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CH draft video: Jacob Fowler’s passion may make him a crowd favorite

Yesterday, the Canadiens unveiled their annual draft video. We’re talking about a behind-the-scenes concept that’s been around since the new administration took over.

The video lasts just under 20 minutes and contains a lot of stock. It means that in September, we can talk about the draft – and I like that, honestly.

Inside the video, it talks about several players, but not all of them. The emphasis is on David Reinbacher and goaltender Jacob Fowler, the first two guys drafted by the Flanelle.

Remember that the CH had no second-round picks.

Names like Florian Xhekaj and Bogdan Konyushkov have been discussed, but it’s the first two picks that are at the heart of it all. And that’s normal: they came out ahead of the others for a reason.

And frankly, that makes for a good result.

The case of Fowler is particularly interesting. After all, without Carey Price (seen talking to David Reinbacher after forgetting his name on stage) and with a goaltending pipeline that wasn’t exactly the fullest, we knew the CH wanted to draft some goalies.

And Fowler was the first of three…. after much debate.

Nobody’s saying Fowler was good when he was young: he was the best. [Another goalie] isn’t better than Fowler. – Billy Ryan

You could feel the passion really taking over Ryan as he talked about Jacob Fowler… and we even jokingly saw Jeff Gorton come over to massage him, just to calm him down a bit.

In fact, we saw a lot of Gorton leading the discussions. More than Kent Hughes, I think.

Obviously, there’s some PR behind the video (and that’s to be expected), but we still see some interesting footage that we’re not used to seeing. And of course, there’s the one my colleague Félix Forget was talking about, where scouts were wondering if he was the best choice.

Because that’s what the draft is all about: guys with their own ideas trying to share them around the table. Scout Billy Ryan was passionate when he talked about Fowler, and that undoubtedly weighed in the balance when the executives made their choice.

But it’s not just Billy Ryan who’s passionate: Fowler is too.

Not only could the goalie play “left-handed-right-handed” with Stéphane Gonzalez if he wanted to, but you can feel the fire burning inside him compared to those who have ignored him in the past.

We saw this in particular when he was interviewed by the Canadiens. When he’s asked to talk about himself and what makes him tick, we see him start to talk about the fact that he’s been doubted.

And already, the energy in the room was going up a notch.

He remembers the times he watched the OHL and USHL drafts in his suits, in his living room. He remembers the feeling of never having been chosen by the clubs.

So to be the 2022-2023 USHL Goalie of the Year made him happy. He was motivated by not being drafted.

It’s no secret: CH fans love passionate players. When a guy who plays with emotion comes to them and wants to win, he can become a crowd favorite.

I already felt that about Fowler, but after yesterday’s video, I feel it even more. I really feel that if he makes it to the NHL, which is going to take some time, he can become a very popular stopper.

In gusto

– Was Ryan Leonard also in the discussions?

– Auston Matthews was Carey Price’s bête noire. [98.5 FM]

– Already?

– Adam Engstrom is a good asset for the CH. [H&L]

– Read more.

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