Skip to content
Five angles to look back at the ten new Canadiens picks
Credit: Getty Images
In the last 48 hours, the Habs have added 10 prospects to their youth bank.

Among them are Ivan Demidov, Michael Hage, Aatos Koivu… and the others. We all agree that the other seven aren’t names that excite Canadiens hockey fans.

But that doesn’t stop us from analyzing certain trends in the picks. Here are five of them.

No player below six feet

It’s no surprise to anyone, but the Habs needed to bulk up. Makar Khanin is the shortest player drafted by the Habs, standing exactly six feet tall. At 6’1, there’s Ivan Demidov, Michael Hage, Aatos Koivu, Logan Sawyer and Owen Protz.

Ramsus Bergqvist is 6’2, goaltender Mikus Vecvanags is 6’3 and the club also picked up two 6’4 guys: Tyler Thorpe and Ben Merrill. Remember that Justin Poirier was not selected by the Habs.

Reinforcements up front

A few weeks ago, it was established that the Habs might be looking for big centers. And Hage, Koivu, Sawyer and Merrill are four guys in that mold.

All of the Habs’ picks in the first three rounds (excluding Demidov, who’s in a class of his own) are 6’1 guys who play center. And they can still grow…

Demidov, Thorpe and Khanin are right wingers, bringing the Habs’ tally to seven forwards out of 10.

We had to wait until the fourth round for a defenseman (Protz) and the fifth round for a goalie (Vecvanags). The Habs’ latest pick (Bergqvist) is also a defenseman.

Five Europeans

Among the Canadian’s choices, five come from Europe. Demidov, as you know, will be staying in Russia next year. Unless…

Three other guys drafted from Europe (Koivu, Khanin and Bergqvist) sign on to play in their home countries next year. As for goaltender Vecvanags, he’ll be lining up with the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada in 2024-2025.

Few CHL players

There have been reports that Habs executives have ignored the QMJHL, but the Canadian League in general isn’t exactly the Montreal Canadiens’ main focus.

Why not? Because the prospects have two years under the club’s control, compared to four with the Americans, but also because the guys have more time to train without the rigors of the Canadian League calendar.

So, even though four Canadians and only one American have been drafted, there are only two CHL guys (Protz from the OHL and Thorpe from the WHL) coming from the Canadian circuit in 2023-2024.

Sawyer played in the BCHL and will one day play in the NCAA, in Providence… and Hage played in the USHL with plans to go play at the University of Michigan to continue developing. They’re both Canadians.

Merrill, who is the only American in the group of 10 guys, played in the US this year. He’s going to play at Harvard (NCAA) in the future, so also at an American university.

In the end, there will be three members of the batch who will develop in the CHL (if we include Vecvanags in Blainville) and three in the NCAA. And yet, there are four times as many Canadians drafted as Americans.

Fighting spirit on the menu

When we listened to Martin Lapointe, we noted that the Habs didn’t just want big boys physically, but guys who knew how to use their bodies a little.

The co-director of amateur recruiting often spoke of fighting spirit when describing his players.

Remember that the Habs want to build their team with talented guys who skate fast. But obviously, big guys who want to get their noses dirty is a trend. Did Jeff Gorton learn from his years in New York? #IncidentTomWilson

We’ll see if this crop, whose first three names will always be the talk of the town more than the last seven, will help the Habs get to the next level in the next few years.


– Tyler Thorpe highlights.

Lightning ruins Panthers parade.

More Content