Monday, June 27

Montreal Canadiens Select Player With 31st Pick Who Asked Not To Be Drafted | NHL

The Montreal Canadiens surprised the rest of the NHL Friday night by taking Logan Mailloux to the penultimate pick in the first round of the draft.

Mailloux, who was criminally convicted in Sweden last year for sharing an explicit photo of a woman performing a sexual act without her consent, asked the teams not to select him. A player cannot withdraw from the draft.

“We will work closely with him and give him the support he needs,” said general manager Marc Bergevin. “I know he’s been sorry for the incident, which we really don’t agree with in every way in the world, but he’s a young man who made a serious mistake in judgment and we really have to work with him. We talked to him, he’s fully aware of that and he’s very sorry, so that’s a big step. “

Mailloux said in a statement on social media this week: “I don’t feel I have shown a strong enough maturity or character” to be selected this year. Bergevin made it clear that 18-year-old Mailloux was eligible to be taken.

“We understand it, we are fully aware and we as an organization (believe) that it is very unacceptable, but it is also a young man who made a terrible mistake,” Bergevin said. “He’s sorry and has a lot of work to do, but he’s already started to put it behind him and have a hockey career.”

In a prepared statement he read before answering questions, Bergevin said the Canadiens “not only selected a promising hockey player, but also a young man who recently admitted to making a serious mistake” and “in no way minimized the seriousness of Logan’s shares. “

Bergevin said the Canadiens are committed to helping Mailloux “by giving him the tools to mature and the support necessary to guide him in his development.”

At the top of the first round on Friday, the draft quickly became a Michigan blue and corn affair.

Whatever challenges the coronavirus pandemic presented scouts in qualifying prospects, many of whom played shorter seasons, failed to make a dent in the Wolverines’ control at the top of the rankings. Four players linked to Michigan were included in the top five picks.

The race began with defender Owen Power ranked number one against the Buffalo Sabers, followed by center Matthew Beniers selected second by the Seattle Kraken expansion.

It was the first time since 1969 that teammates chose the top two picks.

Things unfolded so quickly that Beniers was in the middle of an interview when he saw a third Michigan player, forward Kent Johnson, be selected fifth by Columbus.

“I’m a little lost for words right now,” Beniers said. “I’m so excited for my teammates and what’s next.”

The trio made Michigan’s first college hockey program to have three teammates selected in the first round.

Although, that was not all. Luke Hughes, who is committed to playing for Michigan this season, was picked fourth overall by the Devils, where the defender is joined with his brother Jack, who was the first pick in the 2019 draft.

Hughes watched the draft on his family’s living room couch with his two NHL player brothers, completed by Quinn, who was selected seventh overall by Vancouver in 2018. Jack Hughes immediately jumped up and began to hug. to Luke upon hearing the announcement from Devils general manager Tom Fitzgerald. the selection.

“I think Jack is even more excited, he might be the happiest I’ve ever seen him,” said Luke Hughes, who spent last season playing for USA Hockey’s development program. “It’s a dream come true to play in the NHL and it’s also a dream come true to play with your brother. Both things are happening tonight.

The draft also had its controversial moment. The Montreal Canadiens used their 31st pick to select Logan Mailloux, who was criminally convicted in Sweden last year for sharing an explicit photo of a woman performing a sexual act without her consent. Mailloux had asked teams not to select him despite a player not being able to withdraw from the draft.

“I know he’s been sorry for the incident, and we really don’t agree with him in every way in the world,” general manager Marc Bergevin said. “But he is a young man who made a serious error in judgment and we really have to work with him.”

Ontario youth center Mason McTavish was the only player with no ties to Michigan to complete the top five, after Anahiem selected him third overall.

NHL scouting officials entered the draft expressing concern about the projected outlook due to lack of playing time due to Covid-19 and after the combine was canceled for the second year in a row.

Michigan played 26 games before its season ended abruptly with a series of positive tests just before the start of the NCAA tournament. By comparison, the Ontario Hockey League had its entire season canceled.

The difference in playing time was reflected in the leagues represented by the top teams. Michigan, USA Hockey and the USHL combined for seven of the top 15 players selected, while there were five players selected from the Canadian youth categories and three from Sweden.

Sabers general manager Kevyn Adams said a year’s focus on Michigan’s prospects was justified.

“When you have that much talent on a team, there will be a lot of eyes on them. And certainly draft-eligible players that was the case, “Adams said, noting how the teammates fed each other. “When you practice every day going with and against elite players, it helps your development. I absolutely lean towards Michigan and the way they have been able to bring in the players that they have. “

The draft was held remotely for the second year in a row due to the coronavirus pandemic, and Commissioner Gary Bettman hosted the draft in New Jersey, where he introduced teams to make their selections from their home arenas.

The Sabers had one of the busiest days.

Adams acquired a second first-round pick that he used to select Swedish forward Isak Rosen at No. 13, trading defender Rasmus Ristolainen to the Philadelphia Flyers. After the draft, Adams confirmed that he had talks to trade forward Sam Reinhart to the Florida Panthers, while emphasizing that the deal has yet to be finalized.

Meanwhile, Adams is also buying captain Jack Eichel in a bid to transform a team that finished last in the overall standings for the fourth time in eight years and is in the midst of a 10-year playoff drought that equals the record for the NHL.

Power is trading at 6-foot-6, 213 pounds and was the top-ranked North American prospect in the NHL’s Central Bureau of Scouting. After scoring three goals and adding 13 assists in 26 games during his freshman season at Michigan, the 18-year-old Power cemented his draft selection by helping Canada win the world hockey championship.

From Mississauga, Ontario, Power is leaning toward returning to school for his sophomore season, something Adams has said will not influence his selection.

Power was the third player first drafted directly from college, joining Michigan State forward Joe Murphy in 1986 and Boston University goalkeeper Rick DiPietro in 2000. And he became the 16th defender to be number one since 1970, and the first since the Sabers elected Rasmus Dahlin. in the N. 1 in 2018.

Beniers ranked sixth overall among North American prospects. He scored 14 goals and 24 points in 24 games for the Wolverines.

In 1969, Rejean Houle and Marc Tardif were teammates of Montreal Junior Canadiens, who were selected with the first two selections by Montreal. In 1963, Garry Monahan and St Michael’s Junior teammate Peter Mahovlich were selected first and second.

The first European players selected were from Sweden in consecutive teams. Defender Simon Edvinsson was sixth for the Detroit Red Wings, followed by forward William Eklund, who was selected seventh for the San Jose Sharks.

The Arizona Coyotes had their first-round pick, the 11th overall, stripped by the NHL for testing players in violation of the league’s combined policy. However, Arizona returned to the first round by acquiring the ninth pick and select Canadian junior forward Dylan Guenther after a five-man trade that sent Arizona captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson to Vancouver earlier that day.

The Detroit Red Wings moved up eight spots in the draft in a trade with Dallas to make WHL Edmonton’s Sebastian Cossa the first goalkeeper selected.

At the No. 20 pick, Minnesota moved up two spots in a trade with Edmonton to make Jesper Wallstedt the first Swedish goalkeeper to be selected in the first round.

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