DALLAS - Assistant general manager Trevor Timmins began his media opportunity on Thursday afternoon with a short, but firm statement.
"All the work's done. Nous sommes prêts. We're ready to go!" said Timmins, with time ticking down until Round 1 of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft gets underway on Friday evening in Texas.
After arriving in Dallas earlier in the week, Timmins and the rest of the Canadiens' amateur scouting staff have spent the better part of the last several days finalizing their draft board at the team hotel.
As it stands, the Canadiens will be heading to American Airlines Center with 10 picks to work with, including the third-overall selection. Then, four picks will follow in Round 2 (35, 38, 56 and 62), one in Round 3 (66), three in Round 4 (97, 102, 122) and one in Round 5 (128).
Video: Trevor Timmins on preparing for the NHL Draft
With so many selections at their disposal, it's certainly been a very busy time for Timmins' group as they've narrowed down the list of prospects they're hoping to secure in the coming days.
"There's been a lot of work accomplished. We're finished," affirmed the Canadiens' scouting head, who has helmed the Draft table since 2003. "The list is never set in stone until we head to the Draft from the hotel here, but we're confident with the prospects that we'd like to add to our prospect pool in Montreal right from that third-overall pick to that last pick that we make on Saturday."
When asked what types of players he was trying to stock the Habs' cupboards with in the Lone Star State, Timmins expressed the need to select "good hockey players" above all else.
"I don't care where they come from. We don't care where they come from," mentioned Timmins. "Good hockey players that are going to help the Montreal Canadiens become a playoff contender year after year, and hopefully, eventually help us win a Stanley Cup."
With respect to the third-overall selection, Timmins wasn't about to tip his hat and offer up any clues as to which player, in particular, the Canadiens have set their sights on. But, he did convey the importance of getting it right and making certain to hit the mark.
"When you have a top-10 pick, that player has to play and has to help you," insisted Timmins, who hasn't selected in the No. 3 spot since landing Alex Galchenyuk at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft in Pittsburgh.
With four second-round picks in his arsenal, Timmins also didn't rule out the possibility of potentially acquiring another first-round pick - under the right circumstances, of course.
"If there's a top 2 line forward or a top 2 or 3 defenseman [still available later in Round 1], then of course we'll jump all over it," explained Timmins, on the Canadiens' willingness to use every asset they can to improve their draft haul.
Video: Habs hold scouting meetings in Dallas
No matter which hopefuls the Canadiens leave Dallas with, though, Timmins reiterated that these youngsters will ultimately need time to develop.
"If people think that it's going to be a quick fix just because we have all those picks, these young players are going to take some time. There might be the odd surprise, like a Victor Mete, for example, but we have to have patience," concluded Timmins. "We have a good development team in place, we have good coaches in place, and we're going to select these players based on the projection and the upside we see. Then we're going to hand them off to our group of development people and coaches, and it's their job to help them develop and hopefully reach the potential we see in them."