A concerning publication casts serious doubt on Nick Bobrov and his scouting abilities

David St-Jean
July 7, 2023  (4:13 PM)

The Montreal Canadiens concluded their second draft under the leadership of Nick Bobrov as co-director of the amateur scouting department.

For the second consecutive year, as the organization held another top-5 pick, the Canadiens surprised fans by making a selection that was not part of the consensus.
After Juraj Slafkovsky last year, passing over Shane Wright or Logan Cooley, the team opted for David Reinbacher instead of Matvei Michkov or even Ryan Leonard. We can also add the 26th pick in 2022 with Filip Mesar, who was not even projected to be a first-round pick by the majority of experts.
In two years, with three first-round picks, the Canadiens have selected three Europeans.
While there is no issue with choosing players from Europe, what concerns us the most is the decision-making power that Bobrov seems to have, as he handles the European side of scouting, while Martin Lapointe is responsible for the North American side.
An alarming publication has surfaced regarding Bobrov's track record in recent years as the director of amateur scouting for the New York Rangers.
As seen below, during his six-year tenure as chief scout, the European selections were nearly a disaster.

Essentially, except for Filip Chytil, who is just entering his fifth NHL season, none of the players drafted by Bobrov from 2015 to 2021 in the first three rounds of the draft have made an impact in the league. Even Kaapo Kakko, selected second overall in 2019 and considered a good pick, has struggled to secure a spot in the Rangers' top-six after four professional seasons.
Even more concerning, excluding Kakko, who was a consensual choice, two of the three top-10 European picks by the Blue Shirts during his tenure were disappointments with Lias Andersson (7th overall in 2017) and Vitali Kravtsov (9th overall in 2018). Ouch!
Considering that the Canadiens have only drafted Europeans with their first-round picks under Bobrov's leadership so far, there is cause for significant concern about the future of the organization.
While I understand that Jeff Gorton worked closely with him during their time in New York, objectively speaking, given his lackluster track record, I still don't understand why the Canadiens hired him.
We will see the results of his work in a few years, but if the past is any indication of the future, as the saying goes, it doesn't bode well for the Canadiens.
JULY 7   |   70 ANSWERS
A concerning publication casts serious doubt on Nick Bobrov and his scouting abilities

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