Montreal Canadiens

Montreal Canadiens 2014 NHL Draft Picks: Grades, Results and Analysis

Tom Urtz Jr.Contributor IJune 27, 2014

Montreal Canadiens 2014 NHL Draft Picks: Grades, Results and Analysis

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    Ryan Remiorz/Associated Press

    The Montreal Canadiens had an amazing season in which they made it all the way to the Eastern Conference Final. They were defeated by the New York Rangers, and they were hoping to help their team take the next step during this draft.

    The Habs have a ton of good pieces on their roster, and they hope they were able to add to it with some talented young players to support their youth movement.

    Here is in-depth analysis of the six players selected by the Montreal Canadiens in the 2014 NHL draft.

Round 1, Pick 26: Nikita Scherbak, Left Wing, Saskatoon Blades, (WHL)

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    The Montreal Canadiens selected Nikita Scherbak at No. 26 overall in the first round of the 2014 NHL draft.

    Bob McKenzie of TSN said that Scherbak is raw, but he has mad skills. The 6'1", 175 lb. winger got four out of five stars in every draft category from TSN, and he tallied 28 goals, 50 assists and 78 points in 65 games.

    He was the leader in rookie scoring by 21 points, and he has been compared to Jakub Voracek. Scherbak will fit in the Canadiens organization well, because they could use a patient scorer with a ton of potential and raw skill.

    He isn't going to make an impact right away, and he could top out as a second-line scorer a few years from now.

     

    Grade: B+

Round 3, Pick 26: Brett Lernout, Defenseman, Swift Current, (WHL)

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    Brett Lernout will have a chance to give the Montreal Canadiens the size and toughness they need so badly. Lernout is a hard-nosed defenseman who is not afraid to mix it up.

    This appears to be a pick that may have come with the rugged Boston Bruins in mind. Any player will have to think twice before mixing it up with the 6'4", 206-pound Lernout. 

    Lernout is already a big man, and he has the frame to add even more weight and strength. He scored eight goals and 14 assists while playing in all 72 games for Swift Current last season.

    B.J. McDonald of Central Scouting said Lernout has a physical presence to his game that makes him hard to play against. "He's a big kid, tough and nasty," McDonald said. "He just needs to keep his game simple and safe to be effective at this point. His puck movement is safe and adequate, and he's able to box out forwards well in front of his own goal."

    Grade: B+

     

    ---Update by Steve Silverman---

Round 5, Pick 125: Nikolas Koberstein, Defenseman, Olds (AJHL)

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    USA TODAY Sports

    In the fifth round, the Canadiens grabbed Barrhead, Alberta, native Nikolas Koberstein with the 125th overall pick.

    At 6'2", 180 pounds, Koberstein has the potential to grow in to a big defenseman if he adds some muscle.

    Last season, he led all defensemen on the Olds Grizzlies of the AJHL with 18 points in 51 games.

    His coaches at Olds praised his work ethic and maturity.

    He is committed to the University of Alaska-Fairbanks for next season and is several years away from turning pro.

    Grade B-

    --update by Brad Kurtzberg--

     

Round 5, Pick 147: Daniel Audette, Center, Sherbrooke (QMJHL)

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    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    The fifth round was the perfect time for the Canadiens to take a flier on a small but skilled forward like Daniel Audette.

    Audette's father, Donald, played in 735 NHL games for six NHL teams during his career and is currently a scout for the Habs.

    Yes, Audette only stands 5'9" and weighs 176 pounds, but he has great offensive hockey skills. Audette sees the ice very well and is able to make pinpoint passes while moving at full speed.

    As would be expected, his biggest weakness is being outmuscled for loose pucks. Defensively, he is a liability and had a plus/minus rating of minus-37 last season and minus-31 the year before that with Sherbrooke of the QMJHL.

    Offensively, Audette has been very productive. He scored 21 goals and 76 points in 68 games. No other player on his team had more than 44 points and that makes his 55 assists even more impressive.

    If he can learn to play better positional defense and add a little strength to his game, Audette can be a late-round steal.

    Grade: B+

    --update by Brad Kurtzberg--

Round 6, Pick 177: Hayden Hawkey, Goalie, Omaha (USHL)

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    The Habs grabbed goalie Hayden Hawkey with the 177th pick in this year's draft.

    Hawkey went undrafted last year, but a strong season for the Omaha Lancers of the USHL raised his stock before the 2014 draft.

    Hawkey's numbers stand out. He finished the 2013-14 season with a 1.99 GAA and an impressive .926 save percentage. For his efforts, he was named the USHL's goalie of the year.

    It's always difficult to project how goalies will do at the next level, but Hawkey has some real potential. He rarely gives up juicy rebounds and has very quick lateral movement that allows him to go post-to-post in a hurry.

    At 6'1" and 180 pounds, Hawkey has good. but not great size. He should put on a few more pounds as he matures and works out.

    Hawkey will play for Providence College next season.

    It's tough to figure out teenaged goalies, but Hawkey is a worthwhile sixth-round pick.

    Grade: B

    --update by Brad Kurtzberg--

Round 7, Pick 207: Jake Evans, C/RW, St. Michaels (OJHL)

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    Harry How/Getty Images

    The Canadiens used the 207th selection in the NHL draft to pick Jake Evans, a forward who spent last season with the St. Michael's Buzzers of the OJHL.

    Last season, Evans scored 16 goals and 63 points in 49 games for St. Michaels. He is a good passer and skater although he needs to improve his burst and quickness.

    At 6'0" and 172 pounds, Evans needs to bulk up to compete against men over an 82-game schedule.

    He will spend next season at Notre Dame so he is several years away from turning pro.

    With his hockey sense and passing ability, he is a good pick for the seventh round.

    Grade: B

    --updated by Brad Kurtzberg--

     

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