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  1. #1
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    2012 Entry Draft - Montreal Canadiens

    1. Alex Galchenyuk, C, Sarnia Sting, OHL

    Habs sit tight and take the all round centre prospect from the OHL with their top pick, #3 overall. Alex was neck and neck with his linemate Nail Yakupov to be the first overall pick of the draft prior to the season, when he was knocked out for six months with a torn ACL, surgery, and rehab. He did show up fit and strong at the Combine prior to the draft, and tested well in all events. The lost season hurts in his development, but the talent is still there and he should make up for lost time in the next couple of years. Solidly built at 6-1, 195 pounds, with great offensive skills as well as defensive sense. His point total as a 16 year old rookie in the OHL was comparable to former grads such as Taylor Hall, Tyler Seguin, John Tavares, Matt Duchene, Steve Stamkos, etc. All of those guys turned out pretty well. As a big, strong, two way centre capable of playing on the first line someday, he fits a long term need in Montreal.

    2. Sebastian Collberg, RW, Frolunda, Sweden.

    On the level of Galchenyuk in terms of offensive skill, but smaller, and without the same all round game yet. Sebastian might be the best pure scorer next to Yakupov to come out of this class, but he has to fill out a 5-11, 180 pound frame first, and learn to play a stronger two way game. To that end he spent the entire 2011-2012 season on the roster of the Frolunda SEL team, but played little and didn't manage to score a point. He got to practice with the senior team and use the workout facilities, however, both of which should speed his development. At the junior level Collberg was the most dangerous sniper for his country in international tournaments. Second leading scorer on Team Sweden at the WJC as a 17 year old, and the leading 17 year old point producer in the tournament.

    3. Dalton Thrower, D, Saskatoon Blades, WHL.

    In a draft filled with smaller, offensively skilled defense prospects, Thrower stood out for his physical style and willingness to drop the gloves. He is just 6-0 tall, and 200 pounds, but backs down from no one. At the same time he managed 54 points in 62 WHL games, similar totals to several top 10 drafted defensemen of similar proportion. His size at the time of the draft, and stats during his draft season, were nearly identical to current Hab star P.K. Subban for that matter. Subban was taken eight picks earlier in the 2007 draft.

    4. Tim Bozon, LW, Kamloops Blazers, WHL.

    It is no small feat for a 17 year old hockey player to come from the competition level of junior hockey in Switzerland and France, to excel in the tough WHL. Bozon managed that, scoring 36 goals and averaging a point per game to win top rookie honors in the Dub for the 2011-2012 season. As well as flashing his offensive prowess, Bozon stood up to the intimidation tactics as well. Bright kid with strong character who speaks French and English fluently as a bonus. Just needs to fill out a 6-1, 185 pound frame for a couple of years.

    5. Brady Vail, C, Windsor Spitfires, OHL.

    An American recruit into the OHL like Galchenyuk, the 6-1, 195 pound Vail is similar in many ways. A solidly built two way centreman, but without the same offensive skills. Also a strong character player with good leadership skills. Brady played mainly a defensive role for his team last season but still managed 52 points in 64 games. He has two years of eligibility remaining to see if he can improve his offensive output enough to play that two way role as a pro.

    6. Charles Hudon, RW, Chicoutimi Sagueneens, QMJHL

    The slender puck magician is a stereotypical Quebecois hockey prospect in many ways. Not a great skater, but terrific puck skills. Not very big, but with a strong competitive drive. A smaller, less dynamic version of second rounder Collberg in many ways. Charles will have to get stronger and add some weight, (and hopefully a bit of height) to a 5-10, 170 pound, frame. But you can't teach the scorer's touch.

    7. Erik Nystrom, LW, Modo Hockey, SEL.

    Yet another slightly undersized, but skilled, and very competitive forward. Spent half a season in the SEL as a 17/18 year old, but saw little action and managed just 2 points. Played well for the Swedish Nation U19 Team in a couple of tournaments and will compete for a spot with the U20 squad this summer. Approximately the same size as Collberg, but without quite the dynamic skill set. Figures to be more of an energy player at the pro level.
    Last edited by Alpha Dog; 06-29-2012 at 12:33 AM.

  2. #2
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    Habs fans are going to love Thrower. Being from Saskatoon the only season ticket for hockey I can get is the Blades. First round against Prince Albert last year, the Raiders tough guy (and league tough guy) challenged Thrower to a scrap. Thrower one-punch the guys chin and knocked him out (it was awesome). Even during the cherry-orr game Thrower took on a guy waay bigger than him because he rocked his buddy Sutter. Thrower held his own. Nobody even really wants to fight Thrower in the dub anymore, you can see them back down.

    Moving forward in the next 3-4 years a blueline of:

    Subban-Gorges
    Tinordi-Beaulieu
    Thrower-Dietz (who could be a forward with his skill)

    Would be awesome.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by JaysHabs View Post
    Habs fans are going to love Thrower. Being from Saskatoon the only season ticket for hockey I can get is the Blades. First round against Prince Albert last year, the Raiders tough guy (and league tough guy) challenged Thrower to a scrap. Thrower one-punch the guys chin and knocked him out (it was awesome). Even during the cherry-orr game Thrower took on a guy waay bigger than him because he rocked his buddy Sutter. Thrower held his own. Nobody even really wants to fight Thrower in the dub anymore, you can see them back down.

    Moving forward in the next 3-4 years a blueline of:

    Subban-Gorges
    Tinordi-Beaulieu
    Thrower-Dietz (who could be a forward with his skill)

    Would be awesome.
    Yeah, it's good to have a guy who can fight and still be on the ice when he isn't fighting. It's almost a lost art. Thrower gets compared to Kevin Bieksa a lot and I can see the resemblance. Seems to play a smart all round defensive game and doesn't put up with nonsense from the opponents. Good team player.

  4. #4
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    Draft seems very good overall, although when you're picking third in each round it should look good, I suppose. The wildcard is Galchenyuk, not being able to play in his draft year. There wasn't any strong reason to think he would have slipped, but it certainly has happened before, where highly rated 16 year olds slipped drastically by the time the draft rolled around. Also the question of whether his knee injury has hampered his skating. But it looks like there should be at least a couple of good players in the group, even if Galchenyuk is less than advertised.

  5. #5
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    Apparently Galchenyuk returned for the playoffs and dominated. Apparently his knee is battle tested. We'll see though, having torn had torn mine...

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    Quote Originally Posted by GMenFanSince90 View Post
    Apparently Galchenyuk returned for the playoffs and dominated. Apparently his knee is battle tested. We'll see though, having torn had torn mine...
    He didn't really dominate. Four points in six games and they were eliminated. But Yakupov didn't do much better. He tested well at the Combine. Top of the charts in the Wingate power max. The fact that it happened when he was 17 probably means he will heal a lot quicker and better than an older person.

  7. #7
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    There is a PDF at McKeens Hockey that shows all the draft eligible prospects in the CHL and their scoring over the course of the season. Bozon was second overall to Mikhail Grigorenko, which is pretty impressive. He also scored 20 goals, 20 assists, over his last 35 games. Tim could be in line for a big year next season. I think that Brandon Ranford who was the first line left winger will be gone from the Blazers.

    Charles Hudon finished fifth overall in scoring I think, but he was second or third until he got banged up late in the season and his production tailed way off. Dalton Thrower finished within a few points of being the top defensemen in scoring. I think he was second in goals despite missing a few games.

    Brady Vail was one of the top even strength scorers. He just had about half a dozen power play points. Bozon and Vail are really underrated in my opinion.

  8. #8
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    Awesome draft. Love what the new regime has been doing.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Nut Kruk View Post
    Awesome draft. Love what the new regime has been doing.
    Definitely the most skill they have drafted in a single draft that I can recall. They signed a few effort players without much skill in free agency to fill the gap. But, top to bottom, the 2012 draft was loaded with skill for the Habs. Probably 4 of the top 30 skill players available, in Galchenyuk, Collberg, Bozon and Hudon. Thrower, Vail, and Nystrom probably make the top 100 as well.

  10. #10
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    Just their top two picks at the WJC, although Charles Hudon had made the Canadian team prior to his injury. Tim Bozon would be a lock, if France were in the A pool. I'm sure he could help out Switzerland as well, but once you commit to a country's national program at a certain stage you can't change to another.

    But Galchenyuk and Collberg are representing the Habs well, to this point. Both lead their respective nations in scoring and both are in the top 10 overall at the WJC. Impressive considering they have another year of eligibility remaining.

  11. #11
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    Well, we have a year perspective on the draft class now, and the news is overwhelmingly positive.

    1. Galchenyuk - Made a huge leap in competitive level and did not look at all out of place. One of the top rookie performers in the league, and one of the top even strength scorers on the Canadiens. Solid two way play reflected in a strong +- rating, and he managed all that with the least ice time of any of the top rookie candidates in the league. Best post draft season of any Hab player ever, probably, and he seemed to get stronger as the year wore on.

    2. Collberg - Was more prominent in the SEL in his second season, although his offensive output remained low. Once again productive in international junior play, although not as dominant as you might hope. Should be an SEL regular in 2013, with continued physical maturity.

    3. Thrower - An off year for the fiesty rearguard, although he continued to be a physical force, and played solid defensively. Traded to his hometown Vancouver Giants in the WHL, and if he doesn't turn pro this year, should have a huge season there.

    4. Bozon - Really came through as a WHL sophomore, finishing in the top five in league scoring. Only setback was an injury which caused him to miss most of the team's playoff run. Likely will return to Kamloops for one last season, and should be a dominant performer in the league.

    5. Vail - Had another solid, but unremarkable season in the OHL. Showed well in a late season audition in the AHL. Has all the elements except offensive production. If he can supply that in his final junior season, the team may have a major steal on it's hands.

    6. Hudon - Took over as the go to guy for his junior team. Ran into some injury problems again, but made the roster of the Canadian National Junior team, and looked good in a late season AHL stint. A longer term project who has to mature physically, but flashes great skill.

    7. Nystrom - Seemed to slip in Sweden, and spent the season in juniors. Probably dropped off the radar.
    Last edited by Alpha Dog; 06-05-2013 at 02:19 PM.

  12. #12
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    Lets get some talk about this years draft up here

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