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Less Than Two Weeks to Go...

June 8, 2019, 2:45 PM ET [432 Comments]
Karine Hains
Montreal Canadiens Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
God willing, the St-Louis Blues will be winning the Stanley Cup tomorrow night and officially end the 2018-2019 season and allow us all to look ahead to next season. You can be sure of one thing though, Marc Bergevin and co. are already looking ahead and thinking hard about how to best use the 10 draft picks the team will have in British-Columbia. Although, Bergevin may very well surprise us, I mean he's no stranger to hockey trades in the summer. It was already almost 2 years ago on June 15, 2017 that he sent the Habs' best defence prospect, Mikhail Sergachev, to Tampa Bay in return for Jonathan Drouin before inking him to a 6 year deal and about a year prior to that he had acquired Weber from Nashville with Subban going the other way. While plenty of fans would like to see a deal that would mean the Canadiens parting ways with Drouin this summer, I very much doubt that the Habs front office will go that way.

The way I see it, Bergevin will stay on course and pick at 15 of the draft. Now, I believe it's easy to know that the Canadiens will be hoping to stockpile some left handed defensemen this year much like they did with centres last go around. Of course, the need for a left D is quite obvious right now but it's unlikely that with a mid first round pick the Habs will get someone who'll be able to come in an help right away. Nevertheless, there are a few notable young defensemen to mention.

The top D prospect this season appears to be Bowen Byram who is indeed a LHD but given the fact that most mock draft see him go before the 10th selection, the Canadiens are likely to have to dig deeper than the 18 year old who racked up 71 points in 67 games for the Vancouver Giants. Then, there's Victor Soderstrom who the Hockey News lists at 12th in their draft preview. While he does receive high praise for being a complete defence player with a lot of mobility, he is a RHD and chances are that the Habs would not make it their man. After those two though, there are quite a few LHD available and they could interest the Canadiens. Here are the 3 I'd expect to be on the Habs' radar:

Thomas Harley

This young man has been described as a good non-flashy D-man who plays with calm and is able to move the puck. He's not got the biggest offensive numbers but he's just beginning to explore that side of his game as he was give the number 1 D-man role this season. On a Mississauga team that traded a lot of its top players, Harley recorded 58 points in 68 games, quite an improvement from 15 points in 62 games the season before. One of the youngest players in the draft, he stands at 6'3" and weights 192 lbs and since his frame hasn't quite filled up yet, he lacks a bit in physicality.

Cam York

A product of the USA development system, York is very different from Harley. For one thing he's shorter at 5'11" and a bit lighter at 176 lbs but he's got plenty of abilities and a lot of mobility. While Harley only just started putting up points, York always did so and recorded 51 points in 54 games with Team USA this year. He's expected to be a second pairing defenseman who can quarterback a power play.While his skating and movement is excellent, his short stature can become problematic when he's trying to handle bigger forwards. It should also be mention that he broke the record for most points by a D-man with the junior team this year with 7 and at the under-18 tournament, he put up 11 points in 7 games. I think we can all agree that the Canadiens could use a puck moving defenseman who knows how to make a man-advantage successful.

Philip Broberg

Talk about size! At 6'3" and 203 pounds, he has the body of an NHL player and can skate but some have concerns about his puck moving skills. It's worth notting that he's got great positioning and elite hockey sense. Said hockey sense translates in him joining the rush offensively but rarely getting caught defensively for it. He managed 9 points in 41 game in the Swedish 2nd league. He's projected to become a 3rd d-man with an offensive upside.

Given Timmins and co.'s love for American players, I wouldn't be surprised to see Cam York land in Montreal should he still be available but like every season, trying to identify the team's first round pick is never an easy task...Although I think most of us saw Kotkaniemi coming last season...

Who do you see the Habs pick in the first wound?
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