Grading Montreal Canadiens’ Pick of Nikita Scherbak at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft

June 28th, 2014 by Ryan Szporer Leave a reply »

Any time you take a player ranked 15th among North American skaters at No. 26, just like the Montreal Canadiens did with Nikita Scherbak in the first round of the 2014 NHL entry draft, you have to consider it a decent pick.

No. 15 is indeed where Central Scouting had Scherbak, the 6’1”, 175-pound Russian Saskatoon Blades forward. Granted, International Scouting Services (ISS) had him at 27th overall, but, nevertheless, it’s clear Montreal got one of the players with the most upside of all those remaining by the time it reached the podium.

Picking at their lowest-ever position in the first round at No. 26 after reaching the Eastern Conference Final, the Habs opted for a high-risk, high-reward selection. Scherbak is a playmaking Russian who projects as a potential second-line forward (he played all three positions this year) or bust.

Considering there are some analysts who would argue that this is weak draft, Habs fans should be happy the Canadiens went the way they did. Sure, they could have instead gone with a safer pick, a non-Russian with a little more size who might have only had a ceiling as high as a ...

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