The Canadiens’ co-director of recruiting, Nick Bobrov, launched something important during his press briefing with Martin Lapointe on Thursday. He mentioned the word culture, taking care to specify that it was an element that should be retained from his speech.

David Reinbacher corresponded to the profile sought by the CH in the corporate culture that we are trying to establish. Matvei Michkov, despite all his talent, did not correspond to it.

Montreal is ready to live with the idea of ​​seeing the young Michkov have great offensive seasons in the NHL, when he arrives in North America, in 2026 or later, with the Philadelphia Flyers. But obviously, he did not believe the boy would turn into a team player, respectful of authority and collective instructions, open to lessons.

Russia is hard to get to, but cellular networks are getting in there, according to the latest news. The NHL teams have their branches there. Michkov played with former National League players in St. Petersburg and Sochi.

Martin Lapointe also said Thursday with his former teammate of the Detroit Red Wings, the legendary Igor Larionov, now coach of the Torpedo of Novgorod, in the KHL, to inquire about the potential of his defender Bogdan Konyushkov, whom Montreal drafted in the fifth round on Thursday. It would be surprising if the two men had not discussed Michkov.

Let’s be clear: the Canadian never intended to draft Matvei Michkov. Leaves, we repeat, to leave goals on the table. Because to win, in hockey, it doesn’t just take goals, but a spirit of sacrifice, willpower, collective play, defensive reliability.

The defending Stanley Cup champions, the Vegas Golden Knights, had no scorers of 30 or more goals, and no player reached the 70-point mark.

Some fans are already extrapolating. Michkov would earn 120 National Hockey League points and score 50 goals. And by their logic, David Reinbacher will have to establish himself as the number one defenseman in the National Hockey League or he’ll be a failed pick.

This is a curious logic, given the fact that the CH never thought of drafting Michkov. The organization did not do the exercise of measuring the talent of one against the other, it decided to give up Michkov because his profile did not correspond to the culture of the company.

To be fair to David Reinbacher, one shouldn’t compare him to Michkov, but to what a fifth overall pick can become.

There’s a one-in-two chance of getting a potential NHL star, studies say, and a 95% chance of getting an established player.

In fifteen vintages, between 2019 and 2006, there were, recently in this column, two number one centers, three number two centers, three number one defenders or in the process of being one, two defensive defenders of second or third pair, a winger first line, a third line winger and three failures.

Jake Sanderson, defenseman, Ottawa

Potential number one defender

Alex Turcotte, centre, Los Angeles

In survival mode in the American League

Barrett Hayton, centre, Arizona

Potential center number one or two

Elias Pettersson, center, Vancouver

Center number one

Olli Juolevi, défenseur, Vancouver


Noah Hanifin, defenseman, Carolina

defender number two

Michael Dal Colle, winger, NY Islanders


Elias Lindholm, centre, Caroline

Center number one

Morgan Rielly, defenseman, Toronto

number one defender

Ryan Strome, NY Islanders

Center number two

Nino Niederreiter, ailier, NY Islanders

Third line

Brayden Schenn, centre, Los Angeles

Center number two

Luke Schenn, defender, Toronto

Defensive defender, 2nd or 3rd pair

Karl Alzner, defenseman, Washington

Defensive defender, 2nd or 3rd pair

Phil Kessel, ailier, Boston

First line striker

Of the lot, Elias Pettersson is probably the only big star. Unless you consider Kessel as such.

If David Reinbacher becomes a first pair defender, with a partner like Kaiden Guhle or Lane Hutson, Montreal will have won its bet.

Until then, we will have to let this young Austrian develop at his own pace. And suggest to him to stay away from social networks.

The fact that the organization is now thinking of letting him play an additional year in Switzerland, away from gossip, says a lot about the Montreal market, sometimes extraordinary, sometimes rotten to the marrow…

For the first time since 1977, the Canadian has drafted at least three goalies in the same vintage. Montreal drafted seven 46 years ago, but the draft was… 15 rounds!

The CH had not chosen more than one goalkeeper in the same repechage since Christopher Heino-Lindberg (6th round) and Jaroslav Halak (9th round) in 2003.

Montreal employed the same strategy eight more times between 1977 and 2003. In 1994, the organization was able to develop two number one goaltenders, José Théodore and Tomas Vokoun, but the latter was lost to Nashville before hatching.

In 1984, the Canadiens got their hands on one, if not the greatest goalkeeper in history, Patrick Roy. The goalkeeper drafted after him, named Troy, never broke through, but he gave birth to one of the great players in history, Sidney Crosby…

Moreover, if he was rather stingy with comments at a press briefing on Thursday, Martin Lapointe revealed to colleagues Martin McGuire and Dany Dubé on the airwaves of 98.5 after the draft that American goalkeeper Jacob Fowler, drafted in the third round by the team, was first on the organization’s roster at that position, ahead of Adam Gajan, Michael Hrabal, Trey Augustine, Carson Bjarnason and Damian Clara, all drafted in the second round.

Fowler, goalkeeper par excellence last season in the USHL, Quentin Miller (4th round) and Yevgeni Volokhin (5th round) are added to Cayden Primeau, Jakub Dobes, Emmett Croteau and Joe Vrbetic in the group of hopefuls of CH at this post.

More details in the text of our special correspondent Simon-Olivier Lorange.

1- Against all odds, Mathieu Choinière, on the bench to start the CF Montreal opener, will participate in the MLS All-Star Game. Justin Vézina spoke to him.

2- Simon Drouin is on site in Europe to cover the Tour de France, in which Quebecers Hugo Houle and Guillaume Boivin participate. Here is his text.

3- Quebec winger Ethan Gauthier, son of former hockey player Denis, will find himself on familiar ground in Tampa Bay. Simon-Olivier Lorange tells.