The Montreal Canadiens released their behind-the-scenes video depicting the debates and decision-making ahead of the 2023 NHL Entry Draft. The video is embedded at the bottom of this webpage.
The Habs ended up selecting defenceman David Reinbacher with the fifth overall pick, a decision that caused a certain level of controversy among fans and analysts.
Many pointed to the lack of offensive talent in the team’s prospect pool, which, to be fair, is considered one of the best in the NHL. Given the dearth of game-breakers in the system, some wanted the Canadiens to pick a forward such as Matvei Michkov, Ryan Leonard, or Zach Benson.
Alas, the Canadiens decided to choose the consensus pick for the best defenceman in the draft, with the hope of shoring up the right side of their defence for many years to come.
Reinbacher made a great first impression in Montreal, which quelled some of the concerns regarding his fit with the team. As it stands, Reinbacher is in Montreal, preparing to attend the Canadiens’ training camp, but there are healthy odds he will return to Switzerland to play another season with Kloten EHC, which would allow his entry-level contract to slide.
2023 Draft Video
The video features several debates among the scouts, including a heated debate between Goaltending and Russian Pro Scout Vincent Riendeau and Director of Player Evaluation and Amateur Scout Bill Ryan. Jeff Gorton quickly stepped in to relieve the tension, but it has to be said that a healthy debate during scouting meetings is a very good sign. The last thing you want on your team is a bunch of sycophants.
It also featured many arguments in favour of drafting Reinbacher, particularly from Martin Lapointe, the Director of Player Personnel and Amateur Scouting.
Jeff Gorton seems to make the case that the Habs should have considered drafting Michkov, however, the rest of the team was set in their choice.
If you’d like to watch the full video on YouTube, you can click here.