“It will take a few years before we know how well we did at this draft. You take a look at our picks in every round and they’re pretty late. So the asset value of the picks we had aren’t near as high as last year or the year before.” Trevor Timmins – Canadiens Director of Amateur Scouting
In short, in their second day of the Entry Draft the Canadiens took a big defenseman from the Western Hockey League, a small forward from the “Q” and three others who have long term university commitments.
The Canadiens second day at the draft didn’t start until the third round and they began by trading up in order to draft a big defenseman out of the Western Hockey League. The moved their third and fourth round picks (87th and 117th) to Arizona in order to get 6’4” 205 pound defenseman Brett Lernout of the Swift Current Broncos. Lernout had eight goals and 22 points with Swift Current this year. Canadiens amateur scouting director Trevor Timmons described him as “a tough kid and we moved up in the draft because we wanted him and we thought there were some other teams that might have grabbed him if we didn’t make that move.” Other scouting reports mention his heavy shot, decent skating ability and his potential to be a shutdown defensive defenseman. He looks after his teammates, witness the eleven fights he was involved in last season. (Video of Timmins post draft news conference can be seen below)
With the 125th pick in the draft, the canadiens went “under the radar” as Timmins described the selection of 6’2” defenseman Nikolas Koberstein from the Olds Grizzlys of the Alberta Junior Hockey League. Timmins described him as a “five year player” meaning he will play one more year of junior hockey at Olds and then four years at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. Timmins added”We spent some time with him after the season and we feel he has a tremendous upside.”
The Canadiens kept it in the family with their regular fifth round choice when the took Sherbrooke Phoenix forward Daniel Audette, son of current team Quebec scout Donald Audette. Audette lasted until the fifth round because of his 5’8” size. He was the number one overall pick by Sherbrooke in the 2012 QMJHL draft. Timmins admitted that whenever his name was brought up during scouting meetings the senior Audette was asked to leave the room in order to keep discussion neutral. Audette is an excellent skater, a hard worker and an very good offensive player. On the downside, he has a lot to learn about defense. Over the last two seasons at Sherbrooke he is a combined minus-68.
In the sixth round (177th overall) the Canadiens took goaltender Hayden Hawkey of the Omaha Lancers of the United States Hockey League. The 6’2” Hawkey was the USHL goaltender of the year. The Colorado native led the league with a 1.99 goals against average and a .926 save percentage. Scouting reports made note of his phenomenal lateral movement in the crease and his ability to control rebounds. This was his second year of draft eligibility. He’s another one of those “five year players”. He’ll play at ProvidenceCollege next season.
Centre/right winger Jake Evans was Canadiens final pick (7th round – 207 overall). Evans will attend Notre Dame next season. He played last season with St. Mike’s in the Tier Two Ontario Junior hockey league scoring 16 goals and 47 assists in 49 games.