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Draft: not picking Sam Dickinson if he’s available “could be tough”
Credit: Photo by Chris Tanouye/Getty Images

There’s a lot of talk in Montreal about drafting a forward with the #5 pick in the next draft. After all, the need is there and Kent Hughes, who has an advantage in hiding his game, has said he has a penchant for a striker.

But does that mean we should automatically dismiss other scenarios out of hand? Not in my eyes.

After all, even if it’s a draft of defensemen at the top of the pyramid, it’s very possible that Kent Hughes will be unable to choose Macklin Celebrini, Ivan Demidov and Cayden Lindstrom.

At this point, I’m not sold on the idea of going down in the draft. What’s the point of drafting two lesser prospects when there would still be plenty of quality prospects left?

The Habs need to add top talent, not draft just to draft. #QuantityOrQuality

If the Habs have a top defenseman at #5, I’d say they’d be better off drafting him. The prospect in question would probably be ahead of David Reinbacher when it came time to rank the club’s youngsters, and I’m not convinced that would be the case with Tij Iginla, for example.

I know: it’s unpopular to say that a defenseman could be added to the #5 rank. But talent is talent, right?

Picking up a top defenseman would bring even more defensive certainty (I’m still not sure Kaiden Guhle is a top pairing defenseman for a Stanley Cup club… and that he has the health to make it) to the top of the pyramid.

Think about it: offensively, the Habs have four “certainties” for their top-6 (Suzuki, Caufield, Slafkovsky and Dach)… but defensively, who’s sure to be a top-4 defenseman? There are some, but they’re not as easy to name, I think.

All this to say that, while I think drafting a forward is the right thing to do, I like to look at the other side of the coin and think that if a defenseman were to come along, it wouldn’t be the end of the world. Provided, of course, that another big deal for a big forward follows.

And on that subject, Simon Le Serpent Boisvert spoke, in the most recent episode of the Processus podcast (which is a must with the draft approaching), about Sam Dickinson.

When it comes time to make his final draft rankings, the Snake will have Sam Dickinson (left-handed) as the best defenseman in his draft. That’s what he said.

In his eyes, he’s the best value among defensemen this year. He sees him as a #2 defenseman in a champion club, and thinks it might be difficult to pass over his candidacy if he’s available.

He compares his skating to Jay Bouwmeester, who was very agile. He also likes his imposing physique (6’3) and the fact that he can play all over the rink. He sees him playing 25 to 27 minutes a game in his prime.

He likes him better than Kaiden Guhle, but thinks Dickinson lacks a bit of attack. He can see him on a second power-play wave, that said.

In the Snake’s eyes, Reinbacher is better offensively than Dickinson, but the London Knights prospect is more complete in general.

He also plays for the London Knights, a Memorial Cup club. And in London, the guys get more and more important as they get older. He could explode next year.

Drafting based on need can be dangerous. If a Dickinson, Artyom Levshunov or Anton Silayev were to become available and the big forwards are no longer available at #5… In my eyes, that has to be considered.

Last year, I was one of those who wanted Reinbacher. A defenseman of this calibre is no mean feat.

In bursts

– It wasn’t a possibility.

– Worth watching.

– To be continued.

– Charleston Rambo, a la P.K. Subban. [JdeM]

– Not going to happen.

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