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Canadiens' draft class represented at Sochi Games

Wednesday, 01.08.2014 / 12:57 PM

By Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor / Road to Sochi blog

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Road to Sochi blog
Canadiens' draft class represented at Sochi Games

PHILADELPHIA -- The Montreal Canadiens had eight players named to their respective countries' rosters for the 2014 Sochi Olympics, the second-most of any team in the Eastern Conference and tied for the fourth-most of any NHL team.

Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin sees that as a point of pride, but he won't take a lot of credit for it. Instead, he points to Trevor Timmins, the team's director of amateur scouting.

Timmins and his staff were responsible for drafting four of the eight players picked -- forward Max Pacioretty (United States); defensemen Alexei Emelin (Russia) and P.K. Subban (Canada); and goaltender Carey Price (Canada). Forward Tomas Plekanec (Czech Republic) and defenseman Andrei Markov (Russia) were picked by the Canadiens prior to Timmins joining the organization in 2002. The only players not drafted by the Canadiens to make an Olympic team were backup goalie Peter Budaj (Slovakia), signed as a free agent in 2011, and defenseman Raphael Diaz (Switzerland), a free-agent signee who never was drafted and made his NHL debut with the Canadiens in the 2011-12 season.

"[Six] of those guys were Montreal draft picks and most of them were drafted by Trevor's staff," Bergevin said. "Our drafting, from Day 1 when I got here, was the way to build a team. This shows we are on the right track."

Bergevin especially was happy for Subban to make the Canadian team. The 2013 Norris Trophy winner enters the Canadiens' game Tuesday against the Philadelphia Flyers (7:30 p.m. ET, TSN) with seven goals and tied for fourth among NHL defensemen with 34 points. But arguably no player had his game dissected as much as Subban did leading up to the Canadian Olympic roster announcement Tuesday.

"I came here two years ago, he was a healthy scratch," Bergevin said. "The coaching staff did a great job with him; he won the Norris [Trophy]. Now he's part of Team Canada for the Olympics. We've done the right things with P.K. and I'm proud that he'll be able to represent his country at the next Olympics."

Bergevin also was happy for Price, one of three goalies picked for the team. Bergevin said Price has been indispensable for his team this season.

"There's nights I've watched that we haven't been as sharp as we should or we let down in part of the game," Bergevin said, "and Carey made some huge saves that were able to keep us in the game and we were able to score later on. Overall I think one of the reasons why we're at where we are is the way he's been playing for us this year."

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2014 OLYMPICS POLL