Although it’s far too early to judge the draft class of 2010, the early
returns are most certainly promising for Hab fans. Every player picked is
currently healthy (a rarity last season) and is either a key player or exceeding
early expectations on their respective clubs. Here is a closer look at how
each selection is doing so far this season.
(Note: Stats are as of games played through Monday, November 21st.)
Jarred Tinordi: After a slow start to last year, the first round pick
saw his responsibilities increase and his performance improve, a trend that has
carried over to the early portion of this season. The captain of the OHL’s
London Knights is your prototypical shutdown defenceman facing off against
opponents’ top lines every night. The Habs evidently were impressed with
his progression as they rewarded Tinordi with a three year deal with a cap hit
of just over $1.1 million per year earlier this season.
Drafted: 1st round, 22nd overall
Season Stats: 13 GP, 0 goals, 4 assists, 34 PIMS, +11 rating
Michael Bournival: Although he wasn’t actually drafted by the Habs
(acquired from Colorado), he still is from this draft class. Bournival got
off to an incredible (and unsustainable) start to his season while also making
an impression in Montreal’s camp as he was one of the last cuts. Despite
missing 18 out of 28 games due to injury, he still sits second on the Cataractes
(QMJHL) in goals while playing a strong defensive game as well. After
being the final cut on Team Canada’s World Junior team last year, he figures to
certainly be in the mix for a spot this time around.
Drafted: 3rd round, 71st overall
Season Stats: 10 GP, 12 goals (3 SHG – league leader), 3 assists, 4 PIMS, +4
rating, 105/186 faceoffs (56.5%)
Mark MacMillan: After spending last season playing in the BCHL for his
hometown, MacMillan began his collegiate career this year for North Dakota.
Thus far, he has played in every game as a freshman and leads all first year
teammates in scoring while sitting 5th on the team in that regard (Danny Kristo
sits second for those wondering). On the downside, his +/- rating is worst
on the team as his defensive game is slow to develop. He’s a long-term
project so there will be some growing pains.
Drafted: 4th round, 113th overall
Season Stats: 12 GP, 2 goals, 3 assists, 6 PIMS, -8 rating, 35/74
faceoffs (47.3%), 5 blocks
Morgan Ellis: What a difference playing on a competitive team can
make. Although the Screaming Eagles (QMJHL) aren’t a contender, they’re
much better compared to last year and Ellis’ numbers are much better as a
result. He currently sits 10th the league in points by a defenceman and
although his plus/minus isn’t on the happy side of even, it’s much better than
last year. Although it’s still a long shot, he at least has played well
enough to be in
the discussion for who to invite to camp for the upcoming Canadian World
Drafted: 4th round, 117th overall
Season Stats: 21 GP, 7 goals, 11 assists, 10 PIMS, -3 rating
Brendan Gallagher: What more can really be said that hasn’t been said
already? For the second straight season, he is one of the top offensive
players in the WHL as he is producing at nearly a goal per game pace. He
isn’t taking as many penalties either which is a step in the right direction.
He made a huge impression in training camp and not surprisingly was signed just
last week by the Habs. Next up is the World Juniors where he’ll have a
very good chance at making the team.
Drafted: 5th round, 147th overall
Season Stats: 21 GP, 19 goals, 17 assists, 27 PIMS, +10 rating
John Westin: After missing all of last season due to injury, Westin
has been a key piece on his team this season despite not recording a point.
(And for those who are unfamiliar with Westin, he’s a winger, not a goalie.)
He has taken on a full time role with MoDo of the Swedish Elite League playing
largely fourth line energy minutes. I figured he would largely be an
afterthought for the organization but seeing regular ice time as a teenager in a
men’s league should at least get the Habs’ attention.
Drafted: 7th round, 207th overall
Season Stats: 22 GP, 0 goals, 0 assists, 4 PIMS