Original post: I started doing this exercise 5 years ago, simply motivated by curiosity; how will I perform compared to an NHL team? I think we all are puzzled by some of our team selections, it felt necessary to me to actually do the exercise so I can factually compare how I would perform and not be biased by my selective memory when I am judging their work. In order to be sure about each and every pick I made I end up spending a lot of time on this every year, a lot more than I originally anticipated, it feels necessary for me to analyze every single prospects, including the top undrafted, it generally takes me around 1 month to go through everything, I give myself the luxury to spend some times after the draft to give my final list since there is a lot more information and videos on prospects once the draft been completed (I don’t have time to watch junior league level games during the year). How do I evaluate players? I mainly look at statistics, I always been good with numbers, at seeing patterns in them, otherwise I take the time to check as many highlights as I can on players I feel interested in, I also had access to independent scouting reports to complement my evaluations of players. To further help me evaluate prospects accurately, I developed a software during the last year, there will be more info about it down bellow. My main criteria of evaluation are; 1. Statistics (relative to league and age), 2. Speed, 3. Size, 4. Character, 5. Defensive play. Unless you are an enormous player with grit, if you don’t have good statistics I won’t bother looking further into that prospect, if you are not dominant at junior level and don’t see how you will be able to compete at the NHL level few years from now, that being said you always need to be careful with statistics and look further into them; taking into consideration ice time and quality of linemates. About the videos I watch, mainly highlights(that's mostly what I have access to), they don’t mean much to me, because obviously it is only a small sample of plays which turned out well, but I still watch them mostly just to have a confirmation on the player speed which is the attribute I value the most by far, and if possible have a glimpse on the level of competitiveness. Defensive play is there at 5 and barely there because I have to rely on other sources and it is hard to evaluate accurately in the first place. Things like IQ and shooting don’t need a further look because they should translate into the criteria I value the most, statistics. I guess it is very easy to cheat on this and adjust retrospectively your picks, I provided links for proof for every year. Sorry if some of links are a bit messy, particularly for the first 2 years, I will be giving precisions about them. So here are the picks: You can compare with MTL selections: Elite Prospects - Players drafted by Montréal Canadiens 2013: *1st:25. Marko Dano (C) - KHL - 6'00  2nd:34. Robert Hagg (D) - SHL - 6’02 -  2nd:36. Nick Sorensen (R) - QMJHL - 6’01 -  2nd:55. Artturi Lehkonen (L) - SM-Liiga - 5’11 -  **3rd:71. Pavel Buchnevich (L) - KHL - 6’02 -  3rd:86. Oliver Bjorkstrand (R) - WHL - 6’00 -  4th:116. Eric Roy (D) - WHL - 6’03 -  6th:176. Lucas Wallmark (C) - SHL - 6’00 [Undrafted, #97 in 2014] ***7th:206. Nikita Tryamkin (D) - KHL - 6’07 (OA:19) [Undrafted, #66 in 2014] Proof: http://hfboards.mandatory.com/posts/68451473/ More info on my list; http://hfboards.mandatory.com/threads/my-view-on-2013-draft-slip-and-undrafted.1485675/ Great list, but this is the list that needs to most clarification for different reasons; * This is the only pick for which I would say this; if I would be evaluating players the way I currently am, I would not have drafted Dano. I don’t mean with insights, I mean at draft time. First, you can look back at Dano's predraft stats, really hard to accurately evaluate them, secondly, I had a good enough viewing of him and considering his size he isn’t fast enough for me, particularly in the 1st round. Considering the way I now evaluate prospects, it would probably would have been Shea Theodore, but the selection I made at the time is Dano, which is why I will leave it there. Dano still somewhat alright considering other close options. ** The only pick which base on the links for proof I offer you it is debatable wether it was actually my pick at the time. Let me explain, Buchnevich was a player I was very high on since the very beginning, I made a quick first list and post on the Montreal board. Once I posted that list I got heavily criticize by a guy name Grant McCagg, former Habs scout. Here is the quote: "As for Buch....... helluva lot easier for someone to say they'd pick Buchnevich than to actually do it. Not one NHL teams was willing to waste a second rounder on a flaky Russian..that's 100+ senior scouts and 30 head scouts who thought differently than you...but hey...it's easy to sit back and say "I'd have taken Buchnevich." If by the off chance he actually has a lengthy, successful NHL career..the Habs prospect expert will always be able to come back on here and say "I told you so!"...so what's the risk for him? Buchnevish flops and you can always blame it on the NHL team not giving him a proper chance...and how the lure of playing in the KHL was too much. Easy." I guess he had some notoriety and some valid points, since I also liked Peter Cehlarik at that spot I made the change, because anyway I would deserve no credit for drafting Buch… Couple of weeks later, I realized that was dumb and I should go for the better player, I changed it back to Buch on my personal computer files, but never actually changed it on HFB. But you will see in the 2015 draft one, I post all the draft I made thus far, he is the one I got there. Cehlarik is still a great 3rd rounder in my book, so either way take it as you like. *** Here again, the only time I added a pick like that, MTL didn’t had the 7th rounder on draft day. I always put him there, for me he was exactly the type of high reward 7th rounder you want to go for, 6’7 Russian D playing in the KHL, I didn’t understand why he was under everyone's radar. Unfortunately, the Habs only had one late rounder, and I was also puzzled why Wallmark was left untaken, so I added a 7th rounder in the end. I told myself at the time if I was a real scout I would have asked for a trade to get him (like you often see teams do at draft in the 7th round). This is the pick the Habs traded for Parros which I thought was dumb acquisition also. Whatever take it as you like, if I had a 7th rounder with any other team I would have drafted Tryamkin. 2014: *1st:26. Nikita Scherbak (R) - WHL - 6'01  3rd:73. Brayden Point (C) - WHL - 5'11  5th:125. Ondrej Kase (R) - Czech - 6'00  5th:147. Adam Ollas Mattsson (D) - Allvsk - 6'04  6th:177. Axel Holmstrom (C) - SHL - 6'01  7th:207. Vladimir Tkachev (L) - QMJHL - 5'10 [Undrafted] Proof: http://hfboards.mandatory.com/threa...-drafted-too-high-low-best-undrafted.1704209/ Ok, that is not an exact list, not sure if I either never posted it online or I can’t find it anymore, but that list still suffice, every player I drafted is on that list, aside from Scherbak (because I didn’t consider him a steal), if I wanted to cheat I would a pick someone else than Scherbak anyway. Also, if you follow the order the pick would have been 125. Lindblom, 147. Ollas Mattsson, 177. Kase, 207. Tkachev. And this is actually better since Lindblom is superior to Holmstrom, Lindblom was indeed in front of Holmstrom on my list, but Kase was in front of both and I didn’t want to cheat it, so he is there at 125. At least, I had good reasons to be high on Kase, on top of the fact that 2014 was a pretty weak draft in the later rounds. In the next year list, you will see my 2014 draft list which confirms those selections. *I was extremely high on Pastrnak, this is the player I wanted as I told multiple times pre-draft on the MTL board. (proof bellow) https://hfboards.mandatory.com/posts/79899259/ https://hfboards.mandatory.com/posts/86007359/ Unfortunately, he was taken 1 rank before the MTL pick, so I went with Scherbak. This is part of the game, I understand it happens to every team at some point, Scherbak is my pick and I have to live with it, but when I saw how well Pastrnak perform right after draft, it actually pisses me off a bit to be honest, so from then on I didn’t hesitate to make virtual trades if I felt like it was necessary. Because of this by 2016 I give a list of which players I will draft for every ranks instead which is much more representative of my work I spent a lot of time on. 2015: !2nd:38. Daniel Sprong (R) - QMJHL - 6'00  !2nd:58. Oliver Kylington (D) - SHL - 6’00  3rd:88. Filip Ahl (LW) - SHL - 6'03  5th:131. Cooper Marody (R) - USHL - 6'00  6th:177. Nikita Korostelev (R) - OHL - 6'01  7th:207. Nathan Noel (C) - QMJHL - 5’11 [Undrafted, #113 in 2016] 26th pick trade for Columbus !38th and !58th. (As shown in the link, if I don’t make the trade, my pick was Beauvillier) Proof: http://hfboards.mandatory.com/posts/104390363/ Finally a clear list as proof. Though you can see that I made some final adjustments, a peculiar change you might be looking at is Ryan Pilon, which retired during that summer, but if you look at the last edited date, I made my final adjustments before the announcement, and it actually was because I was hearing too many bad reports about how horrible is interviews went at combine, that he was disinvested about hockey which made sense in the end. 2016: 1st:9. Mikhail Sergachev (D) - OHL - 6’02  3rd:70. William Bitten (C) - OHL - 5'10  4th:100. Jacob Moverare (D) - OHL - 6’03  5th:124. Tim Gettinger (LW) - OHL - 6’06  6th:160. Jesper Bratt (LW) - Allvsk - 5’10  7th:187. David Bernhardt (D) - SHL - 6’03  Proof: http://hfboards.mandatory.com/posts/119436427/ Hey I don’t need to justify anything. You can see the new method I am using where you can see who I would have draft depending on each rank. 2017: !1st:23. Kristian Vesalainen (LW) - SHL - 6’04  2nd:58. Max Gildon (D) - USDP - 6’03  3rd:68. Alexei Lipanov (C) - VHL - 6'00  3rd:87. Ostap Safin - (RW) - Czech - 6’05  5th:149. Alexander Chmelevski - (C) - OHL - 6’00  7th:199. Pavel Shen - (RW) - MHL - 6’01 [Undrafted, #212 in 2018] 1st(25) and 2nd(56) trade for ARI !1st(23) (or any pick in that range) (As shown in the link, if I don’t make the trade, my pick was Kostin, the 2nd rounder was Brook) Proof: http://hfboards.mandatory.com/posts/133854841/ Once again the player I really wanted was pick just before the Habs pick. Even within insight, I would have pushed hard to move up for Vesalainen on draft floor since I believe he was the complete package. I also started to developed a software which would help me evaluate players, you can find more info here: Software evaluating draft eligible player For trades I am using this guideline, I make sure I am the one losing the trade in terms of value in order to make it more plausible: https://bit.ly/2KQrgNx Updated post: 2018: 1st:3. Jesperi Kotkaniemi (C) - SM-Liiga - 6’02  !1st:31. Jonatan Berggren (C) - SuperElit - 5'10  2nd:38. Jonny Tychonick (D) - BCHL - 6'00  2nd:56. Filip Hallander (C) - Allsvenskan - 6’02  3rd:71. Bulat Shafigullin (L) - MHL - 6’01  4th:97. Slava Demin (D) - BCHL - 6’02  4th:123. Danila Zhuravlyov (D) - MHL - 6’00  5th:128. Blade Jenkins (C) - OHL - 6’01  5th:133. Xavier Bouchard (D) - QMJHL - 6’04  7th:190: Carl Wassenius (C) - SuperElit - 6’02 [Undrafted] !31th(or any pick in that range) for 35th and 66th. Otherwise, Hallander moves up, Jenik at 56 and Wise at 66 (so Jenik+Wise instead of Berggren). Proof: https://hfboards.mandatory.com/posts/147299927/ Full rankings with the software: https://hfboards.mandatory.com/threads/nhl-draft-software-final-rankings-updated.2506843/ Draft review https://hfboards.mandatory.com/thre...afted-prospectsfanatics-draft-review.2507827/ This is by far the draft I spent the most time on. _____ This is what the MTL would look like with me as pro scout and keeping MB acquisitions or lack thereof. The team would have major waivers problems (I guess the recent acquisitions would be unnecessary) despite the team easily floating 10+M of cap space once reduce to a normal roster. LW - C - RW Pacioretty - Point - Gallagher Kase - Domi - Buchnevich Bratt - Danault - Bjorkstrand Lehkonen - Hudon - Armia Extra: Sprong, Scherbak, Byron, Shaw, Plekanec, Dano, Peca, Wallmark, Deslauriers. (Waivers problems) Most notable prospects: Kotkaniemi*, Vesalainen*, Berggren, Hallander, Marody, Safin, Shafigullin, Gettinger, Tkachev, Chmelevski, Jenkins, Sorensen, Bitten, Holmstrom, Shen, Lipanov. *Could potentially play in the NHL. LD - RD Sergachev** - Weber Alzner - Petry Hagg - Tryamkin (might not have left to the KHL, had issues with Vancouver) Extra: Reilly, Benn, Schlemko, Ouellet. Most notable prospects: Kylington, Tychonick, Gildon, Demin, Zhuravlyov, Moverare, X.Bouchard, Bernhardt. **The Drouin/Sergachev trade go entirely against our need, we have a surplus of forward and we aren’t desperate for a top center because we have Point, so the trade most likely wouldn’t have happened. G Price Niemi/Lindgren I didn’t draft any goalie because I purposely value them less; goalies are riskier picks (higher success variance factoring draft rank) and their value on the trading market is inferior than their forwards or defensemen counterpart because there is higher parity in talent among goaltenders. Also goaltending for MTL wasn't a need. That being said it also simply turned out that way, I have been close to draft one a few times. More details here: Spoiler: Why I believe never drafting goaltenders is the best philosophy I don't scout players all that much, particularly goaltenders, I mean it is very hard to project goaltenders by seeing them play. I find my edge by looking at numbers, but numbers for goaltenders don't mean all that much as well. Also, factoring their slower development curve, there is higher variance in selecting goaltenders so drafting them is more luck base. Put all of this together and it is a bit like rolling the dice to me if I were to draft goaltenders. I don't see why I should be taking that risk considering I have a pretty high batting average drafting F/D. Having said that, I honestly believe that unless you are desperately in need of goaltenders in your organization, avoiding drafting goaltenders altogether might be a viable strategy. Hear me out, unless you are a high-end goaltender you hold nearly no value, 1B and premium backup were easily available as free asset for little money and term in free agency, Bernier, Hutton, Mrazek, Halak, Lehner, some of them will be 1G for their team, none of them cost as much as Ian Cole which is a 4th D at best, Jay Beagle a 3rd liner at best cost more than most of them. Value wise drafting goaltenders seem to give you a poor return. Therefore, since their trade market tend to be lower you might be better off selecting forwards and defensemen which have higher market value and subsequently trade them for goaltenders if need be. An additional benefit to this strategy is that since you will tend to have fewer goaltenders in your system it should be easier for you to attract the top young goaltending UFAs in need of an entry-level deal which there is a higher proportion of available compared to other positions most year due to the previously explained higher variance in development. On top of this, MTL had Price all those years, they have their premium 1G, and like I just said, backup hold no value, no need to get one by draft, we got ours on waivers, the prospect challenging him, Lindgren, we signed him as a free agent, same for our 4th goaltender, McNiven, despite drafting Fucale in the 2nd rounds a few years ago. To me, goalies are almost a waste of picks. We don't even know when Price will need a replacement, bad timing can cause problems, even if we draft a star we may be forced to trade him away despite the comparative lower market value because we have no room, NYR had to trade away Ranta because of Lunqvist and his contract even though they are soon going to be in need of a replacement for him. To me, we are better off doing something like New Jersey, they traded away a high-value pick for a young premium 1G, Schneider, near Brodeur retirement and they are good in net for another decade, to me that's a lot wiser than selecting a goaltender 5 years prior at the similar draft position of the traded pick and hope for the best (add to this that the goaltenders they drafted to prepare for Brodeur retirement where not worth it for them in the end, forcing them to make the trade). Drafting a proportional amount of F/D/G is not necessarily the best strategy even if it seems like the intuitive thing to do. I am pretty sure my logic holds up, I doubt GMs and scouts can think that through though. You can take a flyer with a late rounder at times though, that's fine with me. Goalie have low value, but 7th rounder as well, I you really like a goaltender, sure go for it in the later rounds, the low value pick negates the negative impact of variance as well. - Aside from the Sergachev for Drouin trade, MTL traded none of their picks for value yet, so the comparison holds well. Simon Bourque was (I believe) a throw-in in the Armia trade, holding no real value. Another one is Andrighetto which after being put on waivers been traded for another player that we waived, Martinsen, that we traded away for another player of even lesser value that already walked away. - On the flip side, we clearly had the assets to do a package deal trade for a player like O'Reilly. _____ Nationality of players drafted: SWE: 13 RUS: 10 CAN: 7 USA: 6 FIN: 3 CZE: 2 SVK: 1 DNK: 1 League drafted from: SHL: 13 OHL: 7 KHL: 7 WHL: 5 QMJHL: 5 Czech: 2 USHL: 2 Liiga: 2 BCHL: 2 (europeans leagues such as SHL include their minor leagues (SuperElit) and 2nd division (Allsvenskan)) I drafted a disproportionate amount of Swedes and Russians over the years compare to CAN and US players. I really have a inclination towards the Swedes and their leagues. Other interesting notes: Factoring only players in their first year of eligibility, I tend to draft players of younger age than average. By looking at the size of the players I drafted thus far, it is evident that I am still looking to draft players with size whenever I can, even though this model is regarded as outdated to a certain extent, but I do not draft any primarily grinder type player. I finally drafted my first french Canadian in 2018, the journalists would probably think I am bias against them and purposely despise them by now. ____ Trading disclaimer: I know that for some the trades is removing some credibility/realism to this exercise, but my main goal is to have fun here, I like cheering for players I draft and while I am at it I prefer cheering for the ones I was very high on. Teams have the flexibility to make trades for players which are high on their list, to a certain extent it is an unfair handicap if I can't ever do the same. At the end of the day, I traded fewer picks than MTL during that time frame. You also have to realize that MTL do trades on the draft floor that is matching their list, not mine, those trades may line up badly against my list, purely following their trades is therefore by default unrealistic to follow in some ways (I still use their trade because it would be too confusing to compare years later). And if I do end up trading it isn't like they are a guarantor of success, they could backfire if I reach for the wrong player, on top of this I am making sure I am losing in terms of trade value. Either way, I let you know the players I drafted without trades so you are free to compare as you like. _____ I will attempt to update every year. Don't hesitate if you have any remarks or questions.