Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
Earliest NHL ETA: 2017-18
With their second pick in the fifth round, the Canadiens selected Daniel Audette, son of former NHLer Donald Audette.
Audette was selected 147th overall, which, coincidentally, happens to be the exact pick that Brendan Gallagher was taken at. Audette's birthday is May 6, which also happens to be Gallagher's birthday. And they happen to play a very similar game, both being small, skilled forwards.
That's a lot of coincidences, as pointed out by Matt Drake at Habs Eyes on the Prize. And if Audette can have anywhere near the success that Gallagher is having early in his career, Bergevin will have found yet another late-draft gem.
If Gallagher has taught us anything, it's that you don't necessarily need to be huge to succeed in the NHL. A strong work ethic and a willingness to do whatever it takes will take you a long way.
Scouts tend to agree that Audette has the offensive skill to make it to the NHL. Elite Prospects calls him "a speedy scorer with plenty of offensive upside," while Dan Marr, director of NHL Central Scouting, says "he's a skilled offensive player" with "a very good shot."
But to make it to the NHL at just 5'8", 177 pounds, Audette will have to overcome the challenges that come with being a small forward. He'll need to develop a similar work ethic to that of Gallagher.
Next season, Audette will head back to Sherbrooke of the QMJHL, where he put up 76 points in 68 games last year. After that, he will probably need some AHL seasoning before getting the chance to debut in Montreal.
The 2017-18 season seems like the earliest we'd see him in the red, white and blue.