The Montreal Canadiens missed the playoffs for the second straight season despite going 44-30-8 and have a mid-round pick in each of the first four rounds to build off of a strong 2018 Draft Class.
Jesperi Kotkaniemi (No.3 overall in ’18) looks like a bonafide stud and future first-line centre. Jesse Ylonen (No.35 Pick) had a strong rookie season in the Finnish Elite League and a solid showing at the U20 World Juniors. Alexander Romanov (No.38) was over a point-per-game while playing on Russia’s blue line in the World Juniors. Allan McShane (4th Round Pick) was second on Oshawa (OHL) scoring 34 goals and 35 assists (69 points) in 62 games. Lastly, Cole Fonstad (5th Round Pick) was third in points (73) in 67 games with Prince Albert (WHL) and these are just five of the Canadiens 11 draft picks from last season. The rest of their top prospects include:
- — Nick Suzuki (acquired from VGK) had a ridiculous OHL season. After being acquired by the Guelph Storm, Suzuki had 49 points (12G / 37A) in 29 games. In the playoffs, he had 42 points (16G / 26A) in 24 games and seven points (3G / 4A) in four Memorial Games.
- — Cayden Primeau (7th Round Pick in 2017) has quickly risen up the prospect rankings, going 25-10-1 with a 2.09 GAA and .933 SV% with Northeastern University and a 1.61 GAA and .936 SV% in five games to win the silver medal at the U20 World Juniors.
- — Ryan Poehling(No.25 Pick in 2017) had a solid season at St. Cloud State (NCAA) and led USA with eight points (5G / 3A) at the World Juniors and scored a hat-trick in his NHL debut.
With the No.15 Overall Pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, the Montreal Canadiens select…
Cam York — D — United States 🇺🇸
York is a mobile offensive-defenseman who put up fantastic numbers for USNTDP. The University of Michigan commit scored seven goals with 26 assists (33 points) in 28 USHL games to lead all USNTDP defensemen. At the U18 World Juniors, York had one of the best tournaments for a defenseman, posting 11 points (4G / 7A) in seven games.
York will need to improve his defensive-zone play while at Michigan but his puck-moving abilities and play on the power-play make York an intriguing defensive prospect. He often showcases impressive puck-handling in his own end and moves the puck up the ice effectively.
Montreal’s blueline is filled with aging veterans and the recent draft picks have yielded very good results yet. Victor Mete has not scored a goal in his first 120 career NHL games and Noah Juulsen has been plagued by injuries. Drafting York would give the Canadiens a future power-play quarterback and replace what they lost when they traded Mikhail Sergachev for Jonathan Drouin.
Arguably the purest offensive defenseman available in the draft, York combines speed and finesse to form a package perfectly suited to run the attack for one of the NTDP’s most heralded group of forwards in the program’s history. To say York is a gambler would be an understatement – he always looks to move the puck deep into opposing territory and will support his forwards along the wall. His overall defensive game is predicated on smart reads and quick feet. York isn’t physical on a consistent basis, but he doesn’t shy away from contact and has thrown big open-ice hits every now and again, plus he battles hard for slot superiority. He does have quick enough feet to close on a puck carrier, but at times he affords them too much room by not standing up at his line. — Steve Kournianos (The Draft Analyst)
- #12 — HockeyProspect.com
- #15 — Future Considerations
- #12 — ISS Hockey
- #12 — NHL Central Scouting (NA Skaters)
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