Canadiens’ Pre-Draft News Update

By Chris Boucher
Days before the NHL Entry Draft, and many Canadiens’ fans are already sitting on their hands in anticipation. The next two weeks will be chalk full of big news, so let’s take this opportunity to re-cap the most recent happenings in Hab-land.

Vadim Tarasov (7th round, 1999) has reportedly signed a two-year contract with the Canadiens. However, Montreal management has yet to announce the signing. Tarasov was named top goalie in Russia during each of the last 3 years. He finished last season with a 16-13-4 record, a 2.10 GAA, and a .912 save percentage. He’ll likely make his first official appearance in North America during the Canadiens’ prospect camp to be held in August.

The Canadiens will receive a compensatory pick for the loss of Shayne Corson via free-agency. The pick will fall in the fourth round (109th overall). The Corson pick gives the Habs a total of 10 picks in this year’s draft. They will pick 7th, 25th, 37th, 71st, 104th, 109th, 171st, 203rd, 235th, and 266th.

Add Tyler Hanchuk (3rd round, 2000), and Petr Chvojka (6th round 2000) to the list of former Hab draft picks re-entering this year’s NHL Draft. Unlike Dusty Jamieson (5th round, 1999), and Sean Dixon (6th round, 1999) who can re-enter the draft because they were unable to come to terms on a contract before the June 1st deadline, the Habs only had to offer a contract to Hanchuk and Chvojka in order to retain their rights. Not doing so is known in NHL circles as renouncing rights.

In related news Matt Carkner (2nd round, 1999) has reportedly signed a deal with the San Jose Sharks. Like Jamieson, and Dixon, Carkner was unable to come to terms with Montreal prior to the June 1st deadline. However, due to his age he didn’t have to re-enter the draft, but became an unrestricted free-agent instead.

The next few weeks should be busy for AndrĂ© Savard and company. The possibility of trades, combined with the excitement of draft day, and the unusual bounty of high-quality free-agents will keep many Hab fans’ pulses racing.

**Michael Stojakovic contributed to this article. (Thank you)

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