It’s funny – and maybe predictable – but all the media chatter Friday morning was about who the Montreal Canadiens will take with their third overall pick at the 2012 NHL Draft, which kicks off in Pittsburgh Friday night. Will it be Alexander Galchenyuk or Filip Forsberg or Mathew Dumba?
Bottomline? Who knows. I’ve been listening to folks speculating about this for days now and the only thing that I’ve gleaned from all this chatter is that William Goldman was right. The Oscar-winning screenwriter is most famous for saying about Hollywood – “Nobody knows anything”.
Well that’s exactly how I feel about all this draft predicting. We have no idea who Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin is going to pick when he steps up to the podium early Friday night. In Pat Hickey’s column in The Gazette on the draft, he quotes Bergevin saying “We intend to draft the best player available.”
Uh duh! But of course that’s what GMs always say prior to a draft. So we’ll see.
But what’s not being debated today is who the Habs should draft with their second pick, which is the 33rd pick overall. ’Cause I’m such a nice guy, I have a little free advice for M. Bergevin this morning. Why not draft Michael Matheson with that pick?
The defenceman from Pointe Claire is listed at No. 30 on the NHL Central Scouting prospects chart and by all accounts he’s one fine young player. Arpon Basu had a good piece on Matheson on nhl.com Thursday in which he noted that Matheson really turned his game around in the second half of this season with the Dubuque Fighting Saints in the United States Hockey League. The 18-year-old had a hard time adjusting to the league at the start because it was the most competitive hockey he’d ever played but the six-foot-two, 190-pound D-man eventually got the hang of it.
Two years ago, there was talk that Matheson would likely be the top pick in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League draft but he and his family decided that he wasn’t going to play in the Q and would instead go the U.S. college route. Rod Matheson, Michael’s dad, told The Gazette’s Mike Boone that “We wanted him to make up his mind before the draft. I don’t think it was fair to Baie-Comeau (which had the first pick) to have them waste their first pick overall on a guy who doesn’t show up.”
So instead he went to play in Dubuque this season and he’s set to lace up with Boston College in the fall.
Here’s Basu’s take on Matheson’s skill set: “He’s a tremendous skater with a blistering shot who can put up numbers and have his team going from defense to offense in very short order.”
Sounds good to me. And plus he’s a West Island boy, just what the doctor ordered for a team so short on local talent.
No need to thank me M. Bergevin.