Montreal Canadiens: Tomas Plekanec’s effectiveness in 2018 NHL Playoffs by Omar White

NHL Central Scouting for the 2018 draft was released yesterday giving Montreal Canadiens fans a sneak peek at where certain prospects could be taken in June.

Although the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs are underway, the only thing of interest coming up for the Montreal Canadiens is the draft lottery. The playoffs aren’t completely meaningless as there are possible trade or free agent options currently playing who Marc Bergevin could inquire about, however, the lottery could warrant the most significant return. The list of top names have been common knowledge for months, but NHL Central Scouting released their final rankings to see where the top prospects this year may fall.

To no surprise, Rasmus Dahlin is at the top of the International skaters list. The Swedish defencemen is a generational talent who excels in all aspects of the game. Hockey IQ, defensive awareness, skating, speed, you name it, Dahlin has it all. Although it was a down year for the Montreal Canadiens, winning the draft lottery and having the chance to select Dahlin would make it all worth it.

Other names on that list include skilled defenceman Adam Boqvist and Vitali Kravtsov who has the makeup of an effective power forward.

Andrei Svechnikov is the number one name on the Central skaters list. The 18-year-old was sidelined with a hand injury for 17 games but still finished the regular season with monstrous numbers. With 40 goals and 32 assists in 44 games, Svechnikov is the consensus number two overall pick at the draft in Dallas.

Svechnikov’s play actually improved once he got back and I think has become a more complete player with understanding the game in how he uses the whole ice and his teammates. He’s an elite skater and finisher and I believe has separated himself from the rest to be our No. 1 skater in North America (Quote from David Gregory of NHL Central Scouting).

It’s pretty close between the next two forwards in Brady Tkachuk and Filip Zadina who central scouting has second and third respectively. Tkachuk is the perfect combination of size, strength, and skill. He had a solid year at Boston College with 8 goals and 23 assists and was one of Team USA’s standouts at the World Juniors last December (9 points in 7 games).

That kind of power on the wall would be a nice addition to the Montreal Canadiens organization not to mention the familiarity with 2017 first-round pick Ryan Poehling.

Zadina emerged as a star out of the QMJHL this season. He brings a true sense of dynamic flair to a complete game. His 44 goals and 38 assists with the Halifax Mooseheads are only the beginning of what makes Zadina a special player.

The list doesn’t stop there as Noah DobsonEvan Bouchard, and Quintin Hughes, who was a big part of the Minnesota-Duluth’s success in the Frozen Four, will be available as well.

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The talent is ripe for the picking for the Montreal Canadiens, but they have to wait and see where they’ll be picking. Once the lottery balls fall on April 28th, fans and management will get their answer. For now, keep your fingers crossed and try not to play with Tankathon too much.

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