In 2017-18 the Montreal Canadiens missed the playoffs for the second time in three years and finished under .500 for the first time since 2011-12.
A lot of their struggles can be attributed to the health and poor play by Carey Price, but they also lack offensive game-breakers up front. This was an issue they tried to address by trading Mikhail Sergachev to the Tampa Bay Lightning for Jonathan Drouin. In year-one, that didn’t work well for Montreal, so they might add another Halifax Moosehead forward at the NHL Draft later this month.
With the No.3 Overall Pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, the Montreal Canadiens select…
Filip Zadina — LW — Czech Republic ????????
After playing two years in the Czech Republic, Zadina came over the North America this year and performed extremely well in the QMJHL. Zadina ended up finishing tied for third in the league in goals (44) and tied for seventh in points (82)—leading all rookies in both categories.
Zadina being picked No.3 overall would make it the first time since the 1999 NHL Draft that three Europeans went 1-2-3.
Zadina is an elite goal-scoring prospect and couples that with great playmaking abilities and a strong two-way game. Some scoring prospects that come out of the draft need time to polish their defensive game, but Zadina is already reliable in his own-zone.
Zadina was the best player on the Mooseheads all season and was the best player for the Czech Republic at the World Juniors, scoring seven goals with one assist in seven games. He is exactly the type of goal-scoring winger that Montreal desperately needs—especially with Max Pacioretty’s contract expiring at the end of next season.
“Filip Zadina is a dynamic offensive forward that plays a complete game. A deft and agile skater, he exhibits explosive mobility both up and down the ice. In all three zones, he proactively looks to create problems for the opposition. His awareness is indicative of his high level of hockey sense, and he knows how to make plays and scoring chances materialize. Has a goal scorer’s toolbox, complete with the individual puck skills that one comes to expect from today’s elite offensive players. The accurate release on his shot is noteworthy and is a defining aspect of his offensive capabilities. Defensively sound, he disrupts lanes and pressures the opposition to make hasty decisions; he is tenacious in pursuit of puck control and transitions up-ice naturally. All-in-all, Zadina can be categorized as both a two-way forward with a well-rounded game and a dominant offensive force.” – Elite Prospects