27th, not too shabby…
In 2007, the league’s managers approved a rule change that won’t be helpful to the Canadiens at this year’s Draft. Prior to the start of the postseason, the Canadiens were set to pick 15th overall, but since the four conference finalists are automatically relegated to slots 27-30, Montreal dropped down to No. 27 in the Draft order.
Owning the 27th pick may not come with the glamour and flare of the first overall selection, but if history holds true, there are always a few hidden gems that will still be ripe for the picking when Pierre Gauthier finally gets his turn at the mic.
There are a few eventual NHLers who have heard their name called at No. 27 over the years. On that list are players like Jeff Tambellini (2003), Cory Sarich (1996), Boris Mironov (1992), Steve Staios (1991) and Jeff Shultz, the older brother of newly acquired Habs forward Ian Shultz. If you turn the clock back a little further, you’ll find of likes of Tie Domi (1988), Joe Nieuwendyk (1985), Scott Mellanby (1984) and the Habs’ own Sergio Momesso (1983).
A current member of the team also has fond memories of the 27th overall pick at an NHL Draft. Chosen by New Jersey in that spot at the 1998 Draft, Scott Gomez paid immediate dividends for the Devils, winning pair of Stanley Cups, the Calder Trophy and missing the playoffs only once in his seven years in the swamp.
It just goes to show that with a little polishing, a diamond in the rough can be snatched up anywhere on draft day, even late in the first round.
Vincent Cauchy is a writer for canadiens.com. Translated by Manny Almela and Shauna Denis.
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