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Bogdan Konyushkov: in the CH’s eyes, he deserved to be drafted two rounds earlier

In the last amateur draft, the Habs drafted a Russian defenseman named Bogdan Konyshkov in the fourth round. He was the club’s fourth choice (after David Reinbacher, Jacob Fowler and Florian Xhekaj), and although he was little-known, he had performed well offensively in the KHL last year.

It’s rare to see 20-year-olds produce so much in Russia.

He’s a little older, of course, but we saw at the draft that the Habs didn’t mind too much. This means the prospects are closer (in age) to the team’s current core, and everyone will mature around the same age.

However, the case of Konyushkov is particularly interesting. We know that the pick carries its share of risk(especially as he may have used the Habs to negotiate a contract in Russia), but in the fourth round, the risk is almost nil.

Especially since, in the eyes of Nick Bobrov and the CH, we’re talking about a guy who really could have been drafted earlier in terms of pure talent. At least, that’s what Bobrov said during the behind-the-scenes video of the Tricolore draft (around 13:40), when he talked about the youngster’s performance last year:

If an overager in the NCAA had done the same as he did last year, he’d be drafted in the second round. – Nick Bobrov

Obviously, this illustrates the youngster’s talent, but it also shows that the fact that he’s playing in Russia has worked against him. Whether it’s because he’s had less coverage, or because of the risk of him staying in the KHL for a long time (if not forever), the fact remains that the Russian factor may have knocked him out of two whole rounds.

And as it happens, his new three-year contract, which will keep him in Russia until he’s 24, brings another element of risk. That’s something you can afford in the fourth round, though, because it’s with late-round picks that you have to go for home runs and hope to get lucky.

I can’t wait to see what the next few years hold for Konyushkov. I don’t know if we’ll ever see him in Montreal, but I wouldn’t blame the Habs for taking a chance in the fourth round on a player who, in their eyes, had the caliber of a second-round pick.

I like that better than drafting an ordinary player whose potential is, at best, to have a supporting role in Laval.

In gusto

– Great class from the Senators’ captain.

– Carlos Alcaraz continues his journey at Flushing Meadows.

– A great story.


– As a Timberwolves fan, I’m obviously partial to Anthony Edwards.

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