roy to Kris Letang have me sold:  I want I want I want!

What's not to like?  Great mobility, hockey sense, offensive ability, decent size at 6'0" and 188 lbs, some say he might be the best defenceman in the draft.  Doesn't hurt at all that he's a local kid.

He plays with the same team as Daniel Audette, another of our prospects, so the Canadiens should have seen him play many times and have a great read on him, with input from the young centre and his dad Donald, some inside scoopage. Positive, negative or neutral, Trevor Timmins and his boys should have the info to make a decision.

Ranked 21st among North-American skaters, it will be tight to get him at #26, he should be in range but it’s going to be close. I just hope we don’t spend more picks to trade up and get him, let’s just sit and grab the best prospect when our time comes.  Let the draft come to us.

2)  Although I've been developing a bit of a man-crush, based on scouting reports and YouTube.  Here's a re-post from HockeyInsideOut:
I’ve now established my draft strategy: pick the best-available ‘Roy’.
In the first round, we move up to the teens and snag Jérémy Roy, the second-coming of Kris Letang.
In the third round, we move up and pick up Nicolas Roy, the second coming of Vincent Lecavalier.
Later, we pick up 6′ centre Tyler Soy, who got 63 points in 65 games, and Chaz Reddekopp, a 6’3″, 220 lbs defenceman, both from the Victoria Royals.
Or Roy Radke, a 6’2″, 200 lbs winger from the Barrie Colts.
Even Troy Terry, a shifty forward from the USNDTP.
As a late-round flier, I have my eye on a 6’2″ Norwegian defenceman, Andreas Roykas Marthinsen out of the Djurgarden Jr. club.
Goaltending depth is always a concern, so maybe acquire one of the Frontenacs’ goalie prospects, 6’3″ Jeremy Helvig, or 6’2″ Lucas Peressini as undrafted free agents, you can’t go wrong with a goalie out of Kingston.
Scour the ECHL’s Reading Royals roster for a couple of minor league UFA’s who might benefit from the Sylvain Lefebvre method in St-John's, and we’re loaded for bear. Maybe Ryan Regent would do the trick, a big tough winger with a responsible two-way game, or Joe Reykamp, the St. Cloud State alumnus.
That is all.

3)  I’m dreaming that a trade of Tom Gilbert could land us a second-rounder, but a third is probably more realistic. Players like Gabriel Gagné and Nicolas Roy are some that I have in my shopping cart, but that’s based on seeing them play once or twice on TVA Sports.

4)  I read some really good things on Jérémy Lauzon, he’s ranked 42nd among North-American skaters, they describe him as an excellent prospect defenceman, with less rep than the LHJMQ d-men expected to go in the first round, but pretty much as good as they are.

5)  Okay, okay, I admit I may be hoping against hope in terms of Jérémy Roy, taking heart of rankings and mock drafts that show him falling below #25, and ignoring those where he doesn’t.

If he's gone by the time we speak, we could consider, even after trading down, taking Oliver Kylington, a prospect who was highly-touted early this season but has faded down the stretch.  He fell from being considered the best European prospect to now standing at #6 in the Central Scouting final rankings.

I watched the game when he played with Farjestad against the AHL All-Star team, the same game that Magnus Nygren won the hardest shot contest.  I was very impressed at the time that a 16-year-old was playing a regular shift with a SHL team, he seemed pretty good.

The reports I’m reading try to explain why it is that he’s been falling in the rankings. Is it simply the ‘Dan Marino effect’, a kid who’s been exhaustively scouted for so long that you start looking for warts, or is it a real drop in performance, I don’t know.

I guess I’d be happy if he fell in our laps. I’d trust Trevor Timmins’ team to make the right decision on this one.

6)  Some bigger forwards from the LHJMQ who I wouldn't mind in the late rounds are Jordan Ty Fournier of the Victoriaville Tigres, and Jean-Christophe Beaudin of Val-D'or.  I saw both of them play on TV, weren't bad.

7) I don't think we're in range for Anthony Beauvillier.  I love him as a player, saw him and the Cataractes quite a few times on TVA Sports, but he's ranked as the 38th North-American prospect by Central Scouting.  Even optimistically, he's probably a mid-second rounder, and we have a low first and then only a late third.

Which is fine, if he's ranked by the Canadiens as the best-available prospect by the time our turn comes at #26, never mind the Central Scouting opinion, but I doubt that'll be the case.  There are so many great prospects in what is apparently a deep draft, I think there will be some that have greater value at that point, not only in absolute terms, but also in terms of organizational philosophy, and organizational need.

Like for example, if a huge scoring left winger like Paul Bittner is available by the time we speak, can you overlook that, and take a chance on the smallish local product?

If we had more picks, a couple in the second round, a way to wheel and deal, I'd love it if we could snap him up, but things won't line up for that to happen I don't think.

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