For the second consecutive year, the Montreal Canadiens picked a defenseman from Minnesota with their first selection. After David Fischer from Minneapolis, MN, at the 20th spot in 2006, Ryan McDonagh from St. Paul, MN, was selected 12th overall in this year’s 2007 edition of the NHL Entry Draft.
The Canadiens, led by Bob Gainey and Trevor Timmins, director of Player Recruitment, put forth a strategy intended to bolster the team’s defence corp. Out of the 9 players they drafted, 6 were defensemen. The last time the Canadiens selected a defenseman with their first pick was in 2001, when they selected another American, Mike Komisarek. It took 4 years to Mike before establishing himself as a NHL regular. Time will tell if McDonagh will be able to help the Canadiens win a Cup before 2010. The Canadiens have won the Stanley Cup at least once in each of the last nine decades, which is one of the most extraordinary streaks in all sports history.
The Canadiens went the Minnesota route this year, as they selected 4 players from “The Hockey State”. Five of the Habs 9 selections were Americans, going along this year’s trend started with Kane and vanRiemsdyk who became the first two American-born players selected first and second overall in the NHL Entry Draft.
The French Medias and a good number of Habs fans were upset that the Habs didn’t select QMJHL star Angelo Esposito. Esposito was once ranked first overall by the NHL Scouting department. He was still available when the Canadiens selected McDonagh. As much as the Habs would have like to get Esposito, they had McDonagh in really high regards. According to Timmins, Gainey tried to get a 3rd 1st rounder in order to land Esposito. But Gainey didn’t appear overly upset at the end of the day. After all, they had their precious pearl. They have been following the progression of Ryan McDonagh for the past 2 years. Timmins describes him as being as strong as a horse. Ryan also fared extremely well in the physical and psychological tests he underwent with the Canadiens.
Here is a look at the Canadiens class of 2007:
|12||D- Ryan McDonagh||St. Paul, MN, US||6′ 1" 200||Defensive dman|
|22||LW- Max Pacioretty||New Canaan, CT, US||6′ 1" 203||Power Forward|
|43||D- P.K. Subban||Toronto, ON, CA||5′ 10" 200||Offensive dman|
|65||C- Olivier Fortier||Quebec City, QC, CA||5′ 11" 168||Two-ways forward|
|73||D- Yannick Weber||Zurich, Switzerland||5′ 11" 194||Leader|
|133||D- Joe Stejskal||Grand Rapids, MN, US||6′ 2" 186||Offensive dman|
|142||LW- Andrew Conboy||Burnsville, MN, US||6′ 3" 190||Power forward|
|163||D- Nichlas Torp||Jonkoping, Sweden||5′ 11" 196||Defensive dman|
|192||D- Scott Kishel||Virginia, MN||5′ 11" 170||Punishing dman|