Photo: Forward Brady Vail is just one of the many gifted junior players the Montreal Canadiens selected in the 2012 NHL Draft. (CHL Images)
The Montreal Canadiens have seven prospects at the junior level this year; two in the OHL, two in the QJMHL, and three in the WHL. Five of the seven prospects are forwards and the other two are defensemen. The forwards are a skilled mix of size, speed, playmaking ability, and natural scorers that are led by Montreal's 2012 first round selection, Alex Galchenyuk. Both defensemen possess a blend of size, grit, and physicality along with good offensive skills.
Photo: Michael Bournival is one of many Montreal Canadiens prospects to make his professional debut in 2012-13 (Minas Panagiotakis/Icon SMI)
Using the 2012 NHL Draft, the Montreal Canadiens' greatly improved their organizational prospect pool over the past off-season. GM Marc Bergevin has changed the organizational philosophy by adding a bigger management staff, more scouting, and a development team to work with the prospects at all hockey levels and leagues.
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.