The Montreal Canadiens have made their first pick on day 2 of the 2023 NHL Entry Draft, which is taking place in Nashville, Tennessee.
They chose USHL goaltender Jacob Fowler, who is committed to playing for Boston College (NCAA) next season.
The Canadiens clearly lack depth in their organization when it comes to potential NHL goalies, which explains why they made a move for a goalie with their 69th overall pick. Currently, the Canadiens only have four healthy goaltenders signed to a contract: Samuel Montembeault, Jake Allen, Cayden Primeau, and Jakub Dobes.
Fowler projects as a very athletic goalie who has fantastic lateral speed and athleticism. He is great at anticipating passes in high-danger areas, owing to his anticipation and strong positioning. There are some concerns regarding his conditioning, and he’ll have to improve his cardio if he’s to ascend to the NHL.
The 6’2″ goalie played with the Youngstown Phantoms of the USHL last season, posting a 27-9-3 record, as well as a 2.28 goals against average and a .921 save percentage.
One of the major advantages of drafting a goalie that’s heading to the NCAA is that teams have four years to offer them an entry-level contract, giving them more time to evaluate their development. Goaltenders drafted out of the CHL, on the other hand, must be signed within two years.
The Montreal Canadiens moved two picks this draft, the 31st and 37th overall picks, in exchange for Alex Newhook, which means their first pick of day two was the 69th overall selection. Newhook, 22, is joining the Canadiens from the Colorado Avalanche. He should serve as a middle-roster forward for the team, however, given his age and style of play, there could be significant potential left to tap.
It’s also worth noting David Reinbacher, who the Canadiens picked 5th overall, carries significant value despite not being the most exciting player in the top 5.
As it stands, the Canadiens have seven picks remaining in the 2023 NHL Draft: 101st, 110th, 128th, 133rd, 144th, 165th, and 196th overall picks.