Olivier Archambault: Montreal Canadiens' 2011 NHL Draft Review

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Olivier Archambault: Montreal Canadiens' 2011 NHL Draft Review
Nick Laham/Getty Images
Montreal Canadiens selected Olivier Archambault (above) with their 108th overall pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft

Of all the names that Pierre Gauthier called out as a Montreal Canadiens draft pick this past weekend, only two of them were not blueliners and their first forward pick may have been the Canadiens' best value pick of the draft. 

The Canadiens picked the diminutive Le Gardeur, Quebec native, in the fourth round, 108th overall. It was a much longer wait for Archambault than when he was selected first overall in the 2009 QMJHL Entry Draft. Yes, Archambault was picked ahead of names like Huberdeau and many others.

Archambault tumbled 107 picks in two years as he did not fulfill high expectations with the Foreurs de Val D'or in the Q. In his first year, Archambault had 27 points in 54 games scoring only 12 goals.

While playing Midget AAA for College Esther Blondin in Quebec, Archambault put up 49 points in 45 games while helping Team Quebec with 10 points in seven games at the World Under-17 Hockey Championship.

The word around the QMJHL is that Archambault and the head coach of the Foreurs had a falling out leading to what was considered a disappointing 53-point season last year in 65 games with just 20 goals. 

Canadiens draft pick Olivier Archambault highlight video.

After having watched some Archambault tape, it's apparent he's just exploding with the skill that made him a first overall pick in the QMJHL draft two years ago. He has elite speed, great hands and exceptional playmaking abilities along with good hockey IQ.

With all this bad news surrounding Archambault this year, the Foreurs traded him to the Victoriaville Tigres who then traded him to the Drummondville Voltigeurs—a perennial powerhouse in the Q.

The Voltigeurs were coached by Guy Boucher just three seasons ago and there is also a chance that Sean Coutourier returns for another year of junior, at which point you would most likely see Archambault and Coutourier on the same line.

You can credit Trevor Timmins and his crew with a late-round pick that only has upside, possibly another late-round gem for the Canadiens scouting crew. It will be interesting to track Archambault's development as the Voltigeurs season begins.

After his rookie season in 2010, Archambault was a consensus top-10 pick in this year's draft, he has plenty of time to provide the Canadiens with one of the biggest steals of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. 

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