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Draft: Ryan Leonard and Will Smith in CH’s sights

The NHL draft is just around the corner, and the Canadiens have some tough decisions to make. Several big names will already be drafted when it’s time to select at the fifth level. The organization is still doing its homework, but two names seem to have caught the attention of CH scouts more than the others.

Montreal Hockey Now has been in touch with a source close to some members of the Habs organization and, according to him, the CH’s potential targets are Will Smith and Ryan Leonard.

Will Smith was expected to make the cut. He was incredible at the last World Under-18 Championship and has been in the top-10 of many NHL scouts for months.

Ryan Leonard is a little more surprising. Sure, he had 17 points in 7 games at the World Under-18 Championship, but he’s a long way from being ranked fifth for the draft.

In fact, he’s fifth in NHL Central Scouting’s final rankings of North American skaters. He’s undoubtedly overtaken by Leo Carlsson and Matvei Michkov in the European rankings, but it’s conceivable that he could overtake Michkov because of all the problems surrounding the Russian forward.

Leonard was part of the U.S. National Development Program last season. He collected 94 points, including 51 goals, in just 57 games. He could be effective with the Habs, but at fifth, it seems a little early.

In fact, we’re talking about Leonard because Will Smith is likely to be selected with one of the first four picks. This means that the Habs would have the opportunity to draft Matvei Michkov, but Kent Hughes doesn’t seem to be very excited about this choice.

If Will Smith is still available in the fifth tier, don’t even ask: Kent Hughes will jump on Smith without hesitation.

Kent Hughes’ comments don’t really help predict the CH’s choice. He wants the best player available. There are so many good players in this draft that it makes the task extremely difficult. However, we’ll have to keep a close eye on Americans Ryan Leonard and Will Smith.


– Montreal CF celebrates 30 years of history.

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– Fans talking to players like this, it’s crazy.

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