HabsWorld.net -- 

The 2009 NHL Entry Draft concluded Saturday,
with the Habs adding a total of 8 new players to their prospect ranks. 
From Louis Leblanc to the final pick of the whole draft itself in Petteri Simila,
let’s look a little closer at the newest Habs in the HW Draft Recap.

Selection: C Louis Leblanc, 18th overall
HT/WT: 6’0, 178 lbs
Stats: 28-31-59 with 78 PIMS in 60 GP for Omaha (USHL)

A pick widely speculated over the past week or so, Leblanc appears to be the
local high-end player many fans have coveted for years.  He plays well at
both ends of the ice, with strong hockey sense.  Many expect him to grow
and fill out his frame before he leaves Harvard to turn pro, which Leblanc
himself says he hopes to do within 2 years. 

Selection: C Joonas Nattinen, 65th overall
HT/WT: 6’2, 183 lbs
Stats: 9-29-38 with 6 PIMS in 30 GP for Espoo (FIN-2)

The Habs snapped up a player who seemed to be freefalling through the draft, as
many had him going in the early to mid 2nd round with an outside shot at being a
1st rounder.  Nattinen is strong on the draw, a strong playmaker, and adept
defensively.  He played 14 games in Finland’s top division this year, and
is looking to become a full-time regular next season.

Selection: D Mac Bennett, 79th overall
HT/WT: 6’0, 170 lbs
Stats: 2-9-11 with 10 PIMS in 15 GP for Hotchkiss (HIGH-CT)

The Habs continued their tradition of picking high school defencemen with this
selection.  Bennett compares his style to the Caps’ Mike Green, and is a
very mobile skater with good offensive instincts including a strong shot from
the point.  Although he was drafted in the QMJHL (Gatineau), he’s most
likely headed to the USHL next season before attending the University of
Michigan in 2010. 

Selection: RW Alexander Avtsyn, 109th overall
HT/WT: 6’2, 198 lbs
Stats: 56-54-110 with 130 PIMS in 76 GP for Dynamo Moscow (RUS-3)

A player who scouting director Trevor Timmins felt had 1st round potential, but
slipped due to his nationality and overall lack of exposure.  He plays a
physical game and has strong offensive instincts, as he led his league in
scoring.  He’s eligible to play in Hamilton immediately, but is likely to
remain in Russia for next season at the very least.

Selection: C Gabriel Dumont, 139th overall
HT/WT: 5’9, 170 lbs
Stats: 28-21-49 with 63 PIMS in 51 GP for Drummondville (QMJHL)

Short on stature but big in grit is a good way to describe the diminutive
centre.  A tenacious penalty killer, he also has some offensive ability,
putting up nearly a point per game this year.  Though not the best skater,
he still manages to get to the right spot at the right time.  With several
of the Voltigeurs’ top scorers leaving, Dumont will have a much more significant
role in junior next season.

Selection: C Dustin Walsh, 169th overall
HT/WT: 6’2, 175 lbs
Stats: 32-31-63 with 28 PIMS in 44 GP for Kingston (OJHL)

A bit of an unknown, Walsh is fairly mobile for his size with a good nose for
the net.  Upon joining Kingston late in the season, he scored over a point
per game in the playoffs, helping his team earn a berth in the RBC Cup. 
Another collegiate-bound player, he is off to Dartmouth next season where
bulking up will be key in order for him to be successful in the pros.

Selection: C Michael Cichy, 199th overall
HT/WT: 5’11, 187 lbs
Stats: 34-42-76 with 23 PIMS in 56 GP for Indiana (USHL)

Cichy was one of the top scorers on the USHL circuit during the regular season,
and the top PPG producer in the playoffs.  He has strong offensive
abilities, although his defensive and physical play are lacking at times. 
He’s another player who’s spurning the QMJHL (Halifax holds his rights) as he
will be heading to North Dakota next season where he will play alongside
Montreal’s 2008 2nd rounder, Danny Kristo.

Selection: G Petteri Simila, 211th overall
HT/WT: 6’6, 189 lbs
Stats: Unknown, played for Karpat Jr. (FIN-Jr.)

I can’t help but wonder if the Habs think that the size of the nets will be
increasing soon, as they select the biggest goalie in the draft yet again. 
Picked more based on who he’s coached by rather than performance, it’s believed
that he has a shot at making Finland’s World Junior squad next year.  A
re-entry player, he’s likely heading for the pro division in Finland next

Quick stats:

Average height: 6’1
Average weight: 181 lbs
Positions: 5 C, 1 RW, 1 D, 1 G
Nationalities: 3 CAN, 2 FIN, 2 USA, 1 RUS

Over the past week, HW has had several articles about the draft, including an
all-time draft history, history with the 18th overall pick, and more. 
Check out
HW’s Draft Central
for all you need to know about the draft.