From Yakupov to McDavid to Power

For the first time since 1980, the Montreal Canadiens will speak first in the draft.

From Yakupov to McDavid to Power

For the first time since 1980, the Montreal Canadiens will speak first in the draft. 42 years ago, the CH had bet on the center Doug Wickenheiser. We know the story. Denis Savard, the Blackhawks' 3rd pick that year, had a more prolific career.

• To read also: Reconstruction of the CH: patience is required

• To read also: Shane Wright already sees himself in the CH uniform

In 2022, the Habs should logically trust Shane Wright, the center of the Kingston Frontenacs. He is established as the favorite, but the American Logan Cooley could blow his neck.

The Journal analyzed the last ten repechages to see if the top of the class was the right choice. To recycle a good old expression, the draft is not an exact science. This is even true with the very first selection. There are years where it is impossible to be wrong. This was the case in 2015 with Connor McDavid for the Oilers and in 2016 with Auston Matthews for the Maple Leafs.

But when there is no generational talent, the error becomes possible. A look at the drafts from 2012 to 2021.

This is the first repechage under the era of Marc Bergevin. For once, the CH gets a choice in the top three. At that time, Nail Yakupov was without a shadow of a doubt seen as the best hope. For the third year in a row, the Oilers have the No. 1 pick. They turn as expected to Yakupov. Defender Ryan Murray comes out second with the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Canadian is betting on center Alex Galchenyuk.

First choice :

› Nail Yakupov | Oilers d'Edmonton

Best choice at this auction:

› Andrei Vasilevskiy | 19th | Tampa Bay Lightning

Notable choices:

› Morgan Rielly | 5e | Maple Leafs de Toronto

› Filip Forsberg | 11e | Capitals de Washington

›Tomas Hertl | 17e | Sharks de San Jose

1st choice of the Canadian:

› Alex Galchenyuk | 3e

There is a debate for several months between Nathan MacKinnon and Seth Jones. Halifax Mooseheads center or Portland Winterhawks defenseman. Magically, the two players meet in the Memorial Cup final. MacKinnon and the Mooseheads win. A few days later, MacKinnon becomes first in class, while Jones slips to fourth in Nashville. The Panthers are fortunate to have Aleksander Barkov in second place and the Lightning have faith in Jonathan Huberdeau, another Mooseheads product.

First choice :

› Nathan MacKinnon | Avalanche du Colorado

Best choice at this auction:

›Nathan MacKinnon | 1st | Avalanche of Colorado

Notable choices:

› Aleksander Barkov | 2e | Panthers de la Floride

› Seth Jones | 4e | Predators de Nashville

› Elijah Lindholm | 5e | Caroline Hurricanes

› Jake Guentzel | 77e | Pittsburgh Penguins

1st choice of the Canadian:

› Michael McCarron | 25e

There is no unanimous choice for the summit. Sam Reinhart, Sam Bennett, Leon Draisaitl and Aaron Ekblad are in the race. The Panthers are turning to Ekblad, a defenseman who received a waiver to play in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) at the age of 15. The Sabers bet on Reinhart, while the Oilers hit the jackpot with Draisaitl immediately after.

First choice :

›Aaron Ekblad | Panthers de la Floride

Best choice at this auction:

› Leon Draisaitl | 3e | Oilers d’Edmonton

Notable choices:

› David Pastrnack | 25e | Boston Bruins

› Brayden Point | 79e | Lightning de Tampa Bay

› Igor Shesterkin | 118e | Rangers de New York

1st choice of the Canadian:

› Nikita Scherbak | 26e

Teams have long dreamed of Connor McDavid. He is described as a generational talent, the best prospect since Sidney Crosby in 2005. The Oilers win the lottery and they draft McDavid. Number 97 will therefore play in the same city as number 99, Wayne Gretzky. The Buffalo Sabres, who finished last in the NHL in 2014-2015, console themselves with the other phenomenon of this draft, Jack Eichel

First choice :

› Connor McDavid | Oilers d’Edmonton

Best choice at this auction:

› Connor McDavid | 1er | Oilers d’Edmonton

Notable choices:

› Jack Eichel | 2e | Sabres de Buffalo

› Mitchell Marner | 4e | Maple Leafs de Toronto

›Mikko Rantanen | 10e | Avalanche du Colorado

› Sebastian Ahho | 35e | Caroline Hurricanes

› Zach Werenski | 8e | Blue Jackets de Columbus

› Thomas Chabot | 18th | Ottawa Senators

1st choice of the Canadian:

› Noah Juulsen | 26e

There is another big fish in the water in Auston Matthews, the Arizona prodigy. Finn Patrik Laine is also popular, as is his compatriot, Jesse Puljujarvi. The Maple Leafs, who finished the year ranked 30th and last, win the lottery for the first pick. They draft Matthews in hopes of reviving their franchise. The Blue Jackets cause a little surprise with the selection of Pierre-Luc Dubois in 3rd place.

First choice

› Auston Matthews | Maple Leafs de Toronto

Best choice at this auction:

› Auston Matthews | 1er | Maple Leafs de Toronto

Notable choices:

Matthew Tkachuk | 6e | Flames de Calgary

› Patrick Laine | 2nd | Winnipeg Jets

› Adam Fox | 66e | Flames de Calgary

›Alex DeBrincat | 39e | Chicago Blackhawks

1st choice of the Canadian:

›Mikhaïl Sergachev | 9th

Two names constantly emerge for the first choice: Nolan Patrick and Nico Hischier. There are also two good defenders in Miro Heiskanen and Cale Makar. Hischier, a Swiss who was playing in Halifax, eventually becomes the top of the class. The Colorado Avalanche, who slipped to fourth despite being 30th overall, ended up getting the best player at this auction with Makar. To this day, the Flyers regret their choice of Patrick at 2nd overall.

First choice :

› Nico Hischier | Devils du New Jersey

Best choice at this auction:

›Cale Makar | 4e | Avalanche du Colorado

Notable choices:

›Miro Heiskanen | 3e | Stars of Dallas

›Elias Pettersson | 5th | Canucks of Vancouver

› Nick Suzuki | 13e | Golden Knights de Vegas

› Robert Thomas | 20th | St. Louis Blues

1st choice of the Canadian:

› Ryan Poehling | 25e

For the second time since 2012, the Habs have a top-three pick, having won the third lottery to improve their fortunes by one spot. Swedish defender Rasmus Dahlin is described as the best prospect in this repechage. We know that he will be followed by Russian winger Andrei Svechnikov. The suspense must start from the third row where the CH must decide between Filip Zadina, Brady Tkachuk or Jesperi Kotkaniemi. Trevor Timmins will finally pronounce the name of the center originating from Pori, in Finland.

First choice :

›Rasmus Dahlin | Buffalo Sabers

Best choice at this auction:

›Rasmus Dahlin | 1st | Buffalo Sabers

Notable choices:

› Andrei Svechnikov | 2nd | Carolina Hurricanes

› Brady Tkachuk | 4th | Ottawa Senators

› Quinn Hughes | 7e | Canucks de Vancouver

› Noah Dobson | 12e | Islanders de New York

1st choice of the Canadian:

Jesperi Kotkaniemi 3e

Jack Hughes or Kaapo Kakko. There is a little debate between the two attackers, but the Devils will respect logic by trusting Hughes, a small center very gifted offensively. There's a lot of talent in this draft. An even tinier forward, Cole Caufield, will slide to 15th place to the delight of the Canadian.

First choice :

› Jack Hughes | Devils du New Jersey

Best choice at this auction:

› Jack Hughes | 1er | Devils du New Jersey

Notable choices:

›Trevor Zegras | 9e | Ducks d’Anaheim

› Moritz Seider | 6e | Red Wings de Detroit

› Dylan Cozens | 7e | Sabres de Buffalo

› Cole Caufield | 15th | Montreal Canadiens

1st choice of the Canadian:

› Cole Caufield | 15e  

For the first time since 2003 with Marc-André Fleury, a Quebecer will become the top of the class. Alexis Lafrenière is considered the crown jewel of this draft. The New York Rangers, with Jeff Gorton as GM at this time, draw the lucky number in the lottery. It is still too early to judge the value of this repechage. But the Senators also have a lucky hand with the German Tim Stützle in third place, immediately after Quinton Byfield by the Kings.

First choice :

› Alexis Lafrenière | New York Rangers

Best choice at this auction:

› Too early to determine

Notable choices:

› Tim Stützle | 3rd | Ottawa Senators

› Lucas Raymond | 4e | Red Wings de Detroit

›Jamie Drysdale | 6e | Ducks of Anheim

› Anton Lundel | 12th | Florida Panthers

1st choice of the Canadian:

›Kaiden Guhle | 16e

The Buffalo Sabers still have the first pick. Like 2018 with Dahlin, they drafted a defenseman in Owen Power, a 6'6" giant who wore the colors of the Michigan Wolverines. The Seattle Kraken, the 32nd team in the NHL, make center Matty Beniers the first overall pick in their history. After Beniers at No. 2, the Ducks choose another forward in Mason McTavish. Of the 224 players drafted in 2021, only Cole Sillinger (12th pick in Columbus) has spent a full season in the NHL.

First choice :

› Owen Power | Sabres de Buffalo 

Best choice at this auction:

› Too early to determine

Notable choices:

› Too early to determine

1st choice of the Canadian:

› Logan Mailloux | 31st


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