When you are picking fifth overall, the highest the organization has picked since 1984, the hype and excitement can work fans up into a fever over who the team should be picking or not picking and this year would make matters even worse as hockey starved fans await the news of who will be the future savior of the greatest sports franchise. One things for sure, with the fifth overall pick the Canadiens will be adding a top notch prospect to an already impressive group of talent and that in itself should be great news for Hab fans all over.
Here’s a look at how we fared at the 2005 Entry Draft
1st round, 5th overall- Carey Price– G. A surprise pick that seems to have many Hab fans up in arms despite the fact that the young goalie is the top rated goalie in this draft and one golden rule of hockey is that you can never have enough goalies. Price may be considered a reach to many as he was considered more in the 7 to 10 range but management must have felt it wasn’t worth the risk of trading down, so they went with their guy. Price joins fellow Hab goalie Ray Martyniuk (1970), who was the last goalie to be taken in the top five. Price is already a big kid that could end up getting a little bigger, is known for his excellent rebound control and has already put up better numbers while with Tri City then ex Tri City goalie Olaf Kolzig who took time off this year to work with Price and the other goalies.
While Price didn’t wow fans at the most recent U-18’s, he has already made a name for himself with Tri-City of the WHL, setting numerous team records despite being only 18 years old. Price has set a team record for GAA with a 2.31, set a team record for save % with a .927, games played with 63 in ‘04-‘05, playoff GAA with a 2.33, and also set a team record in career shutouts with nine and eight of those coming in this past season despite playing on a below average team.
2nd round, 45th overall- Guillaume Latendresse– RW/LW. The Canadiens see their guy still on board and feel they can’t wait to see if he drops another ten spots to their pick so they trade up with the rangers, giving up a high price of the 56th and 66th picks but they add a big power forward that the team has been lacking for years. With Latendresse Hab fans will likely be more at ease with the Price pick and seeing how Guillaume went on a tear in this year playoffs getting ten points as well as also leading his team in scoring and putting up decent numbers at this years U-18’s. Latendresse will likely need to work on his skating and foot speed, but at 18 years old he’s already got the physical strength and hands to make the jump to the next level, a very solid pick at this spot.
3rd round, No pick
4th round, 121st overall- Juraj Mikus– C/W. Habs get lucky as Mikus drops all the way to the fourth round despite some scouting firms feeling he could be taken in the 2nd round as a big sleeper pick. With Mikus they take a gamble on the right handed center who can also play wing, as he is consider a highly skilled offensive player both as a sniper and a playmaker while being solid in his own end and also being a hard worker. Mikus enjoyed a strong season playing in the Slovak elite league this year, scoring six goals in 46 games and getting 12 points, and leading Team Slovakia in scoring at the U-18’s. Last season he also saw some time in the elite league as a 17 year old (getting one goal in two games) after being promoted from the junior league where he was on fire picking up 10 points in 8 games in the U-20 league and 35 pts in 34 games in the U-18 league as well as 15 pts in 9 playoff games in the U-18 league.
5th round, 130th overall- Mathieu Aubin– C. Another right handed center, Aubin is a solid playmaker with decent size but not overly physical. Aubin is a late birthday (‘86) as he just missed last years draft by only 3 days. Canadiens management likely was impressed with his play during this years playoffs while watching teammate Jaroslav Halak. Aubin will need to step it up next year as the loss of linemates Bourret and Picard will make things tough for the Sorel native.
6th round, 190th overall- Matt D’Agostini– RW. More of a smallish but skilled winger, D’Agostini enjoyed a very successful rookie year for Guelph as he was second on the team in goals, assists and points. Finished 8th in the OHL in rookie scoring despite missing a chunk of games this year and playing on a rebuilding Guelph team. Will need to add some strength and bulk up a bit over time but adds some offensive depth at the right wing position, which is already deep.
7th round, 200th overall- Siarhei Kostitsyn– W. Kostitsyn joins his brother Andre as part of the Canadiens organization and should be heading to North America this year to join the London Knights as he was selected in the CHL import draft this summer. Not very big or strong, Kostitsyn does have good hands, speed to burn, works hard and plays an aggressive style of hockey despite the lack of size and strength.
7th round, 229th overall- Philippe Paquet– D. Paquet is a right defensemen with size and impressive skating abilities according to his coach in the USHS. Considered a solid two way defensemen, Paquet becomes another in a long list of recent picks from the ECAC, as he will play for Clarkson as a freshman next season. The Ste. Augustin native could be a nice sleeper pick and also adds depth to the right side of our defense.