History shows Habs need higher draft pick

As I wrote last week, Montreal needs to stop getting points.

Dan4th photo, via Wikimedia Commons

Who would you rather have on your team: Alexander Ovechkin or Al Montoya?

Now, some may think there’s a pride factor, and the Habs should continue to win.

But I think the best thing for this team is to get a high draft pick.

And when I say high, I mean top three.

Two weeks ago, they were in that third spot. Now, they’re fifth. And only two points between them and four other teams ahead of them.

So in the next week, they could end up with the ninth overall pick. That’s not good.

How important is that top three pick? Let me put it to you this way: there’s a better chance of a superstar being taken in the top three than in the sixth to eighth spot. There’s a better chance of getting a 50-goal scorer. There’s a better chance of getting someone who will make a difference to the team. There’s a better chance of getting a significant long-term impact player.

Don’t believe me? Compare the draft picks of every year since the lockout. It’s the top three picks versus picks six to eight. Tell me if there’s any group of later picks you would take over the top three in any year.

If there’s not, then you should be hoping for a top three pick.

2004

Top three: Alexander Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, Cam Barker

Picks 6-8: Al Montoya, Rostislav Olesz, Alexandre Picard

2005

Top three: Sidney Crosby, Bobby Ryan, Jack Johnson

Picks 6-8: Gilbert Brule, Jack Skille, Devin Setoguchi

2006

Top three: Erik Johnson, Jordan Staal, Jonathan Toews

Picks 6-8: Derick Brassard, Kyle Okposo, Peter Mueller

2007

Top three: Patrick Kane, James van Riemsdyk, Kyle Turris

Picks 6-8: Sam Gagner, Jakub Voracek, Zach Hamill

2008

Top three: Steven Stamkos, Drew Doughty, Zach Bogosian

Picks 6-8: Nikita Filatov, Colin Wilson, Mikkel Boedker

2009

Top three: John Tavares, Victor Hedman, Matt Duchene

Picks 6-8: Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Nazem Kadri, Scott Glennie

2010

Top three: Taylor Hall, Tyler Seguin, Erik Gudbranson

Picks 6-8: Brett Connolly, Jeff Skinner, Aleksandr Burmistrov

2011

Top three: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Gabriel Landeskog, Jonathan Huberdeau

Picks 6-8: Mika Zibanejad, Mark Scheifele, Sean Couturier

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “History shows Habs need higher draft pick

  1. Hi Tom,
    Thought you’d get a kick out of this. I heard Pierre McGuire on the radio this morning saying the 1999 NHL Draft class is the worst is recent memory. I couldn’t recall who the Habs took in the first round that year, so I looked it up. (Turns out they didn’t have a first-round selection.)
    Anyway, Montreal had 11 picks over the draft and not a single one of those picks ever played a second for Montreal. It sounds ridiculous, but it’s true: http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/draft/nhl1999e.html
    In fact, only one of those 11 players ever even played in the NHL — Matt Carkner, who never played for the Habs.
    Sure, this year could be an anomaly, but still.
    Enjoy the Habs posts on your blog! If you’re ever out of topics, a run down of the team’s draft picks over the last handful of years would be interesting.
    – Malcolm
    http://theballparkguide.mlblogs.com/

    • Thanks Malcolm. I actually did a small thing a few years back on it (https://theryancokeexperience.wordpress.com/2009/10/31/montreals-worst-draft-year/). I planned on doing a more detail blog post last year before the draft, but never got it finished in time, so I plan on doing it for this year.

      One of the worst drafts though came in 2003. We had the 10th pick and took Kostitsyn. After him went Jeff Carter at 11th, Dustin Brown at 13th, Brent Seabrook at 14th, Zach Parise at 17th, Ryan Getzlaf at 19th, Ryan Kesler at 23rd, Mike Richards at 24th and Corey Perry at 28th. In the second round, we took Cory Urquhart at 40, while Patrice Bergeron went 45th and Shea Weber at 49th. We took Maxim Lapierre at 61st, with David Backes taken at 62nd and Jimmy Howard at 64th.

      I can forgive the 1999 draft, because it was weak overall. But to miss all those players in 2003 was inexcusable.

  2. I realize it’s easy to nitpick after the fact and that drafting isn’t an exact science, but I find that overall, the Habs don’t draft well and don’t draft players who ever suit up for them.
    If you check out this link (which I’m sure you have), you’ll be amazed at how poorly the team has drafted: http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/draft/teams/dr00006929.html
    What a horrific front office. Ugh.
    Hope things are going well with you, Tom!

    • It’s especially bad when you look at players taken and who was still available. I talked about it here (https://theryancokeexperience.wordpress.com/2011/11/01/what-is-wrong-with-the-habs/), but here are the first-round draft picks from 1995 to 2007, and who was available just after.

      1995: Took Terry Ryan eighth overall, could have had Jarome Iginla (11th overall)

      1996: Took Matt Higgins 18th overall, could have had Daniel Briere (24th)

      1997: Took Jason Ward 11th overall, could have had Marian Hossa (12th)

      1998: Took Eric Chouinard 16th overall, could have had Robyn Regher (19th)

      1999: No first round pick (also known as the worst draft in Habs history)

      2000: Took Ron Hainsey 13th overall, and Marcel Hossa 16th. Could have had Brooks Orpik (18th)

      2001: Took Mike Komisarek 7th overall. Was the best option.

      2002: Took Chris Higgins 14th overall. Was the best option.

      2003: Took Andrei Kostitsyn 10th overall. Could have had Jeff Carter (11th). Zach Parise went 17th. Sports Illustrated had the Habs taking Parise in a mock draft.

      2004: Took Kyle Chipchura 18th overall. Could have had Travis Zajac (20th).

      2005: Took Carey Price #5 overall (best choice available)

      2006: Took David Fischer #20 overall. Could have had Claude Giroux (22nd).

      2007: Took Ryan McDonagh #12 overall. Could have had Kevin Shattenkirk (14th).

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