Another one bites the dust: Canadiens 1st rounders come & go
Updated: Jan 23, 2021
Noah Juulsen may never be able to show the promise he had when the Canadiens made him their first overall choice in 2015. The nagging injuries and headaches that hampered his play these past few seasons prevented the organization from being able to properly evaluate his true potential. And the rest is history as he was just claimed off waivers by the Florida Panthers.
Sadly, it marked the departure of yet another Canadiens' 1st rounder during the Bergevin/Timmins regime (let's not even bring up names like David Fischer Price or Alex Perezhogin- though Timmins does have his fingerprints on those too).
Nate "the Great" Beaulieu, although not drafted during Bergie's tenure, was under this regime during his development years and needless to say, things did not pan out. Alex Galchenyuk? Nyet. Despite one 30 year goal season, truth is he was also a tremendous disappointment in Montreal (brought up too young? did they confuse him too much by moving him from C to wing, back and forth? Should they have had someone playing chaperone, guiding him to keep him in check outside the rink?). Michael McCarron (drafted just ahead of Shea Theodore) just never had the wheels to keep up at the NHL level. Nikita Sherbak remember that poor soul? Yep, another who bit the dust! In fact, I think most fans would rather forget that name. Mikhail Sergachev developed into a gem, but sadly, not in Montreal (traded for the perennial underachieving Jonathan Drouin).
While its far too early to evaluate how the Canadiens will fare with more recently drafted players such as Kotkaniemi and Cole Caufield, Ryan Poehling seems to be another first rounder that was either rushed too soon or simply not properly followed (how a player can - allegedly according to several media reports- show up to the summer playoff bubble out of shape is inexcusable and it seems from a distance to be another black mark on this organization and their inability to properly guide and develop young players).
Regardless how les Canadiens perform this coming season (and I do believe their lineup looks very promising), drafting players and developing your top prospects, should be the bloodline of any successful sports organization. And, in this area, the Canadiens organization has been a monumental failure.