Montreal Canadiens 2012 Draft Picks Review: Grade A

Dalton Thrower was a 2nd round steal by the Canadiens
Dalton Thrower was a 2nd round steal by the Canadiens (Saskatoon Blades of WHL)

There was much anticipation before Marc Bergevin’s first NHL Entry Draft.   Montreal’s new general manager and fans were eager to see what the team would do this weekend.  Trevor Timmins’ scouting staff evidently did their homework as the Canadiens made several great selections, including Alex Galchenyuk, who, unless he turns into the second coming of Terry Ryan, will be a talented NHL player for years to come.

Here are the players selected by your Montreal Canadiens and their projected rankings.

3rd Overall, C – Alex Galchenyuk

Team: Sarnia Sting-OHL

Date of birth: February 12th, 1994

Ht: 6-1 Wt: 185

The Hockey Writers’ Scouting Report:

Rankings: THW – 4th overall

Central Scouting Ranking – 4 (NA Skaters)

The Canadiens targeted Galchenyuk from the beginning and were very happy to grab him with their first selection. Galchenyuk played only two regular-season games and six playoff games for the Sarnia Sting after suffering a knee injury in a preseason game, but the American had a very good rookie season, scoring 83 point in only 68 games during his rookie season playing alongside Nail Yakupov. The talented pivot might crack the Canadiens’ line-up in 2012, but it is safe to assume that he will need at least one more junior year before making his mark at the NHL level.

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33rd Overall, RW – Sebastian Collberg

Team: Frolunda, Sweden

Date of birth: February 23rd, 1994

Ht: 5-11 Wt: 175

The Hockey Writers’ Scouting Report:

Rankings: THW – 10th overall

Central Scouting Ranking – 3 (European Skaters)

With their second selection, the Canadiens were glad to find that Collberg was still available in the second round. Most experts were expecting he would go in the middle of the first round, but just like fellow Swede Filip Forbserg, Collberg fell down a few ranks. Collberg has one more season remaining on his contract in Sweden, so his transition to Montreal or Hamilton will have to wait until 2013.

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51st Overall, D – Dalton Thrower

Team: Saskatoon Blades, WHL

Date of birth: December 20, 1993

Ht: 6-0 Wt: 190

The Hockey Writers’ Scouting Report:

Rankings: THW – 16th overall

Central Scouting Ranking – 26 (NA Skaters)

A two-way defender, Thrower is a rugged defenseman who can chip in offensively as shown by his 54 points and 103 PIMs in 66 games with the Blade this season. The Canadiens were pleasantly surprised to see him available so late in the draft as some draft pundits had Thrower go in the first round! Thrower proved that a name can be destiny.  Thanks to his ability to throw punches, he has nine fights on the books for this season.   His willingness to get physical is a  quality the Habs are severely lacking on defense these days with soft rearguards such as Andrei Markov, Tomas Kaberle and Yannick Weber.

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64th Overall, LW – Timothy Bozon

Team: Kamloops Blazers, WHL

Date of birth: March 24, 1994

Ht: 6-1 Wt: 180

The Hockey Writers’ Scouting Report:

Rankings: THW – 23rd overall

Central Scouting Ranking – 42 (NA Skaters)

The son of former St. Louis Blues forward Philippe Bozon is blessed with offensive skills, racking up 71 points in 71 games with the Blazers. He is a natural goal scorer with an excellent wrist shot and a quick, deceptive release. Bozon, who grew up in France and Switzerland, also speaks French and German, which is an an added value in a bilingual market like Montreal.

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94th Overall, C – Brady Vail

Team: Windsor Spitfires, OHL

Date of birth: March 11, 1994

Ht: 6-1 Wt: 190

The Hockey Writers’ Scouting Report:

Rankings: THW – 60th overall

Central Scouting Ranking – 38 (NA Skaters)

A very good two-way centre, Vail can also produce offensively as shown by his 22 goals and 52 points in 68 games with Windsor in his sophomore campaign. Vail may never be a top-line player, but he could turn into a very good third-line pivot, similar to Chris Kelly of the Boston Bruins.

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122th Overall, LW – Charles Hudon

Team: Chicoutimi Saguenéens, QMJHL

Date of birth: June 23rd, 1994

Ht: 5-10 Wt: 170

The Hockey Writers’ Scouting Report:

Rankings: THW – 67th overall

Central Scouting Ranking – 95 (NA Skaters)

The first Quebecois drafted by the Canadiens, Hudon is a shifty winger blessed with great hands. Hudon, who turned 18 yesterday, is a long-term project with some upside much like David Desharnais was when the Canadiens signed him as a free agent. The diminutive winger scored 66 points in 59 games for the surprising Sags this season.

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154th Overall, LW – Erik Nystrom

Team: Modo Jr, Sweden

Date of birth: October 30th, 1993

Ht: 5-11 Wt: 175

The Hockey Writers’ Scouting Report: None

Rankings: THW – Not ranked in the top 120

Central Scouting Ranking – 85 (European Skaters)


Relatively unknown on this side of the Atlantic, Nystrom is described as a speedy, hardworking player with great vision. The Habs’s sixth round draft pick is a long-shot at making the NHL right now, so he will likely remain in the Swedish Elite League to continue his development for a few years.


Overall, Marc Bergevin and Trevor Timmins were pretty happy with their draft selections and I have to agree with them, as the Habs were able to draft solid players, especially when they selected Collberg, Thrower and Bozon in the middle rounds.

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