Interestingly enough, this will mark the first time the Montreal Canadiens are choosing as late as 26th in the first round of the NHL Entry Draft. It’s also the latest they’re picking in general since 2008, when they traded away their first selection to the Calgary Flames for Alex Tanguay and ended up taking Danny Kristo 56th overall in the second.
While the Flames effectively wasted that 25th-overall pick on forward Greg Nemisz (just as the Habs did their 56th) in what has turned out to be just an average draft class, Habs fans will be pleased to know that quality Buffalo Sabres forward Tyler Ennis was taken at No. 26.
Between then and Kristo’s selection, Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson was also taken. Los Angeles Kings, Edmonton Oilers and New York Islanders defensemen Vyacheslav Voynov, Justin Schultz and Travis Hamonic were also available. Perhaps most impressively, so was New York Rangers forward Derek Stepan.
So, while this year’s draft is considered pretty shallow in terms of the talent available, there’s still a chance the Habs can hit a home run late in the first round. Here are the five best fits for the Habs who could realistically still be available come their first selection.