The Montreal Canadiens have made the 133rd overall pick of the 2023 NHL Entry Draft, which is taking place in Nashville, Tennessee.
Sam Harris, a USHL forward who played with the Sioux Falls Stampede, was added to the team’s prospect pool. Harris, 19, is committed to playing with the University of Denver next season (NCAA). He scored 30 goals and 26 assists in 56 games for the Stampe last year.
— Ryan Sikes (@ryan_sikes10) April 16, 2023
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. Much has been made about the Canadiens avoiding forward Matvei Michkov, and there’s definitely an argument to be made about the importance of adding elite forwards to the lineup given that every Stanley Cup winner, except for St-Louis, has had a roster overflowing with talent, but we should not underrate Reinbacher.
He should end up playing a crucial role for the Canadiens in their rebuild, and projects as a top-four defenceman with top-pairing potential. He was rated as the consensus pick as the best defenceman in the 2023 NHL Entry Draft, which is always an encouraging detail when drafting in the first round.
In addition to picking talented defenceman Reinbacher with the 5th overall pick, the Canadiens also picked goaltender Jacob Fowler (69th) and forward Florian Xhekaj, Arber’s brother, with the 101st overall pick. They also chose Russian defenceman Bogdan Konyushkov.
As it stands, the Canadiens have three picks remaining in the 2023 NHL Draft: 144th, 165th, and 196th overall picks.