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Sleeper Targets For the Montreal Canadiens At The 2022 NHL Draft

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Montreal Canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens own 14 picks in the 2022 NHL Draft and could afford to take some chances on some sleepers that can end up paying dividends later on.

The Canadiens have the opportunity to shoot for the fences in this draft, especially with their 26th overall and 33rd overall selections. The 2022 NHL Draft is shaping up to be very volatile after the top-10 and could see some players fall lower than their projected ranks, and those sleepers could be solid gambles for the Canadiens as they look to jumpstart their rebuild.

Here are just a few options of fallers or risers in the 2022 NHL Draft that could be potential home runs for the Canadiens:

Noah Östlund

The Montreal Canadiens prospect pool lacks top-end talent, and, if Noah Östlund’s tumble down the rankings continues, he could be an excellent option for the Montreal Canadiens at 26th overall.

Östlund is an extremely intelligent and skilled forward that plays with a lot of pace. He can burn you in many ways, either with his great hands, his lethal one-timer or his deceptive passing game. He plays with a very strong work ethic and is known to not give up on plays, making him a fun player to watch on the ice. He creates something or tries a high-end play almost every time he touches the puck.

Jagger Firkus

The undersized forward has vaulted himself up the rankings this season due to an explosive jump in his progression with the WHL’s Moose Jaw Warriors. He plays a strong all-around game with lots of deception to it. He has great hands and a nose for the net, making him very difficult to defend. His shot is likely his strongest feature, as he has one of the quicker releases in the NHL Draft.

Firkus is your classic boom-or-bust type of gamble that a team with multiple picks in the 20-40 range, and he could end up paying significant dividends if he can further round out his game and put on some weight on his frame.

Lane Hutson

Lane Hutson is perhaps the most intriguing defenceman in the 2022 NHL Draft, as his explosive skating and exceptional playmaking skills are absolutely off the charts. He plays a game predicated on carrying the puck up the ice with incredible speed; making him extremely effective for both zone exits and zone entries in open ice. The main concern of some scouts is his small stature (5’8, 159 lbs), as it is extremely difficult for defencemen of that size to defend at the NHL level, especially in the playoffs.

Ultimately, the raw skills and skating ability make Hutson a great gamble for any team in the late 1st round or early 2nd round, as he’ll have all the time to develop at his pace in the NCAA next season for Boston University.

Noah Warren

Noah Warren is an absolute beast of a defenseman that plays on the right side and is incredibly mobile for a 6’5 rearguard. The Montreal native, who has yet to turn 18 at this time, is one of those raw prospects that took significant strides as the season went on for the QMJHL’s Gatineau Olympiques. He began to trust his skills much more in the 2nd half of the season, jumping into the rush, aiding in transition with a good 1st pass, and even chipping in in the offensive zone with smart reads.

Warren began the campaign as a player ranked mostly in the 3rd round, but his end-of-season play has many scouting services ranking him just outside the 1st round, making him a prime target for the Montreal Canadiens at the 33rd overall pick.

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