Photo: Forward Blake Geoffrion is one of several Montreal prospects who are hoping to have a bounceback season in 2012-13. (Cliff Welch/Icon SMI)
The Montreal Canadiens' vastly improved their organizational prospect pool over the 2012 off-season. As many as eight prospects could start their professional careers in Hamilton for the 2012-13 season. There will also be a huge amount of focus on 2012 first round draft pick Alex Galchenyuk who has already signed his NHL entry-level contract. A prolonged NHL lockout will bring bigger than usual exposure to the team's prospects pool from the Montreal Canadiens' hockey-starved fan base.
Photo: Forward Louis Leblanc is entering his second professional season with the Montreal Canadiens organization. (Minas Panagiotakis/Icon SMI)
The Montreal Canadiens have vastly improved their organizational depth with the addition of their 2012 NHL Entry Draft selections, though it could take four to five years to ultimately see the results. Five of the team's seven new draftees have such high skill levels at this stage of their development that they have made the Canadiens' Top 20 list.
Photo: Despite missing almost the entire 2011-12 regular season, Alex Galchenyuk was selected third overall in the 2012 NHL Draft. (Jeanine Leech/Icon SMI)
The 2012 NHL Entry Draft was the first one under the guidance of new Montreal Canadiens General Manager Marc Bergevin. On paper at least, the draft class looks as though Director of Scouting Trevor Timmins hit a home run. Prior to the NHL Draft, Montreal's GM had stated that championships are not just won with size and skill, but character and desire.
Photo: Center Alex Galchenyuk poses with family and his new team, the Montreal Canadiens, at the 2012 NHL Draft (courtesy of Jeanine Leech/Icon SMI)
Heading into the 2012 NHL Draft, it was a bit of a guessing game as to where center Alex Galchenyuk would land in the first round. But Galchenyuk didn't have to wait long for that answer as the Montreal Canadiens nabbed the talented pivot with the third pick overall.
Photo: The Montreal Canadiens went for defense with their first pick at the 2011 NHL Draft with the selection of the Saint John Sea Dogs' Nathan Beaulieu (courtesy of Vincent Muzik/Icon SMI)
The 2011-12 NHL season for the Montreal Canadiens was one of the worst in their storied history. The team finished a tumultuous year having fired an assistant coach, a head coach, and a GM while accumulating only 78 points, good for last place in the Eastern Conference.