• Le Bo

Canadiens NHL Draft First Round Recap: Quelle Volèe!

I had a crazy dream on the night of round 1 of the Draft.

I dreamed that the Canadiens traded their #15 selection to the Leafs for Brayden Schenn.

Two problems with this trade.

1. While the Leafs may have wanted to trade back into the first round, they would not be willing to give up a player like Brayden Schenn for some mid-round pick.

2. Brayden Schenn doesn’t play for the Leafs, he plays for the St. Louis Blues. It’s a real grey area, trading a player who isn’t on your team.

Anyway, the real first round was crazier for the Canadiens than any dream. The best goal scorer in the NHL Entry Draft, Cole Caufield, slid to the #15 pick in the Draft and was taken by the Montreal Canadiens. Caufield set the USA NTDP record for goals, surpassing none other than Phil Kessel. Caufield got 72 goals, 23 assists for 100 points in only 64 games. He and Jack Hughes formed a dynamic duo on a stacked USA NTDP team. Caufield has a laser shot, a quick release and sick hands.

You’re probably wondering why Caufield did not go top-10 in the Draft, the way he was projected. I’ll tell you why. Caufield is a tiny 5’7”. 14 teams thought that this was a big enough problem to prevent Caufield from performing at an NHL level. 14 teams are stuck in 2007. You don’t need to be big to succeed at the NHL level anymore. Just look at Alex DeBrincat, Johnny Gaudreau, Montreal’s own Brendan Gallagher, Max Domi and Paul Byron. These are all quality NHLers, and they are all less than 5’9”. Let’s not forget a legend like Theo Fleury, who was a star for the Calgary Flames, and was known for being very small. You get the point. It’s time to stop taking size into consideration when evaluating a player, and instead hold speed and skill to higher value.

Caufield is expected to play a year at University of Wisconsin before he makes the jump to the NHL. However, Caufield has stated that he wants to make it to the NHL as soon as possible, so maybe university isn’t the right path for him. You can bet that Caufield will work his butt off at the Canadiens’ development camp this June 26-28. If Caufield thinks that he could make the roster this fall, he can cancel his commitment to University of Wisconsin and go to training camp this September. It is worth noting that Caufield is unsure what he would major in at University of Wisconsin. If Caufield decides not to go to training camp, but still wants a quick route to the NHL, he can play for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the OHL, who own his junior rights. While Habs fans probably wish to see Caufield on the roster come October, the reality is that he could use a year of seasoning, where he can continue to dominate and build up his strength, be it in Wisconsin or the Soo. Then again, we all said the same about Jesperi Kotkaniemi last year, and look what happened. So maybe Caufield can surprise everyone and make the Canadiens. That would be the best-case scenario. I’d love to see him on the third line, maybe on Kotkaniemi’s wing. Kotkaniemi can make elite passes that Caufield would convert into goals. The Canadiens have had two training camps in a row where a surprise player made the team. Will Caufield continue that streak?

We’ll just have to wait and see.

Go Habs Go.

Signed, Le Bo

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Le Bo (Boaz Shron) is a 15-year-old Habs Fanatic who lives in Toronto.

Yes, I know I live in Toronto. That does not make me any less of a Habs fan than you are.

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