ST. PAUL – After nabbing Nathan Beaulieu
with the 17th
overall pick on Friday night, the Habs got right back to work on Day 2 of the NHL Entry Draft.
After trading his only third-round pick – No. 78 overall – to the Winnipeg Jets for No. 97 and 108 overall, Canadiens general manager Pierre Gauthier had a busy fourth round ahead of him.
Just as he did in Round 1, Gauthier looked to shore up his defensive prospects, drafting Cedar Rapids blue-liner Josiah Didier
with his first pick of the day. Ranked 108th
among North American skaters heading into the Draft, the USHL defenseman used the second half of the 2010-11 campaign to skyrocket up the Central Scouting prospect list from No.198 overall at mid-term time. In 58 games this season, the 6-foot-2 rearguard had eight goals and 21 points to go with his 81 penalty minutes.
Eleven spots later, Gauthier looked a little closer to home, making Val d’Or winger Olivier Archambault
overall selection at the Draft. The first-overall selection at the 2009 QMJHL Draft, the 5-foot-10 Le Gardeur, QC native racked up 20 goals and 53 points for the Foreurs in 2010-11.
“I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time and to hear the Canadiens call my name was really exciting,” described Archambault, who was emotional after being drafted by his childhood team. “I still can’t believe it when I look down and see I’m wearing this jersey – it’s a dream come true. I used to go to games at the Bell Centre as a kid and now the idea that I could skate on that ice someday is just incredible. I’ll be working hard for the next few years to earn my shot with the Canadiens.”
Next up, Gauthier used the 113th
overall selection to snag 21-year-old Swedish defenseman Magnus Nygren
from Farjestad of the Swedish Elite League. The 6-foot-1 power-play specialist had 15 points in 22 games in his second season with Farjestad.
Gauthier looked to Western Canada for his fifth pick of the weekend, selecting Saskatoon Blades defenseman Darren Dietz
at No. 138. The Medicine Hat, AB native had 27 points in 68 games in his first year in the WHL.
At No. 168 overall, the Canadiens opted for 6-foot-3 center Daniel Pribyl
from Sparta Jr. in the Czech Republic, who may make the move to the QMJHL for the 2011-12 season. Gauthier made Avon Old Farms High School defenseman Colin Sullivan
his final pick of the weekend, who made the trek from Connecticut to hear his name called live. He may have waited longer than expected to pull on his new jersey as the 198th
overall pick, but that didn’t bother the 18-year-old one bit.
“It started getting a little bit stressful when the fourth and fifth round came around, but I’m just happy to be picked right now,” admitted Sullivan, who will follow in the footsteps of former Hab Christoper Higgins by moving from Avon Old Farms to Yale University in 2012. “I didn’t really care when I went as long as I got drafted and to be drafted by the Montreal Canadiens is such an honor.”Shauna Denis is a writer for canadiens.com.SEE ALSO:Draftology 101 Comments: Sullivan
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