Although the Habs didn’t have a second round selection this year as part of the Thomas Vanek trade, the second day of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft was still a busy one for the Habs. They made a total of five selections and seemed to be focused on adding some toughness while picking up some long-term projects along the way.
73 – D Brent Lernout, Swift Current, WHL, 6’4, 206 lbs
HP Blackbook: "Lernout has tremendous size at 6’4 and a nasty mean streak to match. He is a mobile skater with both good acceleration and top speed. While his edge work needs some refining, he is an impressive skater for his stature. Lernout is an intimidating presence on the ice as he’s not afraid to get in the face of opponents and his 11 fights this season attest to both his willingness to fight and his fighting prowess."
Future Considerations: "We really like how he defends his own zone, using his strength and frame to muscle guys to the outside. Doesn’t run around chasing checks, but he calmly approaches and then buries his opponents against the boards. Showed very good improvement this season in his confidence with the puck. Lernout was very solid in the neutral zone, using patience and crisp execution to get the puck up ice."
Corey Pronman: "Big, physical, character defenseman with fine hockey
IQ. Not sure if he’ll ever put up ok points."
NHL Central Scouting: "He’s a big kid, tough and nasty. He’s hard to play against and a good physical presence. He just needs to keep his game simple and safe to be effective at this point. His puck movement is safe and adequate, and he’s able to box out forwards well in front of his own goal."
HP Blackbook: 129
Future Considerations: 115
Central Scouting: 52 (North American Skaters)
125 – D Nicolas Koberstein, Olds, AJHL, 6’2, 180 lbs
Information is limited about this defenceman from the Alberta Junior Hockey League. He’s a physical blueliner who will be a long-term project for the Habs. He’ll remain in the AJHL next season before joining the University of Alaska-Fairbanks for the 2015-16 season. As a result, Montreal will have up to five years to sign him to his entry-level contract. However, the Regina Pats of the WHL hold his junior rights and may try to persuade him to forego college to play junior hockey instead.
Central Scouting: 205 (North American Skaters)
147 – C Daniel Audette, Sherbrooke, QMJHL, 5’8, 177 lbs
McKeen’s: "Pint-sized forward whose hands drip skill .. is a clever playmaker with sensational game reading ability .. lacks a natural triggerman as he is more of a passer than a shooter .. willingly fights his way through checks and has a low centre of gravity allowing him to absorb hits…Audette may be better served on the wing as opposed to up the middle with slightly less defensive responsibility while allowing him to still exercise his creativity."
HP Blackbook: "A pretty explosive skater, Audette is easy to recognize on the ice, as he never stops skating and is in control of the puck more often than not. He is a great playmaker as he can dish out some nice saucer passes through traffic rather easily at top speed… On the other hand, Audette will shy away from physical contact. He will lose puck possession rather easily when he is engaged in a battle in the corners and he seemed to disappear when the game gets physical or once he receives a solid hit."
DraftBuzz: "Something unraveled with Audette as the year went on. He stopped looking like a small dynamo who would dominate possession and was just a small guy unable to make the same impact. Still, gritty, and ultra talented he needs to find himself to have a shot at regaining standing as a legit prospect and not a dud."
Future Considerations: "He has greatvision and hockey sense, but can play a little too individual of a game at times. He will finish hits selectively and avoids contact, making his physical game soft. His defensive game is also a weak area, along with physical strength. A one-dimensional, small, offensively gifted player at this point."
The Hockey News: 97
HP Blackbook: 111
Future Considerations: 82
Red Line Report: 69
Central Scouting: 75 (North American Skaters)
177 – G Hayden Hawkey, Omaha, USHL, 6’1, 180 lbs
HP Blackbook: "Hawkey’s a big, athletic body in net. He might be the quickest and most athletic of any goaltender in the USHL this season….The rare time he does give up a rebound that leads to a quality second chance, he shuts the door much more often than not. He’s able to make adjustments and move in order to make a rebound save as good as anyone. Exceptionally difficult to beat down low. He’s quick with his legs, and has both a strong blocker and glove. All in all, his USHL Goaltender of the Year honor was well, well earned."
USHL All-Rookie Team
Best GAA/Best SV%
USHL All-Star Team
USHL Goalie of the Year
Hawkey is committed to Providence of the NCAA beginning next season.
This is his second year of draft eligibility.
207 – RW/C Jake Evans, St. Michaels, OJHL, 6’0, 172 lbs
HP Blackbook: "Evans displays a strong offensive skill set and has continuously improved his offensive numbers at the Junior A level. He is an elite finisher in the league and has the ability to take over games with his offence. Jake is a strong smooth skater and has the ability to beat defenders wide with a quick burst. He displays good hands and elite puck skills in the offensive zone and is good at finding openings in coverage…There are some games when he is an absolute game changer while others he looks like he does not even want to be on the ice."
Future Considerations: "Evans has the ability to make solidly skilled passes as he has good vision. More of a passer than a shooter out there. Does not shy away from rubbing out the opposition along the boards, but is not a big hitter. At his best when playing with intensity, but this comes and goes. It’s not that he disappears, but he tends to come in waves."
SB Nation College Hockey: Strengths: Great vision, ability to find seams, smart decisions with the puck. Weaknesses: Sometimes criticized for not shooting enough."
HP Blackbook: 139
Future Considerations: 169
Central Scouting: 106 (North American Skaters)
The Kitchener Rangers of the OHL hold Evans’ junior rights. He was an eighth round pick in the 2012 OHL Priority Selection.