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The Montreal Canadiens Select A Third Goalie At The 2023 Draft



Montreal Canadiens scouts

The Montreal Canadiens have made the 144th overall pick of the 2023 NHL Entry Draft, which is taking place in Nashville, Tennessee.

They decided to add a third goaltender to their prospect pool by drafting Russian goaltender Yevgeni Volokhin. He played in the MHL last season, posting a 20-6-3 record, as well as a 2.12 goals against average and a .927 save percentage.


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.

MUST READ: David Reinbacher’s Scouting Report From A Swiss League Expert

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 and forward Sam Harris.

As it stands, the Canadiens have two picks remaining in the 2023 NHL Draft:  165th and 196th overall.


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Considering the success rate for drafted goalies, this draft could go down as one of the worst in franchise history if some of these picks don’t pan out into major players for us. We just let a great goalie prospect walk away in Dichow and it’s likely Vrbetic will also not stay with the organization over time. Considering how easy it is to acquire a goalie in a trade, using all these picks on goalies seems like complete insanity to me right now. One pick? Sure. Two picks? Ok, maybe. Three picks? WTF?!!


Don’t you realize you just answered your head-scratching question?

If Dichow AND Vrbetic are both gone, there is then a huge goalie hole in the prospect system. So picking two goalies made sense. Frankly, our entire goalie prospect pool is lousy (including Primeau, who just doesn’t have “it” after 4 yrs in the system). So picking two was totally justified. We can debate the 3rd goalie pick, but I don’t see it as a complete waste like you do.

Today, we got a centre, two wingers, 2 Dmen, and 3 goalies. I’m fine with that. And until you see what becomes of all these picks, within say 5 yrs from now, you can’t grade or judge or whine. We could get another RHP in there. Or Brayden Point. Or Carey Price. Or Jack Sh#t. But calling it now is just “head-scratching”…


We are lacking depth at the goalie position, but there isn’t “a huge hole”. There’s a very limited number of spots for goalies to play. That’s why we lost Dichow and probably will lose Vrbetic. Our rights to them run out before a spot opens to advance their development. Using 3 of our draft picks today on goalies (especially since all the best ones were already gone) is not good use of our draft capital. Our first pick will play in the NHL. Our 2nd and 3rd picks were traded away. After that, the statistical probability dramatically drops. To use 3 of those picks on the position that has the greatest probability (by a long shot) of not panning out, especially when there are goalies galore available via trade when needed, is most definitely a head scratcher. Even the host of this site ended up stating that in his assessment of the draft. In fact, I believe his opinion leading up to the draft was to NEVER use draft picks on a goalie. Of course it’s too soon to assess whether today’s strategy will be successful or not, but based on probability, there’s a very high likelihood that it won’t be, and that’s an opportunity lost in what was considered a very deep draft with a lot of quality.